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Former Atlanta woman sues APD over camera seizure
ajc.com ^ | 10-6-11 | Bill Rankin

Posted on 10/06/2011 9:14:50 AM PDT by rawhide

A former Atlanta woman on Thursday filed a federal lawsuit against the Atlanta Police Department, contending an officer illegally seized her camera after she took pictures of officers kicking a man who was handcuffed and laying on the ground.

The suit said Felecia Anderson, 24, who lived in the West End on Oct. 14, 2009, saw members of APD's now-disbanded Red Dog unit raiding her neighbor's house. When she also saw officers kicking and dragging a man, she went home and got her camera, the suit said.

As Anderson filmed the incident as she stood on the sidewalk, officers ordered her to stop recording, threatening to arrest her, the suit said, noting Anderson complied and began walking back to her house.

One of the officers came up behind her and demanded she turn over her camera, and seized it when Anderson dropped it, the lawsuit said. The officer also grabbed Anderson's cell phone out of her hand, the suit said.

The officer, identified in the lawsuit as Jeffrey Branum, then deleted the close-up photos Anderson had taken, and Anderson's neighbors witnessed him doing it, the suit said. Officers then placed Anderson under arrest for having no driver's license, walking in a roadway and disorderly conduct.

Those charges are still pending against Anderson, who now lives in New York.

"Documenting police activity in a public space is not a crime," said Atlanta lawyer Albert Wan, who represents Anderson. "In fact, it's a constitutional right and a well-established one at that."

The suit seeks "nominal and modest" compensatory damages as well as unspecified punitive damages. Anderson's lawyers say they have tried to settle the case with the city of Atlanta, but have had no success in doing so.

Gerry Weber, a lawyer with the Southern Center for Human Rights, who also represents Anderson, called on APD to fully investigate the officers involved in the incident.


TOPICS: Crime/Corruption; Government
KEYWORDS: apd; camera
Cops behaving badly, again!
1 posted on 10/06/2011 9:14:53 AM PDT by rawhide
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To: rawhide

Cops behaving like Gestapo. This is getting very bad.


2 posted on 10/06/2011 9:20:27 AM PDT by Logical me
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To: rawhide

Lady just won a boat load of tax payer funds, due to dumb and dumber cops.


3 posted on 10/06/2011 9:22:54 AM PDT by org.whodat (Just another heartless American, hated by Perry and his fellow democrats.)
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To: rawhide

Hmmm. I wonder if they would treat a news crew the same way. I doubt it. So why should a private citizen have less rights than a news crew. So much for equal rights.


4 posted on 10/06/2011 9:23:33 AM PDT by albionin
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To: rawhide

If you want to ‘fix’ the problem, sue the cop - personally. What they did was outside their official duty, so why should the city of Atlanta be held hostage.

If a couple thug cops wind up fired, and lose their homes and have a lien on their earnings; I think this problem will go away.

These bullies are cowards, hiding behinda badge. Remove the badge, and they will cower like the craven boys they are; and once exposed, others will follow suit.

May not be a lot of money to be had this way; but it would ‘fix’ the problem.


5 posted on 10/06/2011 9:24:23 AM PDT by Hodar ( Who needs laws; when this FEELS so right?)
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To: Logical me

We have come full circle. Law enforcement is now lawless. It’s time for some serious prosecution of these kinds of acts. No monetary damages only, but some serious jail time for offending cops. The word needs to go around forcefully that this is not going to be tolerated. Letting cities “pay off” people who have suffered this king of unconstitutional abuse should stop. We should not let them buy off these abuses.


6 posted on 10/06/2011 9:24:58 AM PDT by vette6387 (Enough Already!)
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To: Hodar
If you want to ‘fix’ the problem, sue the cop - personally. What they did was outside their official duty, so why should the city of Atlanta be held hostage.

$$$$$$$

7 posted on 10/06/2011 9:25:14 AM PDT by dfwgator
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To: Logical me

Can’t use camera’s to keep them honest? All sorts of authority and non-authority film the general population all the time. Why should THEY be exempt?

