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Letting Foxes Design Chicken Coops [Police Recording]

CognisseurCognisseur Registered User
edited October 2010 in Debate and/or Discourse
There was a time when police abuse existed and it was very difficult to prove because it came down to the officers' word against your own, which meant you lost. That was a dark time. In recent years, however, we've transitioned to everyone having cell phone cameras and point n' shoots available, and as a result there has been a pretty steady wave of videos posted online and used in courts depicting police officers abusing their authority. I perceived this to be a better time.

Unfortunately, we appear to be sliding back into the old ways. According to this article:
In at least three states (Illinois, Massachusetts, and Maryland), it is now illegal to record an on-duty police officer even if the encounter involves you and may be necessary to your defense, and even if the recording is on a public street where no expectation of privacy exists.

This isn't new, however. Furthermore, outside of it being illegal in certain states to record officers, it's also 'unofficially illegal' in most, aka officers intimidate the person into giving them the memory/camera if they see them recording. So why am I posting this now?

Because of this Reddit post. The poster recorded on his phone a video of two police officers assaulting two men, and now he doesn't know what to do:
I am absolutely serious and completely scared right now. I have no idea what to do because I might be in trouble myself for recording it in the first place. There are so many of these "news" I have no idea how to act. What if I get arrested as well? What if they come to my house and beat me too? I've been thinking about this story non-stop and sometimes wish I had never recorded it.

I don't even know what to bold within that quote. The entire thing is so tragic on so many levels. His quote could be seamlessly inserted into any of dozens of books about totalitarian government in dystopian universes. Are you guys as upset by his (quite reasonable/natural) reaction as I am?

I don't know how these sort of laws get passed, or, more specifically, why there isn't a huge drive to change legislation and make it explicitly clear that recording of police officers should always be okay. I can see absolutely no downside to such a law existing, as it seems like the only people who would be hurt by it are bad cops. What do you guys think? How do these laws get passed to begin with (like what's the rationale presented?) and why isn't there a bigger populace/media push toward changing these laws?

Cognisseur on
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Posts

  • Evil_ReaverEvil_Reaver Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    I'm not going to take the time to do any research on this, but if what you have posted is true, then we certainly are headed for dark times when it comes to law enforcement.

    IANAL but I can't see why SCOTUS wouldn't overturn these laws if someone challenged them all the way up the system. I mean, I'm only a 2L in school and I can see several constitutional issues with laws like that on the books. I would hope that a SCOTUS justice would be able to see the precedent these laws set if they are enforced.

    Evil_Reaver on
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  • Loren MichaelLoren Michael Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    http://reason.com/archives/2010/09/20/how-to-record-the-cops
    So far Massachusetts is the only state to explicitly uphold a conviction for recording on-duty cops, and Illinois and Massachusetts are the only states where it is clearly illegal. The Illinois law has yet to be considered by the state's Supreme Court, while the Massachusetts law has yet to be upheld by a federal appeals court. Maryland Attorney General Douglas Gansler recently issued an opinion concluding that arrests for recording cops are based on a misreading of the state's wiretapping statute, but that opinion isn't binding on local prosecutors.

    In the remaining 47 states, the law is clearer: It is generally legal to record the police, as long as you don't physically interfere with them. You may be unfairly harassed, questioned, or even arrested, but it's unlikely you will be charged, much less convicted. (These are general observations and should not be treated as legal advice.)

    ...

    Qik and UStream, two services available for both the iPhone and Android phones, allow instant online video streaming and archiving. Once you stop recording, the video is instantly saved online. Both services also allow you to send out a mass email or notice to your Twitter followers when you have posted a new video from your phone. Not only will your video of police misconduct be preserved, but so will the video of the police officer illegally confiscating your phone (assuming you continue recording until that point).

    Neither Qik nor UStream market themselves for this purpose, and it probably would not make good business sense for them to do so, given the risk of angering law enforcement agencies and attracting attention from regulators. But it's hard to overstate the power of streaming and off-site archiving. Prior to this technology, prosecutors and the courts nearly always deferred to the police narrative; now that narrative has to be consistent with independently recorded evidence. And as examples of police reports contradicted by video become increasingly common, a couple of things are likely to happen: Prosecutors and courts will be less inclined to uncritically accept police testimony, even in cases where there is no video, and bad cops will be deterred by the knowledge that their misconduct is apt to be recorded.

