US police wage war on cameras
Today’s high tech world has made it a lot easier to videotape police, but it may have also made it more dangerous.
Cell phone video captured a tense confrontation at a bus stop between a student and a Los Angeles police officer last May. The incident landed 18 year-old Jeremy Marks in jail facing a possible seven year prison sentence.The problem, as the video shows, Marks did not have any physical contact with the officer. Marks’ crime was simply videotaping the police officer.
The video shows Marks standing near the police officer with his cell phone out.He was arrested a short time later and was stuck in jail because his family could not afford the $155,000 bail set by the judge.
A Google engineer, who heard the story, stepped in and paid for Marks’ bail so he could spend Christmas with his family.
This is not the first time that someone has faced major legal trouble after capturing a police officer on video.
Last April, Anthony Graber posted a video on You Tube, which showed a Maryland police officer pulling a gun on him. Days later, Graber was arrested and faced up to 16 years in prison for recording a cop. The official charges were violating wiretapping laws and possession of an intercept device.
Law enforcement is citing decades old laws to address technology that has only been around for a few years, leaving people uncertain of when recording becomes a crime.