Illegal seizure. GUILTY.

Take money from the violators and their bosses.


8 posted on 10/06/2011 9:27:16 AM PDT by Surrounded_too
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To: Hodar
What they did was outside their official duty

When it looks like a cop and acts like a cop ...

It's probably a cop on official duty.

9 posted on 10/06/2011 9:29:35 AM PDT by OldNavyVet (One trillion days, at 365 days per year, is 2,739,726,027 years ... almost 3 billion years)
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To: rawhide
Officers then placed Anderson under arrest for having no driver's license, walking in a roadway and disorderly conduct.

If the DA is still carrying these charges, he's part of the problem, too.

10 posted on 10/06/2011 9:33:06 AM PDT by Fido969
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To: OldNavyVet
When it looks like a cop and acts like a cop ... It's probably a cop on official duty.

Nope; if the cop while on duty, rapes a women; that's not the fault of the Atlanta PD. He gets to face those crimes all by his lonesome. Same thing with theft, drug trafficing, etc. He is protected while executing his duties; but not when he is operationg on his own.

11 posted on 10/06/2011 9:36:23 AM PDT by Hodar ( Who needs laws; when this FEELS so right?)
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To: rawhide

Here are a couple of articles about this type of thing. It’s ACLU stuff, but the law is the law. Interestingly enough, the articles even addresse the taking of the cell phone and the deleting of pictures:

http://www.aclu.org/free-speech/know-your-rights-photographers

http://www.aclu.org/free-speech/you-have-every-right-photograph-cop


12 posted on 10/06/2011 9:39:59 AM PDT by freedom4ever
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To: rawhide
The officer, identified in the lawsuit as Jeffrey Branum, then deleted the close-up photos Anderson had taken,

This unionized policeman mis-handled and destroyed evidence. Simple as that.

13 posted on 10/06/2011 9:57:11 AM PDT by Zuben Elgenubi
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To: freedom4ever
Interestingly, one of those articles has a link back to this one on FR.
14 posted on 10/06/2011 10:32:29 AM PDT by Buggman (returnofbenjamin.wordpress.com - Baruch haBa b'Shem ADONAI!)
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To: rawhide

I think along with “hate” enhancements and “gang” enhancements to existing criminal charges for us regular folks, there should be an “under color of law” enhancement for criminal cops... and prosecutors should USE it.


15 posted on 10/06/2011 10:50:59 AM PDT by PalmettoMason ("The Constitution only gives people the right to pursue happiness. You have to catch it yourself.")
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16 posted on 10/06/2011 10:53:37 AM PDT by TheOldLady (FReepmail me to get ON or OFF the ZOT LIGHTNING ping list)
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To: Hodar

If the city tool no action against the cop, it is conceding that it did not disapprove of his actions. Had they fired him, the city would have been on a much better position.


17 posted on 10/06/2011 10:57:47 AM PDT by SeaHawkFan
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To: Hodar
I have a naval ship photograph on my dining room wall that came from a camera seized during WW-II ... from a suspected German spy.

War is hell, and cops are essentially at war with criminals and associated civilian busybodies.

Meanwhile, you mentioned "rape" "theft, and "drug trafficking" where no such occurred.

PS: The WW-II camera was not returned.

Get with it ... It wasn't rape, theft or drug trafficking; it was a civilian meddling at a crime scene.

18 posted on 10/06/2011 11:34:15 AM PDT by OldNavyVet (One trillion days, at 365 days per year, is 2,739,726,027 years ... almost 3 billion years)
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To: org.whodat

The only thing that’s going to stop this crap is cops being held personally liable both civilly and criminally.


19 posted on 10/06/2011 11:37:20 AM PDT by Lurker (The avalanche has begun. The pebbles no longer have a vote.)
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To: OldNavyVet
Get with it ... It wasn't rape, theft or drug trafficking; it was a civilian meddling at a crime scene.

Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?" (Who polices the police?) as some dead Greek would say.

