Looks Like Dr Dre is on Trial

Looks like Dr Dre is on trial in #MI Supreme Ct for ‘illegally’ videotaping a police officer~this is not cool http://on-msn.com/huzH2t

Police are public officials but they been pushing to make it so you video taping them while they are doing their duty is a privacy violation…The Dr Dre case has been in the works since 2000, but now its on the steps of Michigan Supreme Ct. Sadly it could set a precedent for other cases involving citizens taping the police…

The bottom line is most police unions do not want the bad behavior of their members to be displayed on Youtube, DVDs & other outlets.. The don’t want to erode public trust and confidence. As long as their doing dirt in so-called crime ridden communities which they depict as exclusively Black and Brown, the law and order types who dominate our airwaves give them a wink and a nod to abuses.. To avoid having to answer to egregious cases many police outlets have successfully gotten laws passed in several states making it illegal to videotape them.

Meanwhile, far too many of us are more concerned about drama at the Golden Globes, or what went down on the latest episode of Real Housewives of Atlanta, then we are about these encroachments on our civil liberties. ..

The real beef is not Lil Kim vs Foxy Brown vs whoever.. The real beef is with those who oppress us. Turn your attention to Dr Dre vs the police in today’s Mi Supreme ct hearings.. That’s the battle ground. Thats where the real beef is at.

two years ago in Oakland, Ca the police chased down an ABC camara man & threatned to beat his ass for taping them.. The man had been working almost 30 yrs-but said he felt scared after the police came at him for filming them standing in front of a hospital after 4 officers had been killed. He wound up quitting and suing OPD..

Below is a frightening video of his encounter..


There’s another journalist in Oakland named JR Valry who was out taking pictures during the first Oscar Grant demonstrations. He’s long been outspoken about the police and wound up being tackled and falsely accused of setting garbage can on fire. His case was acquitted but the police kept his 1500 dollar camara.

I think we’re so overwhelemed with police abuse that we’ve simply given up when we hear them complaining about being videotaped. The only way things are reversed is if we keep up our awareness..

Pay close attention to the Dr Dre case.

In other related news, folks may want to also pay attention to the type of training police are recieving, which would lead one to want to carry a camera.

In NYC, police were made to watch a training video that smears American Muslims called The Third Jihad. Here’s what was written in about the film in the Village Voice

It is 72 minutes of gruesome footage of bombing carnage, frenzied crowds, burning American flags, flaming churches, and seething mullahs. All of this is sandwiched between a collection of somber talking heads informing us that, while we were sleeping, the international Islamist Jihad that wrought these horrors has set up shop here and is quietly going about its deadly business. This is the final drive in a 1,400-year-old bid for Muslim world domination, we’re informed. And while we may think there are some perfectly reasonable Muslim leaders and organizations here in the U.S., that is just more sucker bait sent our way.

Such activities are the first step in dehumanizing an entire group of people which in turn leads to a sordid justification of them being abused.. Again pay attention to all this..

Return to Davey D’s Hip Hop Corner

31 comments on “Looks Like Dr Dre is on Trial

  1. SMH!

    I’m tempted to tell folks to invest in hidden cameras and other forms of surveillance if this ruling goes down. There are cameras practically all over the place, so why not join in?

  2. This is a very important case. One obvious result to be obtained by those against Dr. Dre in this case if they prevail is that this would give cops Carte Blanche to do what they want in the people’s communities with impunity. If Dre doesn’t win, this precedent could cut deeply into the soul of the people’s first amendment rights, including infringing on the freedom of speech, infringing on the freedom of the press, interfering with the right to peaceably assemble and prohibiting the petitioning for a governmental redress of grievances. There are those who have wanted this since the Rodney King Case, which I am sure inspired Dre in the first place.

    At the same time, there are efforts to get rid of, or seriously curtail the people’s Miranda Rights, which would further subject the people to impingement’s on their privacy and freedoms. There is a trend on the part of the ruling class to position the police as an armed force in the community free of the restraints that were imposed upon them in the 1960s and 1970s when police abuses began to be viewed as especially egregious.

