STUDENT BUSTED FOR TAKING COP PICTURES
A Penn State college senior was arrested after he pointed his camera cell phone at police activity in his neighborhood.
Cruz had heard a commotion outside his parents' home and walked out the door to investigate it. When he saw the street lined with police, he flipped his phone open to take a picture. Within moments, an officer came to his back gate, put him into a police car, cuffed him and took him to jail. According to a neighbor's report, the cop spoke only once during this process, allegedly saying, "You should have just went [sic] in the house and minded your own business instead of trying to take pictures off your picture phone." The charge against Cruz was based on a new law, allegedly prohibiting people from taking pictures of police officers with cell phones.
The reason we have the first amendment is so the people can keep an eye on the government. When it is illegal to photograph what goes on in a public street, we are in trouble.
Taking pictures in public, of public activities, is not a crime.
I don't mind police putting up cameras in public to monitor traffic on the streets or crime on the sidewalks. By the same token, the people have just as much right to photograph things that happen on the street in front of their homes.
*Some additional Details -- Just as scary*
Cruz, a Penn State University senior, said that after about an hour police told him he was lucky because there was no supervisor on duty, so they released him.
"They said if the supervisor was there I wouldn't be a free man and that he is letting me go because he felt that I was a good person," Cruz said.