    Loren Michael on
    2ezikn6.jpg
  • CognisseurCognisseur Registered User
    edited September 2010
    In the remaining 47 states, the law is clearer: It is generally legal to record the police, as long as you don't physically interfere with them. You may be unfairly harassed, questioned, or even arrested, but it's unlikely you will be charged, much less convicted. (These are general observations and should not be treated as legal advice.)

    That isn't very reassuring. I guess it's cool if <1% of the population knows that they have the right to record, but that's not very meaningful on a large scale if most people fold to cop harassment and give them the videos and if cops think they can get away with this sort of harassment. What people believe to be the law can be just as dangerous as the actual law.

    I'd recommend there be some sort of legislature that specifically states if a police officer tries to take your video away from you that it would be a very serious offense. It would have to be a serious offense since this would only be provable if there's a second camera recording the first making it quite hard to pull off, and the concept of making punishments partially proportional to the difficulty of catching the criminal isn't new.

    Post 9/11, police authority has taken on a completely different feel. I no longer know what my rights are, to be honest, and I'm certain that the vast majority of the population doesn't either. So how many people are really that certain of the law that they're sure even if they don't give the police officer their memory card they won't be convicted of anything? And amongst that small percentage of the populace, how many think it's worth getting arrested and possibly going to court (even if they'd win) over a matter that doesn't directly concern them?

    Cognisseur on
  • Styrofoam SammichStyrofoam Sammich WANT. 5386-8443-8937Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    This won't ever stand up in the Supreme Court.

    Styrofoam Sammich on
  • joshofalltradesjoshofalltrades 地獄のようにかわいい あなたは嫉妬深いかRegistered User regular
    edited September 2010
    Ugh, these threads always piss me off for days.

    Can we also talk about how you're expected to always carry your identification with you, even if you're just out for a stroll around the neighborhood? I've been out walking in Denton, TX before and a cop stopped and asked for my ID. I don't look like a derelict or anything so I told him I'd left it at home. Then I got harassed and outright lied to -- told things like "It's illegal to be out in public without identification" -- and then "let off with a warning".

    I'm sorry, I forgot I was in Berlin circa 1943 for a minute there!

    joshofalltrades on
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  • enlightenedbumenlightenedbum Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    Cognisseur wrote: »
    In the remaining 47 states, the law is clearer: It is generally legal to record the police, as long as you don't physically interfere with them. You may be unfairly harassed, questioned, or even arrested, but it's unlikely you will be charged, much less convicted. (These are general observations and should not be treated as legal advice.)

    That isn't very reassuring. I guess it's cool if <1% of the population knows that they have the right to record, but that's not very meaningful on a large scale if most people fold to cop harassment and give them the videos and if cops think they can get away with this sort of harassment. What people believe to be the law can be just as dangerous as the actual law.

    And if you refuse, they'll probably just tase you and take it anyway.

    enlightenedbum on
    Herbert Hoover got 40% of the vote in 1932. Friendly reminder.
  • joshofalltradesjoshofalltrades 地獄のようにかわいい あなたは嫉妬深いかRegistered User regular
    edited September 2010
    And if you run, you fled from a peace officer/resisted arrest/interfered with an investigation/sodomized a minor

    joshofalltrades on
    ジェイムズ・ブラウンの好きな色は何ですか?
    青!
  • Loren MichaelLoren Michael Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    If everyone has a camera, this kind of shit gets noticed more. If this kind of shit gets noticed more, more people are going to be aware of how to deal with it.

    Loren Michael on
    2ezikn6.jpg
  • DoctorArchDoctorArch Curmudgeon Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    This won't ever stand up in the Supreme Court.

    I'm sure Scalia will find some way to say we have no rights.

    DoctorArch on
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  • tinwhiskerstinwhiskers Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    Stuff like this always makes me feel like the "Cold Dead Hands" gun owners aren't as paranoid as people like to think they are.

    tinwhiskers on
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  • JustinSane07JustinSane07 __BANNED USERS regular
    edited September 2010
    Despite being a resident of Mass, I'd still record a cop then anonmyously send copies to news stations. The public backlash and the first amendment protects everyone involved.