    What will happen if the ruling class is successful in creating a law to strip guns and cameras from the hood is the same thing that happened in Oakland in 1966: Groups of home spawned liberators will undoubtedly spring up and meet the fascist police head-on. I guarantee you that the police should rather have the citizenry being right out in the open with cameras, than hidden in the shadows with scope rifles.

    Another reason that the police are becoming increasingly emboldened these days hinges on another important issue. There is an obvious complicity between local governments and police forces across the nation creating a climate for crime fear mongering in a scam to extort vast amounts of money from America’s local budgets through police union pensions. While almost everybody else in society has to deal with cuts and belt tightening job loss, people are talking about ways to hire more cops and send more people to jail.

    When you look at the video that is posted above, what you see is cops whipping on a person not because he is catching them in the act of committing any overt crimes, but because cops believe that they and their families are some kind of elites who are above coverage or scrutiny. How dare anybody who is not a cop try and come down here to Highland hospital on this day, see is in our weakness with tears streaming down our faces, holes in our asses, wives without make-up. The cop response was like that of Rock Stars reacting to paparazzi-and why not? The money they are paid puts them in a bracket well beyond the people who generally go to Highland for care (the exception to this is that Highland has one of the best trauma units in the area).

    They don’t live where we live, and they don’t fraternize with us. They regard us in the same way that their high paid counter-parts with the Oakland Scavenger Company regards the garbage on the curbs in front of Oakland people’s houses: Each day they just get into their nice cars and drive to Oakland from their nice houses in another city, put on their uniforms and pick up the trash and filth until their shift is over. They then change out of their uniforms and go home, holding their noses and telling stories of the stench they encountered while working in Oakland. Then they threaten to leave the trash on the streets if they don’t get a raise each year. And that’s the cops! To say nothing of the garbage men.

    Let’s follow this case closely and be very vocal about it. Stop cop extortion. Fight the military-industrial-prison-complex!

  3. Dave this is a right to privacy issue not a police abuse issue. nice try, though…

    actually the issue is that Dre used the footage in a commercial video. that’s a little bit different from videotaping or taking stills of cops on the streets for personal use or within the context of a media professional doing their job (which is legal in California but has been outlawed in several states–prompting several lawsuits alleging Constitutional First Amendment violations which will in all likelihood be upheld eventually).

    however, i’m not sure the ex-cop, who’s now a councilman, has much of a case here. a public official documented while on the job doesnt have the same right to privacy as a public citizen in their own home. if i take a picture of Oakland city councilmember Larry Reid at an official ceremony, i can use that pic however i want as its part of public domain, as long as i dont alter the image or purport a different context then what actually occurred. But if i took surveillance photos of Larry Reid in his house on the toilet without his prior consent or express permission, and then used that, say in an election ad for an opposing candidate then i would have violated his right to privacy.

    i’m not sure what the rule of thumb is regarding private investigators and paparazzi. Photos get sold to the tabloids all the time of celebrities on yachts, private beaches, etc.. and private investigators’ findings (surveillance photos, recordings, etc.), which may violate individuals’ right to privacy, are often not made public. I remember a couple of years ago, photos emerged of Kate Moss doing coke. Kate lost some endorsements but i dont think she sued the person who took the photos. We can all remember when the FBI set up Marion Berry in a sting operation; it’s fair to assume a judge authorized those recordings. So one valid question is, do cops have more rights than citizens?

    in any event, the Michigan case seems to be part of the public domain whether the guy agreed to be taped or not. i dont think the judge is going to rule that videotaping officers is illegal, but he could find that Dre owes the guy some dough for using his likeness in a commercially-distributed video. So this case really has nothing to do with police abuse of citizens, or police abuse of the press, of the press, it’s an entirely different matter altogether.

    I was also on the streets of Oakland photographing cops the night of the Oscar Grant riot, but i was not accused of anything, nor arrested. I’m not saying police wont attempt retaliatory measures against someone who has a clear anti-cop agenda and is known to them (i.e. Mumia Abu-Jamal), nor am i saying that police dont violate the law themselves from time to time, as in the case of the ABC cameraman, or a similar incident involving an Oakland Trib photographer.

    but i think we have to look at this on a case-by-case basis and not jump to conclusions unsupported by facts.

