Did you know you can be arrested and sent to prison for videotaping a police officer, even if it's to protect yourself from false accusations?
Randy Radley Balko, a libertarian-minded columnist for Reason Magazine and FoxNews.com who I like a lot, has a column today documenting some of the recent arrests for this "offense". He makes the excellent point that the police are public servants, and since we're the public, we should have the right to hold them accountable with videotape evidence of their actions:
Earlier this year, Iraq war veteran Elio Carrion was shot three times at near-point-blank range by San Bernardino, Calif., deputy Ivory Webb. Carrion was lying on the ground and was unarmed. Video of the arrest and shooting, however, was captured by bystander Jose Louis Valdez. Webb since has been fired from the police department and is on trial on charges of attempted voluntary manslaughter and assault with a firearm. The video is the key piece of evidence in his trial.
While it's possible that police and prosecutors would have believed Carrion's version of events over Webb's even without the video, it seems unlikely.
The price of liberty is constant vigilance. I'm glad people like
(I don't know how in the heck I got "Randy" originally. Duh.)