Maybe you have heard of this story.
A 28-year-old Rochester woman was arrested after police say she videotaped Rochester Police officers during a traffic stop.
Police say Emily Good filmed the officers on Aldine Street while they were conducting a traffic stop. She was charged with obstructing governmental administration.
This is the video, she was taking:
The article goes on to say:
I-Team 10 has learned she’s no stranger to police. She was arrested in March with a group of others who tried to block a home on Ravenwood Avenue from foreclosure. Ironically, police videotaped Good and other protesters while arresting them that day.
Here is the e-mail I sent to Rochester’s Chief of Police this morning:
First, I support police officers that are professional and put their lives on the line for us everyday. My father was in law enforcement at several levels for many years and I know that the vast majority of officers are decent human beings who assume a very hazardous risk for such little pay.
But this video of Officer Masic arresting this lady for simply video taping a police action that was occurring in front of her home is a bit disturbing. While the officer was not disrespectful and seemed professional in his conduct, he was wrong to ask the woman to stop taping the incident while on her own property. He was wrong for arresting her for not complying with an illegal order. From my many years of analyzing communication transactions, she was not hostile or threatening and to the best of my knowledge, not breaking any law.
There is another side to this that the officer or your department may not be considering. The videotaping could have been used to prove the officers did nothing wrong in executing the police action, if the person who was being arrested would have falsely claimed it in the future, as is so often the case these days. I know most squad cars have dash cams, but they cannot always see everything.
The only reason I write this e-mail is, an incident like this makes my job teaching my grandson that police officers are here to help us and they should not be afraid of them if they need their help, more difficult. So many influences are present in the world today, there is a school of thought that says never cooperate with a policeman because this is the kind of thing that usually happens when you do. I haven’t bought into it, but it makes my job to teach respect for law enforcement that much more difficult when we see violations of people’s civil rights, like we did in the video.
Thank you for your service.
As I said in my communication to the chief, my biological father was in law enforcement. Most are good people who have a tough job to do and at some point or another, they all have to put up with abuse from the public. But their motto is to protect and to serve, their function is to enforce the law of the land. They are not here to boss people around just because they can.
Yes, this girl is probably a professional protestor and likes the attention she gets for all of this. And yes, she could have gone in the house and let it go. But the thing that disturbs me is, she did have a right to be where she was. Unlike Maryland, there is no law on the books in New York that says you cannot video tape police in a public place. So at what point does a citizen lose their civil rights to stand anywhere they want on their own property?
Was the girl really a threat? Or did the presence of a video camera force the officer from treating the suspect (who they eventually let go) in a different manner?
A recent Indiana State Supreme Court decision has stated that citizens cannot resist police officers who enter a person’s house illegally, without a warrant. We have Department Of Education SWAT teams storming houses because of unpaid student loans. And then, there’s the Cedar Falls Reichstag story from last week.
Nazi Germany did not become a police state overnight. A little here and a little there, freedoms were stripped from citizens and before they knew it, they were living in a totalitarian state where authorities could do anything they wanted…. and there was no recourse for the people who were violated.
Don’t think that it cannot happen here. It is happening and this incident is but one example. Think of how many others go unreported because no one wants to say anything for fear of reprisals. Time is not on our side right now.
UPDATE: If you backed into this post through a search engine or some other link, this is the latest in this saga.
Another UPDATE: Evidently, a local Rochester newspaper staff writer is trying to hijack this case and inject race into it.