    @CDF: you’re missing the point. first of all, i dont think this ruling will have broader implications as the core of it seems to be what constitutes fair use for commercial purposes. it’s egregious to think that a law outlawing documenting police abuse could happen, which would have essentially rendered the Johannes Mehserle trial null and void, for instance, but we’re not at that point yet. Clearly, Constitutional protections would apply as long as the First Amendment exists. Furthermore, if such a law passed, and surveilling or videotaping police was made illegal, any such evidence would be inadmissable in court, so it wouldnt really help you with any legal proceedings arising out of such an instance.

  4. This is about the police as an instrument of oppression on behalf of the ruling classes, and a trend toward increasing police powers while stripping citizens rights READ: Fascism. Anyone following this matter closely knows that it is linked to other efforts to make it illegal to film police while making arrests. Don’t think for a minute that the early Panthers were out there with only guns. The main tools they employed was camera equipment. The guns were to protect the cameras and the people filming. This escribbler fellow wants to keep you from connecting the dots by trying to read this case as a right to privacy case. This is how we are misguided and mislead by seemingly well intentioned people that dfon’t get it.

    They want to have you believe that these things are just individual rights issues because it is too damn scary, or guilty making to acknowledge that this is a trend toward increased police powers and the stripping of citizen’s rights when it comes to police actions.

  5. “One obvious result to be obtained by those against Dr. Dre in this case if they prevail is that this would give cops Carte Blanche to do what they want in the people’s communities with impunity. ”

    not necessarily. the issue as i said has to do with the commercial usage and whether a cop can be filmed at a public event and put in a video without their consent that is then sold commercially. i personally dont think this case will be upheld, but if it is upheld, the judge could rule that the guy is entitled to damages and that’s it. i doubt the judge would rule that there is no right to videotape a public official in the course of doing their job. judges dont like it when their rulings are overturned on appeal.

  6. “This is about the police as an instrument of oppression on behalf of the ruling classes,”

    no its about right to privacy in a commercially-distributed video. there’s no alleged police abuse in this case. that’s an entirely separate issue.

    now, had a judge ruled that Karina Vargas’ video of the Oscar Grant shooting was inadmissable, that would be another story.

  7. also, this is a civil trial, not a criminal trial. if the plaintiff wins, it’s not going to change policy. the guy’s just trying to get paid.

  8. I don’t separate these issues at all…For starters the filming originated with a warning being issued by the police..which if I recall was a conflict back leading to Dre threatening to cancel the show if he didnt get to show his video.. It was the second time Dre had problems with police in that area going all the way back to NWA days when they got chased off stage for doing F the Police by off duty/plain clothes cops.. Heck I’d be recording everything with them knowing that history.

    The police have been using every angle possible to dampen one videotaping them.. Civil courts, criminal cases, looking at obscure laws and some more recent ones.. It’s all the same.. and yes if they can sue you why not? Thats what happened with sean bell.. the police suing the estate. Does dude wanna get paid? Sure why not? I would imagine this would’ve been settled along time ago if it was a money thing.. As many ass whuppings that Dre handed out over the years where people got paid.. this would be no different, but to drag on for 8 years.. means this guy thinks he’s gonna hit the motherlode or get a ruling that sets precedent about what you can and cant show and where u can show it..when it comes to public officials

    The questions that arise are: What’s the difference bwtn Dre selling a video tape where its more than obvious they’re filming all the concerts both front and backstage vs me video taping a cop and putting it on my Youtube site where I get money via google ads? How’s any of that different then the videos myself and Jasiri X shot in Pittsburgh w/ the G20 cops as backdrops for Jasiri’s X’s commercially released album?

    The bottom line is they don’t want to be videotaped.. and each incident where its challenged needs to be looked at from that lens.. Since many of these cases are snaking their way through courts..This will be added to the list..its the state supreme ct.. thats gonna count for something..

  9. This is not the only one of these types of cases working up the court chain and in the end even private law becomes precedent. As Dave said, the bottom line is that police don’t want to be taped. As DAs and others add amicus curiae to that side of the argument you can follow the money and learn whose interests are being looked after.

