Thursday, August 05, 2010

Filming the Police and "Anchor Babies"


Two stories of note and comment today.

First, filming the police. As a conservative, I've typically been very pro-police over the years. I believe in law and order, except when the law becomes lawless in its behavior. That includes all branches of government.

However, this little case in Time Magazine puts me on the other side -- on this issue at least. The case in question stems from a person pulled over by an off-duty policeman, out of uniform and brandishing a pistol. The man being pulled over filmed the incident, and now they're trying to put him in prison for five years.

This needs to be disobeyed en masse. When someone under the cover of law begins abusing their authority, it is the inherent right of the citizenry to expose it and deal with it. I am reasonably confident the courts will slap this down, but if not, film them anyway, and in droves. "We the people" still means something. And if legislators won't address it as they ought, replace the legislators.

Next, the always fun Ann Coulter (herself a Constitutional attorney), discusses so-called "anchor babies." For those unfamiliar with the term, it's what they call the infants of illegal aliens -- aliens who take advantage of a constitutional provision originally intended only to deal with the children of slaves after the Civil War. Illegals come here on purpose to have babies, and the babies are then considered U.S. citizens. Outrageous, but as Ann points out, you can thank the late Justice William Brennan for it. Brennan has since assumed room temperature, but the damage he did while on the Supreme Court still lives.

It's time for either a legislative remedy or a constitutional amendment. Brennan wrongly and unilaterally re-interpreted the Constitution to mean something the Founders never intended. Removing this so-called "anchor baby" provision will, in my humble opinion, will in part help reduce incentives for illegals to violate our borders.

It remains to be seen whether the gutless wonders in our Congress and legislatures will do it.

A late addendum: I should point out that the individual in question who filmed the officer hardly appears to be a paragon of virtue, and was allegedly driving very recklessly. He needs to be prosecuted if that is the case. My point is more aimed in general at the idea of someone being prosecuted for wiretapping for filming a police officer. It shouldn't be done willy-nilly, but if there is legitimate abuse going on, I'm all for it being exposed.

3 comments:

TelegramSam said...

Joel,
Did you actually check out the video in question? Did you ask yourself why the model citizen on the motorcycle had a hemlet-cam running during his "law abiding" ride?

They didn't hammer him for recording what happened, they hammered him for posting it on YouTube. That is an invasion of privacy issue, and even the cops have been hammered for doing the very same thing. As a matter of fact, in that state you can't record (audio let alone video) unless all parties are aware of it.

I watched the video and found it interesting that only the "arrest" part was shown. He didn't post the video of himself speeding, cutting through traffic, or doing tricks on his motorcycle in traffic. It looked to me like the cop was following protocol. The cop got out of the car, told the kid to get off the motorcycle, the kid started backing the bike up, the cop drew his weapon (you might want to check the video and see if the cop actually drew down on the clown, or if he just went to a ready position) and told him again to get off the motorcycle, and when the "innocent victim" turned the motorcycle off the cop put his weapon away.

Are you suggesting that the cops shouldn't draw their weapons when they are on deadly ground? If so, you've been watching too many cop shows on tv.

The argument about the clown on the motorcycle not knowing that the guy getting out of the car was a cop doesn't hold water either...he identified himself. Actually, if you are going to act like a butt in traffic and endanger other people's lives you should be ready to be confronted by an enraged citizen or two.

One of the commentators that I read was outraged about the "possibly out-of-control State Trooper" and the wiretapping law, but he doesn't seem to care about the people on the road that the "innocent victim" was putting in danger by speeding and tricking on his motorcycle.

The "innocent victim" posted the video in order to embarrass the cop. And people wonder why the cops don't want to get involved unless they have to. If the clown on the motorcycle had caused someone to get hurt during his "ride" and it was found that there was a cop in the crowd that did nothing to stop it, the cop would have been nailed for not doing his duty. If the clown on the motorcycle had gotten away from the cop because the cop's urgent "pretty please get off the motorcycle" requests were ignored and the clown caused an accident during his "escape", the cop would have gotten nailed. As it stands, the cop forced the clown to stand down, and the cop got nailed for it.

BTW, what if that cop was an undercover cop? Could this "innocent victim" have blown the cop's cover by putting his face on YouTube and identifying him as a cop? I guess that's ok too..

Solameanie said...

Hi, Sam...

As I said, I typically support the police, but I have a problem with prosecuting someone for this. This is not wiretapping as it's going on in public. There have been some pretty egregious abuse incidents caught on video. Some have been exonerated when the whole context was shown, but others have been cases of legitimate abuse.

I am uncomfortable with how close we are getting to a police state in this country. If the guy was doing what is alleged, he needs to be prosecuted. But there are limits on what the police can do as well.

Solameanie said...

BTW, I saw the report on Fox News before I saw this on-line article.