Thursday, July 28, 2011

Police war on photography: Rochester, NY edition

When Rochester community activist Emily Good recorded a police arrest with an iPod from her front yard, she was arrested and charged with obstruction of governmental administration.

Mike Mazzeo, president of the Rochester Police Union, excused this misconduct by asserting, "The issue here is the officer's attention was distracted from a potentially very dangerous situation. All she had to do was comply. Go up on her porch. Go into her own house for her own safety."

What the officer in the video said at the time (before arresting Good after she didn't go inside her house) was "I don't feel safe with you standing behind me."

Right. Even though he was armed and at least one other officer was at the scene to protect his back from an unarmed woman viciously and menacing standing in her yard with a lethal iPod.

Notice how the Rochester police can't even get their ridiculous excuses straight. The ridiculous excuse of the officer at the scene was that he didn't feel safe. The ridiculous excuse of the Police Union's Mazzeo was that she needed to comply "for her own safety."

Anyway, if you're ever stupid enough to be exercising what you thought was your right to photograph in the public domain in Rochester, NY and you get arrested, remember Mike Mazzeo's claim that it's for your own safety.

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