    Who stands to gain from ANY precedent curtailing police actions? Why are police actions being recorded in the first place? Cops themselves are increasingly becoming armed with recording equipment. Do you think that they are doing this to create footage for recruitment films or public service announcements?

    Don’t be naive. That the recording of any public servant discharging their duty is being considered for curtailment by public servants themselves stinks to high heaven if you ask me. Ideally they would be mandated to be recorded and yes, there is a higher standard that they must be held to as they are in the public domain. This is important because it is a civil trial because it’s not only about the money that’s made in these trials: Laws are created through civil judgments and whether they become private law our public law they can be used as binding or persuasive authority for future arguments. We have seen this resistance to scrutiny by police before. It’s called fascism and it looks the same whether it is full grown or in embrionic form.

  10. The Dre case is interesting in this sense.. he for the most part is the wrong doer.. he’s the guy who did Fuck tha Police.. he’s the guy that was on death row.. He’s the architect of gangsta rap and can be positioned as the reason we have problems today.. with dre the argument of police wrong doing is removed.. And as u noted that ruling can and will be applied to ther scenarios where the lines aren’t so clear..

  11. @Dave: Brilliant deduction and very unfortunate in a sense, as you point out, but this further underscores why it is important that Dre don’t make an Easy payday for the plaintiff in this case. The ramifications of a negative verdict for Dre would have drastic effects on brothers and sisters form Oakland to Compton in its aftermath. Lol. You are spot on with this one!Keep us informed.

  12. okay, but the police are not accused of misconduct here. that is not the crux of the legal complaint. it’s whether privacy rights were violated. you cant talk about every other issue under the sun but this is not likely to be a landmark case.

  13. Depends on how u define misconduct.. At the time this took place.. Dre was gonna pull his show.. He felt the police were out to get him because of the NWA incident.. I need to look for the story I did on that when it first happened.. Sure no one came and whupped on them or anything like that.. But the concern was that the police were going to over scrutinize the up in smoke concert and it was gonna start with banning the videos.. Then it was gonna be watching to see who was doing what backstage etc etc etc.. It would be hard to ding them on some sort of violation.. Granted I don’t think Gary the police officer was the trying to smash on them, but he was the police and the police was the problem..

    At the end of the day if memory serves me correctly the city wound up paying him a bunch of money and giving Dre and official apology for attempting to violate his free speech.. I need to find that story…Again I don’t see how one can separate this.. from what’s going on today.. Its potential ammo for either side depending on how this goes down..

    Lastly in terms of video taping police the crux of it is privacy rights…The wiretapping laws and 2 party consent laws which is how some of these rules making it illegal have gotten passed are at the root of the debate..Whether Gary initially intended to be in the middle of this is either here nor there.. He’s there now.. I wanna know where he got the money to fight this for 8 years..

  14. Dave,

    You really do some great work and your analysis for the most point are spot on! Thanks for the service, sacrifice and dedication.

  15. Today or tomorrow we are doing a show on this with King Downey of the ACLU.. who’s specialty on this issue of videotapping police, privacy laws and surveillance… he’s the guy that led the charge agst the Hip Hop cop dereck parker.. He’ll be going in on this topic..

  16. “Granted I don’t think Gary the police officer was the trying to smash on them, but he was the police and the police was the problem..’

    in that scenario, the problem was violation of First Amendment rights to freedom of expression. if Dre sued and got paid, then that violation was accounted for.

    now we have a situation where an officer is not accused of misconduct, but is charging Dre with violation of his right to privacy. that’s why this is not a misconduct case. it’s also why it wont have ramifications from Oakland to Compton even if upheld–its a civil suit, not a criminal matter. the only precedent which can be set from an affirmative verdict is that a public figure who appears in a commercial video without consent can be compensated for their role. That doesn’t seem likely as it would violate all sorts of other precedents, if not the First Amendment itself. so i dont think Gary the ex-cop has much of a shot here.

    “Again I don’t see how one can separate this.. from what’s going on today.. Its potential ammo for either side depending on how this goes down..”

