Wednesday, July 16, 2008

The Jack-Booted Thug of the Week...

... is Johnson County, Tennessee Deputy Sheriff Starling McCloud, for arresting motorist Scott Conover after Mr. Conover took a picture of the deputy performing an unrelated traffic stop on the side of a public road, and who then refused multiple orders from McCloud to delete the photo. The deputy apparently took some sort of offense at being photographed doing his job. Deputy McCloud also alleged that Conover pointed a laser device at him, but no such device was found or seized, according to the news story.

"In a witness statement by a Mountain City officer, is says [sic] the deputy asked about the picture rather than looking for a laser."

Which proves that this arrest was really about the motorist not meekly complying when ordered to do something he wasn't required to do, and not for any sham "officer safety" issues.

Mr. Conover was booked on a charge of "unlawful photography" of a police officer. This is quite interesting, as no such charge exists, and the First Amendment protects the recording of public officials performing their duties in a public place.

"Under the advice of the Johnson County attorney, the sheriff would not comment and the arresting deputy said he didn’t want to incriminate himself by talking to us."

Sensible advice, considering the civil-rights lawsuit that is undoubtedly being filed momentarily.

This officer needs to be informed that he is in fact not above the law, regardless of what he does for a living, and that he needs to get used to the fact that he is going to be regularly recorded going about his daily business, just like the rest of the us peasants.

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