No, interfering means physically placing yourself in a position to impede an arrest, aiding or abetting a criminal activity or resisting a lawful order. Standing outside a crime scene, filming an armed policeman beat a handcuffed and subdued perp is hardly interfering - it's gathering evidence of a Felony. Maybe you haven't noticed, that have a video surveliance camera in every one of their patrol cars - so are they alone allowed to record when it suits them? I think not.

Perhaps you haven't noticed that there have been numerous incidents where police have attacked and beaten people, without provokation, who were not resisting arrest and were 100% in compliance with the law. Give a thug a badge, and you won't have a Policeman, you will simply have a thug with a badge, who will behave in a more aggressive manner than a thug without a badge.

As another dead Greek said, "Power corrupts; Abolute power corrupts absolutely".

Recording the police in their official act IN NO WAY impedes justice, in fact in many instances it can re-affirm what the Police report states. The only legitimate reason for a policeman to reject having his PUBLIC actions, in a PUBLIC place, as a PUBLIC servant being recorded, is when his actions refute his sworn testamony, or are evidence which can be used against him.

This was not a scene of military intelligence (such as a military base, a naval port - where there are signs expressly forbidding photography). This was on public land.

20 posted on 10/06/2011 11:47:40 AM PDT by Hodar ( Who needs laws; when this FEELS so right?)
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To: OldNavyVet

Taking photographs in a public place is “meddling?” Maybe public trials by jury is meddling too. Can’t get in the way of the interests of the State. Punish the guilty! Then put them on trial!


21 posted on 10/06/2011 11:48:08 AM PDT by henkster (Socialists and liberals all want jobs; they just don't want to work.)
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To: Hodar
Anderson filmed the incident as she stood on the sidewalk, officers ordered her to stop recording, threatening to arrest her,

Was she, or wasn't she, interferring with a crime scene?

22 posted on 10/06/2011 11:57:39 AM PDT by OldNavyVet (One trillion days, at 365 days per year, is 2,739,726,027 years ... almost 3 billion years)
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To: OldNavyVet

No she was not.


23 posted on 10/06/2011 12:33:03 PM PDT by Ratman83
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To: Hodar

“What they did was outside their official duty, so why should the city of Atlanta be held hostage.”

Atlanta gave the cop the badge and gun. If Atlanta doesn;t want to lose even more they need to supervise their LEOs and ensure they don’t hire thugs.


24 posted on 10/06/2011 12:37:52 PM PDT by CodeToad (Islam needs to be banned in the US and treated as a criminal enterprise.)
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To: OldNavyVet
Was she, or wasn't she, interferring with a crime scene?

Of course not. Don't be ridiculous. Sheesh.
25 posted on 10/06/2011 12:45:24 PM PDT by ZX12R (FUBO GTFO 2012 !)
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To: ZX12R; Ratman83
threatening to arrest her,

Arrest her? For what?

Answer: For interferring with a crime scene.

26 posted on 10/06/2011 1:00:49 PM PDT by OldNavyVet (One trillion days, at 365 days per year, is 2,739,726,027 years ... almost 3 billion years)
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To: OldNavyVet
Anderson filmed the incident as she stood on the sidewalk, officers ordered her to stop recording, threatening to arrest her,

And again, if she were interfering with an arrest, her camera would record that too, now wouldn't it? The camera records not only the actions of the officers, but also the perspective of the camera. This is evidence, either supporting the cops allegations of inteference, or disputing it. Any way you view this, this is evidence.

She was on a PUBLIC area, filming PUBLIC servants performing actions in PUBLIC. This was not a military installation, this ws not a matter of national defence or security. This was the action of recording policemen performing their duty - either inside the sanctioned area of the law; or outside the law.

There is only a single reason why the cops would intimidate her into stopping her actions, would steal her camera and act as they did - and that was if they were behaving like thugs and didn't want any evidence of their actions.

27 posted on 10/06/2011 1:05:13 PM PDT by Hodar ( Who needs laws; when this FEELS so right?)
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To: OldNavyVet
Officers then placed Anderson under arrest for having no driver's license, walking in a roadway and disorderly conduct. Not For interferring with a crime scene.

