The tensions continue between citizens who choose to film the police in action and law enforcement officers who prefer not to be filmed in action.
In an incident Sunday, a woman was trying to film a law enforcement operation in South Gate, in Los Angeles County, Calif.
As NBC 4 reports, one member of the authorities came over to her, grabbed her phone and tossed it to the ground.
The woman, identified by the LA Times as 34-year-old Beatriz Paez, was fortunate that someone on the other side of the road was filming her as she tried to film the officers of the law.
The footage, now released to the outside world, shows the clearly aggressive approach of someone now identified as a US deputy marshal.
The woman appears to be standing clear of any officers and is not behaving in an obstructive manner.
The screen of Paez’s phone was smashed and the phone reportedly stopped working.
The US Marshals Office gave me this statement: “The US Marshals Service is aware of video footage of an incident that took place Sunday in Los Angeles County involving a Deputy US Marshal. The agency is currently reviewing the incident.”
This isn’t the first time law enforcement has forcibly objected to being filmed. Consider, for example, the incident in which one San Diego police officer calling a Samsung Galaxy device a weapon.
US courts have ruled that filming the police is perfectly legal, as long as those filming aren’t getting in the way of the police doing their job.
Meanwhile, police are increasingly experimenting with body cameras, in order to show not only how difficult their job is, but also how they can act lawfully and be shot as a result.
It’s instructive how, in this case, the police have immediately declared that its own officers know the law.
As South Gate Police captain Darren Arakawa told the LA Times: “We really have to convey we’re living in a different environment now where police action is scrutinized and a lot of video is surfacing. We simply tell our officers to assume they’re being recorded out in public at all times.”
It’s an assumption that, sadly, everyone is having to come to terms with, not just the police.
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