Tag Archives: filming in public

RCMP Officer Lies About Needing Permission to Film Police; Admits Police Parking Illegally is Wrong

The following video was shared with the CopBlock Network by Donald Smith, who frequently films the police as he travels within Canada, via the CopBlock.org Submissions Page.

In the video, which was taken in  Victoria, British Columbia and uploaded to Youtube, Smith can be seen questioning an (unidentified) officer with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police about why he is parking his motorcycle on the sidewalk even though he would ticket citizens for doing the same thing.

Initially, the officer responds by explaining that he’s not breaking the law because police are exempt from that law. However, those exemptions are generally based on the idea that police can disregard such laws while responding to emergencies or, at the very least, while performing official police functions. Although the exact circumstances leading up to the conversation on the video weren’t given, the officer makes it pretty clear in his response that neither of those things are the case.

After some discussion of whether the officer should be giving tickets to people for parking infractions while he himself is illegally parked, the officer soon attempts to shift the subject by lying about the legality of filming in public. According to this officer, recording in public requires the permission of the person being filmed.

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Although it’s not terribly uncommon for cops not to know the laws they are supposed to enforce or for them to try and enforce laws even though they don’t actually understand them, the fact that this officer claims that it became illegal to film him in public without permission on January 1st (implying that a new law was passed) is pretty indicative that he is intentionally lying. Shortly after, the officer uses that horrible threat that police for some reason think bothers people filming them that he will also film Smith (without having asked his permission first).

(For the record, no such law was passed and it is completely legal to film anyone, including the police, in public view – even in Canada.)

Then the discussion returns to whether he should be parking his motorcycle on a sidewalk. While continuing to maintain he is exempt from such rules and clarifying that police officers can even park cars on the sidewalk if they feel like it, the officer then readily admits that such a double standard is wrong. Quite surprisingly, he then actually promises not to park on the sidewalk next time.

If you have a video, personal story involving police misconduct and/or abuse, or commentary about a law enforcement related news story, we would be happy to have you submit it. You can find some advice on how to get your submission published on the CopBlock Network within this post.

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Norfolk Constabulary Kidnap UK CopBlocker Marcus Potter for Publicly Filming Cops Outside a McDonald’s

The following post and accompanying video were shared with the CopBlock Network by Marcus Potter, a UK CopBlocker who has submitted numerous other videos (see “related posts” section below) to the CopBlock Network, as well. It was shared via the CopBlock.org Submissions Page.

In this post, marcus was legally filming several cops inside a McDonald’s. Soon after, a manager takes offense to him filming the inside of the store, even though it is clearly within public view from the outside. Also, in spite of his claim that they “can’t be filmed,”  that manager even states that they have cameras of their own inside.

Whether the fact he was filming the police is related to his complaint isn’t clear, but regardless of that, this complaint is used as an excuse by officers from the Norfolk Constabulary to first harass and demand ID from Marcus and then to illegally arrest him, when he refuses those demands.

If you have a video, personal story involving police misconduct and/or abuse, or commentary about a law enforcement related news story, we would be happy to have you submit it. You can find some advice on how to get your submission published on the CopBlock Network within this post.

Date Of Incident: February 2, 2017
Officers Involved: PCs Christopher Giddens #31 and Katie Swann #1161, Sgt. Daniel Smith #3427, Sgt. Youngs #174, and Sgt Willows #702
Department Involved: Norfolk Constabulary
Department Telephone No.: +441953424242
Department Facebook Page: Norfolk Constabulary on FB
Department Twitter Account: @NorfolkPolice

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I was doing some CopBlocking in Great Yarmouth, Norfolk, UK and had pointed my camera into the local McDonald’s, at which point a disgruntled member of staff (Steve) approached me and proceeded to whine about my filming. Sgt, Dan Smith 3427 approached Steve and asked if I was upsetting him or his customers. He explained that he wasn’t allowed to be filmed and that I was upsetting him.

At this point, another officer present, PC Christopher Giddens 31, got out a section 35 pad and Smith used Section 50 Police Reform Act 2002 to demand my name and address so that his colleague could issue me with a section 35 notice. I stood my ground and refused to give either officer these details, at which point Giddens arrested and then read the caution to me. Smith then handcuffed me and Smith then conducted a Section 32 PACE search. After this was concluded, I was then placed in the rear of Smith’s van by Giddens and he sat with me in the back whilst Smith drove us to Great Yarmouth Police Investigation Centre.

I was walked up to the holding area by both officers and took a seat whilst the custody sergeant became available. After about five minutes, the buzzer sounded alerting Smith and Giddens that the custody sgt. was available and I was taken to a charge desk where I was booked in by Sgt. Youngs 174 of the Suffolk Constabulary. I cooperated with most questions and provided her with my name (which I hadn’t been asked for prior to this point) but refused to provide my date of birth which she demanded from me using a number of threats.

Eventually, I was subject to a second search, which was conducted by PC Giddens. After this search was concluded, my bag was searched and all possessions were handed to Youngs, including my driving license that stated my date of birth and address. This information was entered onto the computer by Youngs. At this point, I expected to be released from my custody without charge and issued with a section 35 notice. However, I was taken to a cell for no apparent reason and my unlawful detention in custody continued for another six hours.