All the charges they brought are BS made up charges, these officers are thugs.

28 posted on 10/06/2011 1:17:38 PM PDT by Ratman83
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To: Ratman83; Hodar
Officers then placed Anderson under arrest for having no driver's license, walking in a roadway and disorderly conduct. Not For interferring with a crime scene.

Put yourself in police shoes. This woman very likely earned her "BS" citations from your so-called "thugs."

29 posted on 10/06/2011 1:29:51 PM PDT by OldNavyVet (One trillion days, at 365 days per year, is 2,739,726,027 years ... almost 3 billion years)
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To: OldNavyVet
Officers then placed Anderson under arrest for having no driver's license, walking in a roadway and disorderly conduct. Not For interferring with a crime scene.

The purpose of the policeman is to uphold the law; not to intimdate and threaten with 'BS' charges. They are public servants; if they do not like their career choice, they are free to pursue other endeavors.

Again, the camera would either substanciate her claim, or substanciate the police - evidence was taken by threat of force. No one - NO ONE - has that authority, for a thug to behind a badge and exercise that abuse; is going to cost the taxpayer millions.

Personally, I'd like to see the cop charged with Felony assault, armed robbery and see how well his charges stand up in court. Let the jury decide, not a couple of armed thugs. If you want to 'fix' the problem; hold the policemen personally accounable for their actions.

What they do to the least of us; they can do to you and I. If an ex-Marine has a fight with his girlfriend; and decides to beat you bloody while hiding behind his badge - what are your options? You apparently support not allowing civilians to film police, so it's the police report alledging "assault on a law enforcement officer" against your broken and beaten body. Any bets on who is going to spend some time in jail? It won't be the cop.

However, my cell phone record (1080p High Definition, thank you iPhone 4S) would clearly show you the victim of an unprovoked assault - assuming I wasn't beaten and my iPhone destroyed.

Does this sort of event happen? Yes, it most certainly does.

30 posted on 10/06/2011 1:39:47 PM PDT by Hodar ( Who needs laws; when this FEELS so right?)
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To: OldNavyVet
Put yourself in police shoes. Easy obey the law just like police expect us to. That means arrest a person; do not beat then when in custody. Do not arrest other citizens for holding you to the standards of your profession. Like I said easy be a normal conservative, not a scumbag liberal.
31 posted on 10/06/2011 2:07:11 PM PDT by Ratman83
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To: OldNavyVet
For interferring with a crime scene.

Nah... that broad brush would NEVER be abused.

32 posted on 10/06/2011 2:10:36 PM PDT by MrB (The difference between a Humanist and a Satanist - the latter knows whom he's working for)
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To: OldNavyVet
We have a winner for the dumbest post of the day.

Here's your sign....

33 posted on 10/06/2011 5:29:15 PM PDT by starlifter (Pullum sapit)
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To: starlifter
We have a winner for the dumbest post of the day. Here's your sign....

Nobel prize for excellence in numbskull.
34 posted on 10/07/2011 4:13:53 AM PDT by ZX12R (FUBO GTFO 2012 !)
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To: Logical me

Getting bad? Where have you been?


35 posted on 10/07/2011 4:18:12 AM PDT by Magnum44 (Terrorism is a disease, precise application of superior firepower is the cure)
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To: Hodar; Ratman83; MrB
Intefering with a crime scene is probably a misdemeanor or felony.

Meaning that getting a citation for having no driver's license, walking in a roadway and disorderly conduct is getting off easy.

Ref: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crime_scene

36 posted on 10/08/2011 9:58:07 AM PDT by OldNavyVet (One trillion days, at 365 days per year, is 2,739,726,027 years ... almost 3 billion years)
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To: OldNavyVet

Since when is walking down a sidewalk without an ID, or walking on a road a crime? You may be happier in Nazi Germany where daring to question the Gestopo was a punishable offense,

This appears to be nothing more than a cowardly thug with a badge who is tried to steal a camera and destroy evidence, and you are defending him.

