Man Made Famous Over 2006 Arrest For Videotaping Police… Arrested Again While Videotaping Police

from the falsifying-evidence? dept

We’ve discussed multiple times how police have been increasingly abusing wiretapping laws to arrest and charge people who film them in public. The arrests are simply an intimidation technique against those who wish to provide public oversight of law enforcement. One of the first high profile cases of such an arrest came back in 2006 when Michael Gannon was arrested under wiretapping charges for filming police with a security camera. In that case, Gannon was arrested after bringing the tape to the police station to use the footage to file a complaint concerning how detectives acted in coming to get his son. It was clearly a vindictive charge against Gannon for daring to report on the police. Of course, eventually it came out that the complaint Gannon wished to file against the detective was completely justified… and the case against Gannon was dropped.

Of course, Gannon likely now has a bit of a reputation with police in Nashua, and Slashdot points us to the news that Gannon’s been arrested again, and once again, his videotaping of police has become part of the story.

The details are a bit confusing and involve a lot of disagreements between police and Gannon — though Gannon has witnesses who appear to back up his claims. As far as I can tell, the events involved: (1) Police drove by Gannon and yelled something about his son. (2) Gannon responded with a definite wisecrack: “There goes corruption at its finest.” (3) The police stopped and confronted Gannon. (4) Gannon apparently asked if he was being arrested, and was originally told no, so he turned to walk away. (4) At this point the police tackled him, maced him, handcuffed him, punched him and kicked him. (5) As he was being tackled, he tossed the video camera to someone on the street who was witnessing the whole confrontation, Pamela Reynolds. (6) Reynolds claims she wanted nothing to do with any of this, and immediately tossed the camera that was thrown to her into the bushes right next to her, just as a way of showing she had nothing to with any of it. (7) Police arrested Reynolds (and maced her as well) for (get this) “falsifying evidence,” in tossing the camera.

Police, obviously, dispute parts of this chain of events. They claim that Gannon was resisting arrest. They also claim that Reynolds “fled” with the camera and refused to hand over “the evidence” to them when asked. One would hope that the actual video on the camera would confirm which one was right, but it seems pretty bizarre and questionable that the police would immediately seek to seize the camera as “evidence.” Why would they do that unless the camera shows them doing something wrong?

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Comments on “Man Made Famous Over 2006 Arrest For Videotaping Police… Arrested Again While Videotaping Police”

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89 Comments
grumpysays:

Re: Re: WARNING: may contain added sarcasm

Yeah, calling the United States of America a democracy is causing more and more pain to my vocal cords each time I try. I wonder if there’ll ever be an American spring…? Or is John Q. Public simply too overstimulated by teevee and overfed on junk food to bother?

grumpysays:

Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: WARNING: may contain added sarcasm

I wasn’t thinking about the specific way the votes are counted (hardly anywhere counts as a fundamentalist democracy – I can think of one place, a commune not far from here, but no states), more along the lines of rule-of-law, respect for human rights, respect for the people and all the other little things that makes a democracy. Then again, where in the Western world do we find that today…?

Anonymoussays:

Well, these days it’s not difficult if you have family members who work for local police. Not that I really know anything. I gave up when someone gave me a legitimate hat from a well placed Government Authority.

So when is Masnick or “The Maz” going to come to Colorado and build a pizza shop? We’ll need a few good pizza shops to appease the (limited) Jewish population. Ground floor opportunity, just call John Hickenlooper’s Director of Scheduling at 303-866-6230, and make the pizza chain you’ve always wanted.

As long as companies focus on FINANCE instead of TREASURY, everything is up in the air.

Also, what happened to resident troll, Dark Helmet? Maybe he should

abc gumsays:

Re: Re:

“Well, these days it’s not difficult if you have family members who work for local police.”

What’s not difficult – receiving preferential treatment?

“Not that I really know anything.”

Self-deprecation does nothing for your credibility.

“I gave up when someone gave me a legitimate hat from a well placed Government Authority. “

Gave up what – attempting to make sense?

Anonymoussays:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re: Re: Re: Re:

Most of Canada is patrolled by the RCMP (a national force who vaguely resemble your state troopers), and they are still acceptable (though their respectability has fallen a long way over the last 20-30 years), however those areas that use local police instead can be frightening.

I once saw the Vancouver police beat a homeless person just because he was sitting (peacefully – I was across the street when it began) in the wrong place.