    JustinSane07 on
  • KalTorakKalTorak Way up inside your butthole, Morty. WAAAAY up inside there.Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    DoctorArch wrote: »
    This won't ever stand up in the Supreme Court.

    I'm sure Scalia will find some way to say we have no rights.

    "If the Founding Fathers wanted to protect citizens' rights to use cell phone cameras, they would have written it into the Constitution."

    KalTorak on
  • enlightenedbumenlightenedbum Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    Despite being a resident of Mass, I'd still record a cop then anonmyously send copies to news stations. The public backlash and the first amendment protects everyone involved.

    The public would probably back the cop. The public is dumb.

    enlightenedbum on
    Herbert Hoover got 40% of the vote in 1932. Friendly reminder.
  • CouscousCouscous Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    We need more "do not trust cops" public service announcements.

    Couscous on
  • electricitylikesmeelectricitylikesme Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    Stuff like this always makes me feel like the "Cold Dead Hands" gun owners aren't as paranoid as people like to think they are.

    The problem with those people is they usually end up thinking laws like this are ok, because seriously fuck those hispanics/black people/homeless/poor people.

    electricitylikesme on
  • MarauderMarauder Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    And when theyre not getting the video recording itself to be made illegal, their using inane interpretations of wiretapping laws to make recording audio illegal.

    http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=129553748&sc=fb&cc=fp

    I used to rep a company that made dash cameras, and know a large majority of cops love them because they protect them from the frivolous "Man, he ABUSED me(as i was arrested for being drunk and disorderly)!" claims.

    But there is also a growing majority that think Saudi Arabia has a swell model. I am of the opinion they should move there if they want that type of dictatorship.

    Marauder on
    If it comes up, talk about your goals and how you plan to achieve them. It's better to hear that someone has a goal and is actively working towards them than that they are sitting at home jerking off and watching the Price Is Right.

    Hopefully not at the same time.
  • japanjapan Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    Qik

    I love it when something I think is a good idea turns out to actually exist.

    In the UK, the National Union of Journalists have been pretty aggressive about pursuing the seizure of cameras through the IPCC and the courts.

    It also means that the ACPO have had to take a position on the dodgy interpretations of existing law that are frequently used to justify it.

    japan on
  • Donkey KongDonkey Kong My lit AF posts will leave you shook Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    I don't want to be one of the guys screaming "FUCK THA PO-LICE". Their services are essential and their jobs can be extremely difficult. But if we can't record their actions in public and if every time one of them fucks up, they circle wagons, well then I believe they have exhausted all my sympathy. Fuck the police.

    Donkey Kong on
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  • kaleeditykaleedity Sometimes science is more art than science Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    I've been ticketed in my neighborhood before for having a blown out breaklight. When I drove about 200ft to get home and checked my breaklights because it was a 13-14 year old car and I wasn't surprised, I couldn't tell which one was out. Either the light fixed itself in about 30s of slow driving, or the cop just fucked me.

    Now I just need to figure out how to verify shit like this when it happens because I'm not sure what the fuck to do. It was daytime and I don't know how I could have verified my light was out without the cop helping me, which I completely don't expect.

    kaleedity on
  • RUNN1NGMANRUNN1NGMAN Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    Just to play devil's advocate, I can think of a few situations where police might be acting completely lawfully and would really not want to be videotaped. Like if the people doing the videotaping were more interested in identifying officers involved in the arrest than in documenting misconduct.

    It's not too much of an issue in the US, but there's a reason police in Mexico wear masks to hide their identity.

    RUNN1NGMAN on
  • joshofalltradesjoshofalltrades 地獄のようにかわいい あなたは嫉妬深いかRegistered User regular
    edited September 2010
    kaleedity wrote: »
    I've been ticketed in my neighborhood before for having a blown out breaklight. When I drove about 200ft to get home and checked my breaklights because it was a 13-14 year old car and I wasn't surprised, I couldn't tell which one was out. Either the light fixed itself in about 30s of slow driving, or the cop just fucked me.

    Now I just need to figure out how to verify shit like this when it happens because I'm not sure what the fuck to do. It was daytime and I don't know how I could have verified my light was out without the cop helping me, which I completely don't expect.