    Davey, as you well know,i don’t turn a blind eye to police accountability as an issue. As a matter of fact, i’m working on a story right now on the Citizens Police Review Board in Oakland. and i’ve also been following the gang injunctions topic very closely. There are all sorts of legal terms and technicalities which must be considered here before even addressing these issues.

    With this current Dre lawsuit, it’s not a typical police accountability issue as there is no allegation of misconduct by the police. It’s a right to privacy issue, brought by a private citizen who was working in an offcial, public capacity at the time of the incident. All the other issues you mention are tangential, if not irrelevent to what the judge could potentially find–and what is not likely to be within the purview of his decision.

    sure, you can lump this in vaguely as a “police accountability” issue, but this has almost nothing to do with Derrick Jones, Aiyana Staley-Jones, Oscar Grant or any of the egregious instances of actual police abuse. Even the videotaping itself isnt the main issue, it’s the fact that the officer’s likeness was used in a commercially-distributed DVD.

    Everything else is just speculation.

    Thanks for providing some of the larger context, and we can play connect the dots all day, but again, the issue being debated in a court of law isnt the right to videotape police, its using that footage commercially.

  17. Actually according to the lawyer from ACLU the issue being debated is videotaping the police.. they see the Dre case as very much connected the show will run tomorrow..also how the judeg rules will have impact on all the current cases..

  18. @e-scribblah : Nope. You still don’t get it. As Dave points out when he asks the question “I wanna know where he got the money to fight this for 8 years.” There is a lot more to this than just a personal privacy issue. If this guy would have been a major star who just plays a cop on TV then maybe you’d have something here. He is not just a person in the public eye, he is a public servant (supposedly). This is about sunshine! There are special things that have to be done when suing agents of the state and it should follow that they should have to do special things to litigate when under the color of authority. Watch the First 48. Cops film people all the time.

  19. The money question is what the King Downey raised..He intimated that this is more than a privacy issue by a concerned individual and that if he loses he would have to pay back the money back to Dre.. he also noted hopefully the judge dismisses this and not let it go to the US Supreme Ct which is the end game…

    We also talked abt the tactic opf cops suing citizens vs us being able to sue the cops.. he also explained that Dre should be protected by this bc he made a documentary and a doc is allowed to be made..for profit… In fact one of the key cases they did was Luke and 2 Live Crew.. and later spring break drama in Miami.. where they told folks to film the cops and make ‘documentaries’ to deal with police

  20. “@e-scribblah : Nope. You still don’t get it.”

    on the contrary, i do get it. maybe i’m going over your head here.

    “There is a lot more to this than just a personal privacy issue. If this guy would have been a major star who just plays a cop on TV then maybe you’d have something here. He is not just a person in the public eye, he is a public servant (supposedly). This is about sunshine! There are special things that have to be done when suing agents of the state and it should follow that they should have to do special things to litigate when under the color of authority. Watch the First 48. Cops film people all the time.”

    you’re weaving all over the map here. could you maybe narrow this down to one concise and clear comment?

    also, do you understand the difference between civil litigation and a criminal complaint? if not, you may want to research this and then comment after you’ve read up on it. just sayin…

    “We also talked abt the tactic opf cops suing citizens vs us being able to sue the cops.. he also explained that Dre should be protected by this bc he made a documentary and a doc is allowed to be made..for profit… ”

    that’s what i’ve been saying. this case could likely get tossed out as being without merit.

    now that we’ve addressed the invasion of privacy issue–which as i’ve repeatedly made clear, doesn’t really have larger implications unless you reach like Plastic Man– that leaves two topics:

    police accountability and the legalities of videotaping or photographing police.


    where do cops get their legal expense money from?

    the first one varies from state to state. The Constitution–and thus the First Amendment–is federal law, so it supercedes states rights in terms of possible violations. you cannot violate the Constitution, even if state law contradicts it. There have been recent laws made in several states outlawing documenting police, which have been challenged and are awaiting appeal or rendering from a higher court. in the meantime, police are allowed to operate with impunity. These laws will eventually and invariably be struck down as unconstitutional, jsut like Prop. 8, unless it can be proven that videotaping police somehow actually poses a greater threat to public safety than police abuse (which is unlikely).

    the second one is a Good Question!