On the other hand, I haven’t seen or heard of anyone being beaten for using a camera. That doesn’t mean it hasn’t happened, just that I’m not aware of it.

Anonymoussays:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

Not in the US? It was in the US. Everyone needs to set up camera to watch every square inch of public property so that we have multiple copies of everything for this very thing. The police are out of line and need oversight by THE PEOPLE! If the police, store owners etc have the right to have security cameras then so do we. THE PEOPLE! If this crime of police BS is proven, big IF, the police involved need to be sent to prison and ass raped by most of its population!

aikoaiko2says:

Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

This idea of everyone carrying a camera and recording their daily events is becoming more common, and even has name – sousveillance. While I believe this idea has some potential drawbacks, it maybe what it takes to restore some balance in our new 2 class system. (For more info check out this months Wired)

Nicedoggysays:

This is not true the man while yelling indecencies to the police officers hit a tree full of mace, tasers and boots and when the police officers tried to help him he tossed the camera to a passer by that distracted hit another tree full of mace, tasers and boots.

It happens people are distracted his bruises are the after mark of his own actions not police brutality.

The police would never do such a thing, is not like they were going to arrest little girls selling lemonade or enter a house and terrorize a family because they though anonymous was there.

Anonymoussays:

Re: Re:

I actually kinda support police brutality.

Not all of it by any means. But I live in a city that has a certain level of violent crime far above the national average. Almost all of this is done within the confines of two particular police wards, out of the many many more wards that cover the city. The court system is over booked, the prisons are overflowing, and it is not uncommon to hear about people with 2 or more armed robbery convictions under their belt and being let off with time served. They didn’t hurt anybody. they just threatened to if money or goods did not flow their way, so the crime was stepped down to a lesser charge.

So, I am all in favor of the police beating the absolute **** out of that guy. It’s the closest thing to punishment the man will ever get. Is it right, no. But neither is the situation itself.

abc gumsays:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

“The court system is over booked, the prisons are overflowing, and it is not uncommon to hear about people with 2 or more armed robbery convictions under their belt and being let off with time served.”

Maybe they should not imprison pot smoking hippies for having a roach in their ashtray – just sayin.

Re: Re:

Punishment for what exactly? Felony use of a camera?

When the police are indistinguishable from criminals it becomes a case of he who has the most guns wins. In my country the poorly-paid police have learnt the hard way that the serious criminals have more money, faster cars and bigger guns. As a result crime is pretty rampant.

When the bad guys expect the police to shoot first and ask questions later, they just get more guns and make sure that they shoot first instead.

Hanssays:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

“So, I am all in favor of the police beating the absolute **** out of that guy. It’s the closest thing to punishment the man will ever get. Is it right, no.”

And thinking like that, you deserve the same. You say it’s not right, and you are in favor of what is not right. If you live in the US, you don’t deserve to. You’re part of the problem.

Gannon may be a loudmouthed ass, but he has the right to say what he thinks about the police. If you don’t defend his right to speech, you won’t have it either. No wonder you live in a city with elevated violent crime — you deserve it, and “I’m all favor” of that.

“But neither is the situation itself.”

What? It’s OK that it’s not right because the situation isn’t right either? Unassailable logic.

MrWilsonsays:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

“But I live in a city that has a certain level of violent crime far above the national average. Almost all of this is done within the confines of two particular police wards, out of the many many more wards that cover the city.”

So to (supposedly) solve the problems you see in two wards of a city, the entire country needs to live in fear of cops?

Anonymoussays:

Sort of easy to figure the story out, at least in the second part.

If Gannon resisted arrest, what is on the video camera is evidence. The police have every right to seize everything that was on his person at the time as evidence in the crime. This is very much the case with a video camera, as it would be the proof that the events. It would make you wonder if he tossed the camera because he knew what was on it would cause him to be found guilty?

mikenolasays:

Re: Re: Re: Re: Anonymous Coward, Jul 21st, 2011 @ 9:23am

“They have applied for a warrant to see what was on the tape.”

the police don’t need a warrant to view evidence seized in a legal arrest.

I don’t know where you got that quoted statement, but it is wrong.

imagine if they needed a warrant to look in a baggie from your pocket after a pat down? the courts would be completely stopped from just having a judge ‘hear’ the evidence of why the cops wanted to look in every baggie or knapsack or purse or wallet on each and every criminal they arrest.