    Usually when you get ticketed for a broken light, you can go to the courthouse, show the bailiff or some other authorized personnel there that you fixed the problem and the ticket gets dismissed.

    joshofalltrades on
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  • joshofalltradesjoshofalltrades 地獄のようにかわいい あなたは嫉妬深いかRegistered User regular
    edited September 2010
    RUNN1NGMAN wrote: »
    It's not too much of an issue in the US, but there's a reason police in Mexico wear masks to hide their identity.

    Well, that and great power comes with great responsibility.

    joshofalltrades on
    ジェイムズ・ブラウンの好きな色は何ですか?
    青!
  • CognisseurCognisseur Registered User
    edited September 2010
    This won't ever stand up in the Supreme Court.

    While I probably agree this is true, do you want to be the guy to try it out? Lemme list some of the fun things involved in doing it:

    -Have fun turning this into your full-time job, as you go from court appearance to court appearance.

    -Have fun having your name smeared as the guy who "resisted arrest, assaulted a police officer, and engaged in wire-tapping"-- even if the charges are dropped it'll be the top 10 pages of google searches on you forever.

    -Have fun trying to get a new job after that.

    -Have fun spending your life savings on legal fees.

    -And if, for whatever reason, you don't win the case? Have fun going to prison.

    And the alternative? When you see a police officer beating the shit out of someone, just turn your head, walk away, and be thankful you're not getting beaten. It's depressing as hell, but the only way that legislation can get changed even a little bit to favor the people involves complete martyrdom and sacrificing the life one built for themselves. Not many folks like that around.

    Cognisseur on
  • HamHamJHamHamJ Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    RUNN1NGMAN wrote: »
    Just to play devil's advocate, I can think of a few situations where police might be acting completely lawfully and would really not want to be videotaped. Like if the people doing the videotaping were more interested in identifying officers involved in the arrest than in documenting misconduct.

    It's not too much of an issue in the US, but there's a reason police in Mexico wear masks to hide their identity.

    Tough.

    HamHamJ on
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  • RUNN1NGMANRUNN1NGMAN Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    Cognisseur wrote: »
    This won't ever stand up in the Supreme Court.

    While I probably agree this is true, do you want to be the guy to try it out? Lemme list some of the fun things involved in doing it:

    -Have fun turning this into your full-time job, as you go from court appearance to court appearance.

    -Have fun having your name smeared as the guy who "resisted arrest, assaulted a police officer, and engaged in wire-tapping"-- even if the charges are dropped it'll be the top 10 pages of google searches on you forever.

    -Have fun trying to get a new job after that.

    -Have fun spending your life savings on legal fees.

    -And if, for whatever reason, you don't win the case? Have fun going to prison.

    And the alternative? When you see a police officer beating the shit out of someone, just turn your head, walk away, and be thankful you're not getting beaten. It's depressing as hell, but the only way that legislation can get changed even a little bit to favor the people involves complete martyrdom and sacrificing the life one built for themselves. Not many folks like that around.

    Well I guess it's a good thing not everyone sees things that way or blacks would still be going to different schools from whites and it would still be perfectly fine for public schools to have manditory prayer.

    RUNN1NGMAN on
  • ronzoronzo Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    HamHamJ wrote: »
    RUNN1NGMAN wrote: »
    Just to play devil's advocate, I can think of a few situations where police might be acting completely lawfully and would really not want to be videotaped. Like if the people doing the videotaping were more interested in identifying officers involved in the arrest than in documenting misconduct.

    It's not too much of an issue in the US, but there's a reason police in Mexico wear masks to hide their identity.

    Tough.

    comparing mexico, which is basically run by the drug cartels at this point, to other civilized nations is silly.

    In a place where being a cop means you can killed for that reason alone 24/7, there's a benefit to concealing your identity.

    In a place like america, there is no excuse.

    ronzo on
  • joshofalltradesjoshofalltrades 地獄のようにかわいい あなたは嫉妬深いかRegistered User regular
    edited September 2010
    Can you just imagine what it would be like if it was explicitly against the law to photograph, videotape or report on Joe Arpaio?

    joshofalltrades on
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  • BamaBama Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    RUNN1NGMAN wrote: »
    Just to play devil's advocate, I can think of a few situations where police might be acting completely lawfully and would really not want to be videotaped. Like if the people doing the videotaping were more interested in identifying officers involved in the arrest than in documenting misconduct.

