Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Police claim camera is a deadly weapon

The police in Portland are being taken to court after tasering a citizen video-taping their warantless search of a neighbor's house. The neighbor was tasered, hit with bean bag guns and charged with criminal trespass and disorderly conduct after he refused to stop videotaping. He was found innocent of all charges.

The police were pursuing a criminal suspect with dogs and the dogs falsely indicated the runner may have entered a car. They broke the car window to search. Residents came out and explained the suspect had not come in that area. A women began videotaping. They told her to stop and then broke into a nearby residence. The women gave the video-camera to another neighbor who continued video-taping. Some of the video tape and longer report here.
When one woman was told to stop recording, she gave the videocamera to Waterhouse. He walked to the edge of the property, climbed up a dirt embankment and continued to record. At one point, he yelled to his friend, "Yes, I got it all on film. They had no right to come on this property."

He says in the suit that police immediately came after him, and yelled at him "put it down." Officers moved towards him, and he said, "Don't come after me." Waterhouse said seconds later he was shot with a bean bag gun and a Taser and fell to the ground.

Officers wrote in their reports that Waterhouse ran off, they chased and then bean-bagged and Tasered him. One officer wrote, "He had refused to drop the camera which could be used as a weapon."

Waterhouse was arrested, accused of criminal trespass and disorderly conduct. A jury acquitted him of all charges.
I will no doubt get more emails complaining that I, like all liberals, hate police. No, that's silly. I hate police-states. This report came from my brother and Reason.

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