Monday, March 15, 2010

Pressure on NOPD Continues in Trial This Week

The right of New Orleanians to observe and question police behavior is on trial this week.

During Mardi Gras 2007, Greg Griffith videotaped police grabbing a young girl by the hair and throwing her on the ground. The girl was soon released, but Griffith continued to film the police involved. Although the police appear to move on, they soon returned. On the video (which Griffith was able to preserve and is posted online) it appears that one of the officers rushes up to Griffith and violently arrests him without cause.

According to a press release from the ACLU of Louisiana, the ACLU (in partnership with Tulane Law Clinic) have jointly sued the New Orleans Police Department, Chief Warren Riley, and several officers for wrongful arrest and suppression of free speech, on behalf of two men who were arrested for filming police interaction with the public.
Greg Griffith and Noah Learned were watching the 2007 Bacchus parade on Canal Street when they saw and videotaped police officers engaging in what appeared to be rough treatment of a teenage girl. When the police realized that they were being filmed, they tackled and arrested both plaintiffs, seized the camera, and erased the video footage. "The public has a First Amendment right to film all activities that occur on public streets, including police activities," said Marjorie R. Esman, Executive Director of the ACLU of Louisiana. "In fact, public scrutiny of the actions of the police and other public officials is essential to the preservation of basic rights."

The lawsuit...seeks a declaration that the arrests and the seizure of the camera were illegal, an injunction prohibiting any future interference with the public's right to film police activities, and damages.
The case is being heard in the federal courtroom of Judge Jay Zainey, US District Court, Eastern District of Louisiana. We're told it's important for supporters to be in the courtroom.

1 comment:

Demo said...

WE MUST VIDEO THE POLICE. EVERYWHERE. EVERY DAY. ONLY THROUGH VIDEO CAN THE PUBLIC SEE HOW BAD OUR POLICE STATE REALLY IS.

Internet based exterior 'web cams' are only 19.95. Get one and put it just inside your window filming the outside. If you live downtown or in a busy area, get three or four.

Leave them on 24/7. There is TONS of free software for this. ANY OLD COMPUTER can run a USB webcam. Get an external drive for 40.00 and it'll take over a year to fill it up.

You can upload these videos in backups of incremental months to save hard drive space. Use youtube, and at least one other video storage source. Find anything? Send it to wikileaks as well, or boingboing.net or some other liberal blog.

Note your video's as Creative Commons attributed, redistributable, some rights reserved, and then if you break any news you enjoy the rights to the publicity!

WE ALL NEED TO WATCH THE WATCHERS. THE ONLY REASON WE HAVE A POLICE STATE IS BECAUSE AMERICANS ARE TOO COMPLICIT, TOO LAZY.

WATCH THEM. FILM THEM. REPORT.