    It's not too much of an issue in the US, but there's a reason police in Mexico wear masks to hide their identity.
    Dude, those aren't cops. They're professional wrestlers.

    Bama on
  • RUNN1NGMANRUNN1NGMAN Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    HamHamJ wrote: »
    RUNN1NGMAN wrote: »
    Just to play devil's advocate, I can think of a few situations where police might be acting completely lawfully and would really not want to be videotaped. Like if the people doing the videotaping were more interested in identifying officers involved in the arrest than in documenting misconduct.

    It's not too much of an issue in the US, but there's a reason police in Mexico wear masks to hide their identity.

    Tough.

    Yes, having police officers and their families subject to gang hits and kidnappings certainly wouldn't have any negative effects on society! Again-see Mexico.

    Does anyone actually have any data on enforcement of the laws in those three states? Jackass cops are going to be jackasses, law or no law, but it seems like it would be relevant to the discussion if those laws actually get enforced at all, or if it just gets tacked on to other charges.

    RUNN1NGMAN on
  • joshofalltradesjoshofalltrades 地獄のようにかわいい あなたは嫉妬深いかRegistered User regular
    edited September 2010
    Another thing that is relevant to the discussion is how safe it actually is to be a cop in America who doesn't disguise their face.

    joshofalltrades on
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    青!
  • joshofalltradesjoshofalltrades 地獄のようにかわいい あなたは嫉妬深いかRegistered User regular
    edited September 2010
    Despite perceived dangers, policing has never been listed among the top ten most dangerous jobs in America. In terms of deaths per capita, driver-sales work such as pizza delivery is a more dangerous profession than being a police officer

    It is now illegal to videotape pizza delivery boys!

    joshofalltrades on
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  • RUNN1NGMANRUNN1NGMAN Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    ronzo wrote: »
    HamHamJ wrote: »
    RUNN1NGMAN wrote: »
    Just to play devil's advocate, I can think of a few situations where police might be acting completely lawfully and would really not want to be videotaped. Like if the people doing the videotaping were more interested in identifying officers involved in the arrest than in documenting misconduct.

    It's not too much of an issue in the US, but there's a reason police in Mexico wear masks to hide their identity.

    Tough.

    comparing mexico, which is basically run by the drug cartels at this point, to other civilized nations is silly.

    In a place where being a cop means you can killed for that reason alone 24/7, there's a benefit to concealing your identity.

    In a place like america, there is no excuse.

    I think saying there's no excuse for a cop in the US to want to conceal their identity is a little naive. The US is certainly no Mexico, but that doesn't mean cops and their families are never targeted by criminals here.

    I have no idea what the justification was for the law in those three states--and I certainly don't think this is it. I'm just pointing out that there are situations where a cop would justifiably not be ok with someone video taping him while he arrests someone.

    RUNN1NGMAN on
  • joshofalltradesjoshofalltrades 地獄のようにかわいい あなたは嫉妬深いかRegistered User regular
    edited September 2010
    Occupational hazard. The benefits to having a faceless, anonymous police force are minimal when compared to accountability.

    joshofalltrades on
    ジェイムズ・ブラウンの好きな色は何ですか?
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  • RocketSauceRocketSauce Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    I don't want to be one of the guys screaming "FUCK THA PO-LICE". Their services are essential and their jobs can be extremely difficult. But if we can't record their actions in public and if every time one of them fucks up, they circle wagons, well then I believe they have exhausted all my sympathy. Fuck the police.

    That's my initial reaction, but then I think how hostile of a populace we are toward law enforcement in general. I'm not just talking about the inner city, but as a whole. I live in a wealthy suburb of a large metro area, and people have vitriolic attitudes toward police like they were raised in the projects.

    I'm not saying I'm in favor of any law that takes away accountability of people in power, I'm just wondering why they feel the need to have them in place, and what that says about our society.

    RocketSauce on
  • Styrofoam SammichStyrofoam Sammich WANT. 5386-8443-8937Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    RUNN1NGMAN wrote: »
    ronzo wrote: »
    HamHamJ wrote: »
    RUNN1NGMAN wrote: »
    Just to play devil's advocate, I can think of a few situations where police might be acting completely lawfully and would really not want to be videotaped. Like if the people doing the videotaping were more interested in identifying officers involved in the arrest than in documenting misconduct.

