Friday, May 27, 2011

Jack-Booted followups

1.  In response to national criticism over their abusive treatment of a law-abiding resident who dared to exercise his rights by walking to a local auto parts store while legally openly carrying his holstered pistol the Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Police have now announced that they will prone out at gunpoint "inconvenience" any other person who dares to do the same thing:

"The warning comes after Mark Fiorino, a suburban Philadelphia IT worker, posted an audiotape to YouTube of his tense, 45-minute encounter with police in February over his exposed handgun. The video went viral and captured national attention.

After Fiorino released the audiotape, he was charged with disorderly conduct and reckless endangerment. He now faces up to two years in prison."

For posting a legally-made recording on the Internet.

Ah, nothing like a little malicious prosecution to intimidate the peasants into giving up their freedoms.  Perhaps it's time for some of those residents to "inconvenience" the department with a civil-rights lawsuit seeking to immediately halt this outrageously thuggish and abusive behavior.

We have been enthusiastic (and lucrative) visitors to that city in the past.  We will not go there again until that rogue agency is reminded that their job description does not include making up laws as they go along. 

2.  Steven Taubenkibel, a public information officer with the Washington, D.C. Metro Transit Police, laughably insists that our eyes deceive us and that the disabled man two of his agency's officers were recorded body-slamming to the pavement while arresting the suspect for drinking in public in fact "fell"" out of his mobility scooter because he was resisting.

Sure he did.  How clumsy of him. It's a good thing those cops were right there to catch him and assist him gently to the ground.

Taubenkibel is also refusing to release the names of the officers involved in the incident, even though that information is usually immediately publicly available.  Maybe he will argue that once again we're seeing things and that the two fully-uniformed cops were in fact undercover and thus cannot be named.

The infuriating fallout from these two incidents firmly underscores the vital role citizens play in police accountability when they are able to freely practice their right to photograph and audio/video record government workers in public.  The age of departments getting away with "it didn't happen if we say it didn't" is over, and that is a very good thing.


Grace R said...

If he was in a scooter, did he get charged w/ a DUI?

Anonymous said...

While I certainly don't agree with ANY of the cops' behavior in the video, I do think that the victim (and the two officers) fell due to a lack of balance and that the bodyslam wasn't intentional. I also don't think the man was handicapped, as he was using his feet to resist getting up out of the chair (it looks like it, anyway, at the :06 mark.) Falling out of his chair, though, now that's just an idiot statement.