I was then taken to the charge desk by a police officer, at which point I was charged and released on bail to attend Great Yarmouth Magistrates Court with conditions “Not to enter Great Yarmouth except to attend court or for a prearranged solicitor’s appointment for reason to prevent further offenses on bail” by Sgt Willows 702 of the Suffolk Constabulary. I was then shown out of Great Yarmouth Police Investigation Centre and made my way home. I returned to court and pleaded “no case to answer” and was released on unconditional bail to attend my trial at Great Yarmouth Magistrates Court.

My custody records stated that the circumstances of arrest were: “DP has been at a location filming people outside and inside which has antagonized people & caused issues and was going to be given a sec 35 but refused details.” That my detention was authorized by Sgt Youngs 174 of the Suffolk Constabulary as being necessary for the following purpose: “To ascertain details as DP refuses to provide those details” and that the reasons the arrest was necessary were: “To enable the address of the person in question to be ascertained, per PACE CodeG 2.9 (b). To enable the name of the person in question to be ascertained, per PACE CodeG 2.9 (a).” It also stated that the arresting officer was PC Giddens 31, the same officer giving the account of arrest to Youngs, that the escorting officer was Sgt. Smith 3427 and that “The search was conducted by PC31 Giddens.” In relation to my unlawful handcuffing it stated: “Force/Restraint was used because front stack in roder.”

It later transpired from the video footage that PC Giddens spoke to his colleague, PC Katie Swann 1161 whilst Smith searched me and asked her to get a few lines from Steve stating that “distress” was caused by my actions. He explained that I had been arrested under “section 59” which in fact relates to the seizure of vehicles and is a section of the Police Reform Act 2002.

– Marcus D Potter

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Home Office Immigration Officer And Norfolk Constabulary Detective Constable Assault UK Cameraman

The following post was shared with the CopBlock Network by Marcus Potter, who has submitted numerous videos (see “related posts” section below) to the CopBlock Network, as well. It was shared via the CopBlock.org Submissions Page.

This is a long video so I am including a listing of “key points” that was included within the description of the video on Youtube:

  • 13:47 The DC lies about my filming being illegal and asks me about an offence without cautioning me!
  • 16:37 The Immigration Officer states that I am wrong, he has misunderstood and thought I was referring to him when I was referring to the Detective Constable!
  • 18:00 The Immigration Officer loses his temper and assaults me.
  • 19:00 The Immigration Officer accuses me of assaulting twice.
  • 21:00 I move the Detective Constable’s arm down as he has previously removed my phone from my possession and I believed that he would do the same thing again.
  • 21:57 The DC and IO leave.

If you have a video, personal story involving police misconduct and/or abuse, or commentary about a law enforcement related news story, we would be happy to have you submit it. You can find some advice on how to get your submission published on the CopBlock Network within this post.

Date Of Incident: January 27th 2017
Officers Involved: Detective Constable 12136 and Immigration Officer 14195
Department Involved: Norfolk Constabulary
Department Telephone No.: +441953424242
Department Facebook Page: Norfolk Constabulary on FB
Department Twitter Account: @NorfolkPolice

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I decided to get the bus to Norwich International Airport Park and Ride site from Thickthorn Park and Ride site. I then walked around Norwich International Airport and eventually arrived at the airport’s business terminal (Saxonair). I do admit that I was trespassing, but I had not entered the actual aerodrome and therefore had committed no offense. At the worst I had committed the civil tort of trespass.

I was then approached by some private security goons who noticed my presence near the terminal. One of the goons asked me to remain with them until a Police officer arrived. After about 10 minutes, a Police officer namely Detective Constable 12136 and an Immigration Officer 14195 from the Home Office arrived. I was then ordered off the private property by one of the goons and left the property. I then remained with both officers whilst they spoke to me and decided to point the camera at 14195 to record his image. I also read his collar number out to the camera at which point he then extended his arm and instructed me very aggressively to put the camera down. I refused to comply at which point 14195 removed the camera from my hand. At no point was I arrested or cautioned as per the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984.

For your information, the caution which I am referring to is “You do not have to say anything, but it may harm your defense if you do not mention when questioned something which you later rely on in court. Anything you do say may be given in evidence.”

I then warned 14195 to step and back and lower his arm on multiple occasions. I then lowered his arm myself at which point he shouted “THAT’S ASSAULT”. He again reached his arm out and believing that he may go for my camera I again lowered it. He then shouted “THAT’S ASSAULT TWICE”. I then stepped back and was grabbed by 12136 to prevent me from leaving. 14195 remained where he was and 12136 followed me. He continued the interview and asked me what I was doing whilst he and 14195 played good cop, bad cop.

Both 12136 and 14195 decided to walk away and 12136 called a senior officer to discuss what happened. 12136 eventually then spoke to me again whilst 14195 remained where he was. 12136 then asked me if I was OK to find my way and “do you have anywhere to go.” He also asked me “not to go anywhere near Saxonair”. 12136 then left and I also went on my way.

To clarify, my actions were not assault as under section 3 Criminal Law Act 1967 it is lawful to use reasonable force to prevent a crime. I also would like to add that at the time I used force on the officers, they were not acting within the course of their duties and even if I was guilty of assault, I was therefore not guilty of assaulting a constable in the course of his duty. For the same reason I was not guilty of assaulting an immigration officer in the course of his duty.

– Marcus D Potter

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