Man Allegedly Arrested for Taking Photos of the Police
Well this is just horrible. NBC10.com is reporting that a Philadelphia man, Neftaly Cruz, was arrested for allegedly taking a photo of police when they were arresting a drug dealer neighbor of his.
“I was humiliated. I was embarrassed, you know,” Cruz said.
Cruz, 21, told the NBC 10 Investigators that police arrested him last Wednesday for taking a picture of police activity with his cell phone.
Cruz said police told him that he broke a new law that prohibits people from taking pictures of police with cell phones.
“They threatened to charge me with conspiracy, impeding an investigation, obstruction of a investigation. … They said, ‘You were impeding this investigation.’ (I asked,) “By doing what?’ (The officer said,) ‘By taking a picture of the police officers with a camera phone,'” Cruz said.
Cruz’s parents, who got him out of jail, said police told them the same thing.”
I am unaware of any *new law* which prohibits you from taking photographs of the police. It is activity like this that is an abuse of police power and the officers responsible for Cruz’s arrest should be discliplined over this matter.
Police Officers hold a special kind of authority. Police abuse has been documented in the past and having the public with their cameras as a check and balance against police abuse should be something that as a society we protect. Would Rodney King ever have seen justice were it not for the camera of a witness? If people are fearful that they will be retaliated against when they photograph the police then we are that much worse off as a society. Those entrusted with safeguarding our society through force should have the highest ethics when it comes to dealing with the public. To arrest someone for taking a photo of an arrest is wrong.