    17x, maybe you should devote some of your energies to researching this. In the Johannes Mehserle case, we know that his bail and legal expenses were paid for out of a fund curated by the police union. that’s $300k for bail, $400k to hire defense attorney Michael Rains, and another 80 or 90k for the two so-called “expert witnesses” who testified at the trial. So, all told, somewhere in the range of 800k minimum.

    that amount of money is far more than most private citizens could raise on their own.

    so, though it’s perfectly legal for cops to get legal expenses paid for by the union, it does give them an unfair economic advantage. Certainly, the justice for Oscar Grant movement did not have 800k to spend tp publicize their cause. and certainly, the Alameda county DA’s office did not have 800k to spend on the prosecution.

    in the case of the cop-turned-councilman, more fact-digging would be needed before anyone could jump to any conclusions about where the money came from. Dude may have a cop pension, be a real estate investor, or be independently wealthy.

    Maybe he stashed illicit proceeds from raiding evidence lockers, Raphael Perez-style, and paid for his legal costs that way. Maybe the cop union continued to pay his legal fees even after he left the force. Anything’s possible.

    The point is, we just don’t know at this point without further research.

    So anymore speculation would be pointless.

  21. @escribblah Weaving all over the place? You sound like a cop. I see the problem here. You’re either a cop or have some other reason to go to the mat for cops on this. There aint no either this topic or that topic with this. You opened the can of worms trying to make this NOT about police accountability (see the first video) trying to obfuscate the duplicity involved with this entire thing about a cop trying to sue over the use of his image like a rockstar (even though they get paid like local rock stars and act like rock stars (see first video) and then you attempt to condescend to me about what this is supposed to mean (see first video).

    This means what I said it means: Someone is backing this pig’s lawsuit and it’s not hard to deduce that they would like to use it to further the aspirations of those who want it to be illegal to photograph pigs when they are making arrests OR WHEN THEY ARE ON THE JOB PERIOD. You could have gotten better mileage out of using the first video for support to your right to privacy argument because at least those pigs in the above video were doing something private when they went to whup that guys head and broke his camera. Even with that those pigs who behaved like friggin thugs, the first thing that came out of their mouths was pig talk such as “This is a crime scene” and accusing the guy of trespassing even though the guy was on public property. Pigs are well known by me to invoke their “authority” wherever and whenever it serves them best and at the same time time want to be able to say they are just regular guys when that serves them. But they are not. They are generally just mediocre people who are crooks that never got caught. What do you think your mentality would be if you spent all of your time around crooks and criminals?

    What I am saying is that THE PIGS DON’T GET TO HAVE IT BOTH WAYS. Everything they do is for the pigs, by the pigs and about the pigs and I know what and who the pigs on the street represent-they represent the pigs in the penthouses.

    You even try to minimize the fact that the police union put up money for bail and legal fees for Mehserle. Crooks bail crooks out. Who else has the money or cares? That a murdering cop gets bail by his union gives one pause. Who else does this because someone works with their union? If Mehserle had been a private security guard he would have been fired immediately and maybe be facing hard time.

    Let’s be clear, if I thought killing cops would kill racism my next suggestion would be to give the entire Oakland Police Department an early retirement party. That’s the way I feel. Your suggestion to do research does not fall on deaf ears. My life has been spent doing research on racist pigs, a racist court system and closet racist and apologist blog writers. But to the lie that what Dave started this string of comments with being about whether or not this Dre case is JUST ABOUT a private citizen’s right to compensation for a violation of his right to privacy; son you need a broader fund of knowledge than you have to be lecturing me on the need to do research.

    As Davey said “Actually according to the lawyer from ACLU the issue being debated is videotaping the police.. they see the Dre case as very much connected’. What is also connected is the extortion of public funds by city governments and police/public safety unions through exorbitant pensions while doing nothing to lower crime in our communities.

  22. 17x, once again, you are all over the map. i take police accountability very seriously as an issue, but this case is not about that. the cop is not on trial. if you want to play judge jury and executioner over the Internet, you are entitled to your opinion, but it wont change that fact. have a good day.

