A couple of San Diego Police Department officers have arrested a man for videotaping them while giving him a ticket, claiming that the smartphone is a weapon.
There is a “war” going on between the police and photographers. Not just that, but some police officers are arresting people for recording videos on the streets. Public streets.
San Diego officers attacked and arrested a man for videotaping them with a smartphone in a public place
A report on the Photography Is Not A Crime website details a recent case of a man in San Diego, who was arrested by the local police department for using a phone to record the officers.
Adam Pringle and his buddies were walking on the boardwalk, when they were approached by two policemen. The officers explained to Adam that he is not allowed to smoke in this place so they started writing a ticket.
Everything was perfectly fine, but Mr. Pringle decided to record the whole situation using his “Samsung Galaxy smartphone”. Apparently, the officers are trained to think that cellphones can be used as weapons and they demanded Adam to turn in his apparatus.
The cinematographer explained that he has a right to use the camera in a public place and record the policemen. However, one officer pounced the man and injured him in the process. He has been arrested and the ambulance has been called in to treat his wounds.
Want to know how to turn cellphones into weapons? “Look it up online!”
The cop who put Adam down claims that phones can be turned into powerful weapons and invites us to “look it up online”.
The first cop refused to identify himself, but the second one was a lot more cooperative. He is called M. Reinhold and he revealed his badge number.
Adam’s friends were not arrested, but one of them started recording the remaining officer. This one was a lot more open-minded, though he still claimed that his colleague did nothing wrong.
It appears that Adam Pringle was released from jail the next day. Unfortunately, there are no indications whether the San Diego police will perform an internal investigation to see why the first officer acted the way he did.
NPPA’s Mickey Osterreicher tells San Diego Mayor that photographers are not criminals
National Press Photographers Association (NPPA) General Counsel, Mickey Osterreicher, sent an open letter to the Mayor of San Diego. Osterreicher reminded that he made tremendous efforts to make police officers think twice about arresting people on the street for using their cameras.
The NPPA’s General Counsel added that he spoke at the IACP annual meeting in September 2012 about the First Amendment, which allows anybody to use his cameras in public.
All in all, Adam Pringle will have to show up in court on May 23, 2013. He is accused for obstructing the justice and it remains to be seen whether or not video evidence will be enough for the police to drop their charges.