    It's not too much of an issue in the US, but there's a reason police in Mexico wear masks to hide their identity.

    Tough.

    comparing mexico, which is basically run by the drug cartels at this point, to other civilized nations is silly.

    In a place where being a cop means you can killed for that reason alone 24/7, there's a benefit to concealing your identity.

    In a place like america, there is no excuse.

    I think saying there's no excuse for a cop in the US to want to conceal their identity is a little naive. The US is certainly no Mexico, but that doesn't mean cops and their families are never targeted by criminals here.
    Not that this law does anything to stop cops targeted by gangs anyway.

    Styrofoam Sammich on
  • HamHamJHamHamJ Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    RUNN1NGMAN wrote: »
    Yes, having police officers and their families subject to gang hits and kidnappings certainly wouldn't have any negative effects on society! Again-see Mexico.

    If this is a problem, it should be handled in a way that does not infringe on civil liberties.

    HamHamJ on
    While racing light mechs, your Urbanmech comes in second place, but only because it ran out of ammo.
  • Typhoid MannyTyphoid Manny Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    you could also use the "we don't want people to go after cops who make legitimate arrests" to make it so a cop doesn't have to give you his badge number if he doesn't want to.

    Typhoid Manny on
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  • RUNN1NGMANRUNN1NGMAN Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    HamHamJ wrote: »
    RUNN1NGMAN wrote: »
    Yes, having police officers and their families subject to gang hits and kidnappings certainly wouldn't have any negative effects on society! Again-see Mexico.

    If this is a problem, it should be handled in a way that does not infringe on civil liberties.

    Which civil liberties would those be? That's kind of a big question if anyone is going to challenge these laws.

    Freedom of the press is probably a stretch.

    14th amendment substantive due process? What's the fundamental right being infringed? I don't think there is any acknowledged fundamental right under the 14th amendment that's implicated by the law. If that's the case, all the state has to do is show a rational basis for it. And note that a rational basis doesn't have to be the "best" or even a "good" reason for the law. It's a pretty low bar the state needs to clear.

    RUNN1NGMAN on
  • joshofalltradesjoshofalltrades 地獄のようにかわいい あなたは嫉妬深いかRegistered User regular
    edited September 2010
    RUNN1NGMAN wrote: »
    HamHamJ wrote: »
    RUNN1NGMAN wrote: »
    Yes, having police officers and their families subject to gang hits and kidnappings certainly wouldn't have any negative effects on society! Again-see Mexico.

    If this is a problem, it should be handled in a way that does not infringe on civil liberties.

    Which civil liberties would those be? That's kind of a big question if anyone is going to challenge these laws.

    Freedom of the press is probably a stretch.

    14th amendment substantive due process? What's the fundamental right being infringed? I don't think there is any acknowledged fundamental right under the 14th amendment that's implicated by the law. If that's the case, all the state has to do is show a rational basis for it. And note that a rational basis doesn't have to be the "best" or even a "good" reason for the law. It's a pretty low bar the state needs to clear.

    I think a strong case could be made that it violates the 6th Amendment. I mean, the whole point is to hide the identity of the arresting officer? Well, he's going to show up to your public trial anyway and it won't be anonymously or else you don't get to confront your accuser.

    So what's the point?

    joshofalltrades on
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  • Styrofoam SammichStyrofoam Sammich WANT. 5386-8443-8937Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    RUNN1NGMAN wrote: »
    HamHamJ wrote: »
    RUNN1NGMAN wrote: »
    Yes, having police officers and their families subject to gang hits and kidnappings certainly wouldn't have any negative effects on society! Again-see Mexico.

    If this is a problem, it should be handled in a way that does not infringe on civil liberties.

    Which civil liberties would those be? That's kind of a big question if anyone is going to challenge these laws.

    Freedom of the press is probably a stretch.

    14th amendment substantive due process? What's the fundamental right being infringed? I don't think there is any acknowledged fundamental right under the 14th amendment that's implicated by the law. If that's the case, all the state has to do is show a rational basis for it. And note that a rational basis doesn't have to be the "best" or even a "good" reason for the law. It's a pretty low bar the state needs to clear.

    Free Speech.

    Styrofoam Sammich on
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