  23. I’m at a standstill on this one. As a “so-called minority” I can see the reasoning for taping officers doing their job, also as a citizen I can see how doing this could comprise due justice and help free corrupt cops, and prosecute good ones.

  24. @TalkTalkReal John Burris, notable crusading attorney in police brutality cases posted this on his facebook page the other day: Beware: Cali Supreme Ct recently rules that cell phones can be searched w/o a search warrant if they are taken from a person arrested regardless of the cause of the arrest. Any offense, e.g traffic, domestic, theft allows the police to search your cell phone. Given that most people carry both personal and business info in their cell (this includes, blackberrrys, iphone etc). The logical conclusion of this ruling is that laptops/notebooks will also be subject to search. So much for the right to privacy. Take heed Ohio Supremes rules just the opposite. The issue will wind up before the U. S Supremes; however, they may not be so protective of our privacy. What does it take to get people to move these days. If nothing else, try your eyelids.

  25. @TTR: not sure i follow you. how can taping officers compromise due justice, free corrupt cops or prosecute good ones. if an officer is caught breaking the law or violating civil rights on tape, how good can they be? also, did you mean to say “due process,” because justice is long overdue.

    @17x: This isn’t exactly as bad as you’re making it seem. the supreme court has not ruled on notebooks/laptops, so you’re jumping the gun. Also, we’re not talking about the right to search cell phone records for any reason at any time, but only in the case of an arrest. All this does is shorten the time needed to get a search warrant–cel phone records could already be pulled with a warrant. so this could actually help solve crimes, which is what police are paid to do.

    conceivably, this ruling could be used to help assist police in cases like child abduction or kidnapping when time is of the essence immediately after an incident occurs. Your assumption seems to be that it will only be used in the violation of privacy, and not for actual police work–that is to say, the kind that doesnt stem from civil-rights violations. I’ll bet that if your family member was abducted and the cops cracked the case by searching the cel of someone they arrested with no advance knowledge of involvement, you’d be singing a different tune.

  26. @ Escribbler/ Man, where on Earth do you live? I mean LITERALLY Do you live on Earth? BART Police were trying to confiscate cell phones after the murder of Oscar Grant during melee on the Fruitvale BART platform. I’ve been told that they were holding up the train expressly for the purpose of taking phones.The reasoning is obvious: To confiscate and perhaps even destroy possible evidence.

    Scenario: You observe police misconduct and film it on your phone. A cop charges you with interfering with the duties of a police officer, public intoxication, battery on a police officer, whatever they decide to use as a justification at the time. At that time your cell phone is subject to confiscation under this ruling. Stop with the naivete already. Happens everyday NERE ON EARTH!

    I know that Attorney John Burris could respond to this better than I after dealing with literally HUNDREDS of cases just like this but there are THOUSANDS of cases where evidence is lost, stolen or simply destroyed and the number of cases of police shootings seems to be on the rise and growing everyday. Can’t you just see the police going through a crowd like storm troopers taking everyone’s phone when they think that their job might be on the line? I can! It just happened on BART on January 1, 2009.

    Your scenario about being kidnapped is baseless coming from where I’m from. We worry about being kidnapped by the police. It’s happened to me before.

  27. @ e-scribblah: Unfortunately e-scribblah sometimes it can. You know a lawyer once told me ” It’s not weather you did it or not, its how you plead your case. And a good enough lawyer can pick apart anything particularly video evidence. Hey man look at the Oscar Grant case. I’m sure it was a mainly a majority white jury that help that cop, but I’m sure his lawyer was able to planted seed of doubt that maybe it was an acciddent by pointing things out on that video. Maybe it some cases its better to have a sobbing mother or wife of a killed person crying on the stand pulling the heart strings of the jury than video. Hell I heard of some case where drug dealer slamming drugs in the black community getting off because the video the cops showed his lawyer pointed out a flaw like they didn’t read his rights or how they held them down, what every the case was and the bastards got off. Now don’t get me wrong getting a 75 years for doing it is ridiculous. But the severity of due justice is a serious matter and can’t be taken lightly.

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