The camera would show what happened. If she was interfering with a crime scene, then charge her with that. But, mysteriously it appears she is as guilty of interfering with a crime scene as she is of walking down a sidewalk without her papers.


37 posted on 10/09/2011 6:40:41 AM PDT by Hodar ( Who needs laws; when this FEELS so right?)
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To: Hodar
Since when is walking down a sidewalk without an ID, or walking on a road a crime?

It's a crime when you're interfering at a crime scene ... especially around an area that's been taped off.

38 posted on 10/09/2011 9:12:53 AM PDT by OldNavyVet (One trillion days, at 365 days per year, is 2,739,726,027 years ... almost 3 billion years)
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To: Hodar
Since when is walking down a sidewalk without an ID, or walking on a road a crime?

It's a crime when you're interfering at a crime scene ... especially around an area that's been taped off.

39 posted on 10/09/2011 9:13:31 AM PDT by OldNavyVet (One trillion days, at 365 days per year, is 2,739,726,027 years ... almost 3 billion years)
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To: OldNavyVet
Doesn't sound like she crossed any taped area, this is something you apparently just made up.

The suit said Felecia Anderson, 24, who lived in the West End on Oct. 14, 2009, saw members of APD's now-disbanded Red Dog unit raiding her neighbor's house. When she also saw officers kicking and dragging a man, she went home and got her camera, the suit said.

40 posted on 10/09/2011 12:10:50 PM PDT by Hodar ( Who needs laws; when this FEELS so right?)
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To: OldNavyVet

Since when do you need a driver’s license to walk?
The more you type, the more you sound like a buffoon.


41 posted on 10/09/2011 12:21:11 PM PDT by Repeal The 17th
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To: Repeal The 17th; Hodar

When you are involved in, or interfere with an “official” police event, and you are asked to identify yourself and refuse to do so; you’ve crossed the line and made yourself a part of the “event.”


42 posted on 10/09/2011 2:02:14 PM PDT by OldNavyVet (One trillion days, at 365 days per year, is 2,739,726,027 years ... almost 3 billion years)
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To: Repeal The 17th; Hodar

When you are involved in, or interfere with an “official” police event, and you are asked to identify yourself and refuse to do so; you’ve crossed the line and made yourself a part of the “event.”


43 posted on 10/09/2011 2:02:14 PM PDT by OldNavyVet (One trillion days, at 365 days per year, is 2,739,726,027 years ... almost 3 billion years)
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To: OldNavyVet

“...When you are involved in, or interfere with an “official” police event,
and you are asked to identify yourself and refuse to do so...”
-
Based on the information presented, you are speculating that:
(a) she interfered and (b) she refused to identify herself.
But that’s O.K., you just keep on licking them boots.


44 posted on 10/09/2011 2:30:53 PM PDT by Repeal The 17th
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To: OldNavyVet

There is NO LEGAL OBLIGATION to identify yourself to a policeman. She is neither a suspect, nor is she under arrest for any violations. This was simply a thuggish attempt at intimidation.

These are Public Servants, not the Gestapo


45 posted on 10/09/2011 6:32:44 PM PDT by Hodar ( Who needs laws; when this FEELS so right?)
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To: Repeal The 17th

See for yourself ... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stop_and_identify_statutes


46 posted on 10/09/2011 10:01:17 PM PDT by OldNavyVet (One trillion days, at 365 days per year, is 2,739,726,027 years ... almost 3 billion years)
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To: OldNavyVet

Nothing there absolves you from your erroneous statements.


47 posted on 10/10/2011 4:25:15 AM PDT by Repeal The 17th
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To: OldNavyVet
Interfering with a crime scene is probably a misdemeanor or felony. Meaning that getting a citation for having no driver's license, walking in a roadway and disorderly conduct is getting off easy.

Actually what it means is that the police are making up charges because she did not interfere with the crime scene, she only documented the police actions. They got pissed off about it and harassed her.

48 posted on 10/10/2011 6:19:55 AM PDT by Ratman83
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