Anonymoussays:

Re: Re:

Yeah, I have no idea who’s telling the truth, but the video could be evidence regardless of which party (the cops or Gannon) was acting improperly.

That Mike can’t even conceive of this possibility (“Why would they do that unless the camera shows them doing something wrong?”) shows his tunnel vision I think.

The Cenobytesays:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

“That Mike can’t even conceive of this possibility (“Why would they do that unless the camera shows them doing something wrong?”) shows his tunnel vision I think”

I think the problem might be that the cops keep doing this. It’s not the first time they have arrest this man for this exact same thing, and last time they where full of it. Also what was he doing for the cops to stop to begin with? They drove by so they could talk crap on his son and then stopped when someone talked back? This does not strike you as unethical behavior right from the start? Add to that the proven unethical behavior from them in the past and you start to assume a little. Not saying the cops where wrong this time, video will let us know (Provided they don’t destroy it), but they lost the benefit of trust when they arrested his on trumped up charges the first time.

Alchemystsays:

According to the news report, the witnesses back up Gannon’s account of the incident. According to two witnesses they not only attacked Gannon, but also one of the witnesses.

I was wondering why police have to get a search warrant to watch the video since it is in their custody as evidence. Anyone want to bet if the video/audio will be “corrupted” once the police get access to it?

known cowardsays:

it is not so bizzare

“. . . Police, obviously, dispute parts of this chain of events. They claim that Gannon was resisting arrest. They also claim that Reynolds “fled” with the camera and refused to hand over “the evidence” to them when asked. One would hope that the actual video on the camera would confirm which one was right, but it seems pretty bizarre and questionable that the police would immediately seek to seize the camera as “evidence.” Why would they do that unless the camera shows them doing something wrong?”

well they would seize it because it was, you know, evidence, and the integrety of that evidence would be preserved, so it is not so bizzare. That said i agree with the basic conetention that they wanted it to destroy and not preserve the evidence.

just a few Bad cops and judges do tremendous damage to the reputation of the police and the notion that this is a free and fair country. It is really about time we take a more chinese attitude towards these evil doers who abuse their authority.

PrometheeFeusays:

Re: Re: it is not so bizzare

The problem is not just a few bad apples. The problem is that agents of the state are afforded so much power that a few bad apples are enough to fuck things up pretty bad. The solution is to make sure that 1) police officers are held accountable at a higher degree than normal citizens. (Double sentences if it’s a police officer) 2) make sure police officers do not have any powers above and beyond what normal citizens do.

Mariussays:

He still didn't get the video back from 2006

It’s worth pointing out that the police refuses to return him the tapes that were in the camera when they arrested him in 2006.
They gave him the camera back but kept the video tapes and refuse to give them back.

The “Photography is not a crime” blog has some additional info and posted in the past about him: http://www.pixiq.com/article/nh-police-once-again-confiscate-mans-camera

Anonymoussays:

Disorderly conduct and resisting arrest, the corrupt police officer’s go-to one-two charge combo for slapping down anyone that annoys him. So long as there are no witnesses you can get away with beating the daylights out of anyone you like, and if there are witnesses, well you can just charge them with disorderly conduct/resisting arrest and brutalize them as well! It’s like a cheat code for immoral behavior!

Thomassays:

That's what happens...

when you encounter corrupt police. Give me a choice of a corrupt cop and a mugger and I’ll take the mugger any time.

While there are probably a few honest police officers, most of them are probably as corrupt as any lawyer.

Claims of witnesses do not hold up against police officers anyway, and if the witnesses had a videotape, they would also be charged with wiretapping.

Disorderly conduct is the easy way for ANY cop to arrest ANYONE for ANY reason whatsoever.

Never realized that Nashua NH was full of corrupt cops. Remind me not to visit any malls in Nashua.

Legolas2112says:

Cop Cams

Around the DFW area cops are being fitted with cell phone sized cameras that can be mounted on the front of their uniforms. But, I suppose, a cop might delete the file if something he does not like happens.
Anyway, with all the cell phone cameras around, the cops will be under ever increasing scrutiny whether they like it or not.
Just press that upload to Facebook or Youtube button and there it goes!

genesays:

Videotaping / Photographing Police

America is clearly a growing Police State. Note how frequently Police are now wearing masks during arrests/raids.
Fascist Germany, Communist Russia, Cuba , China, and all brutal Totalitarian regimes shared similar police tactics.
The USA has 5% of the worlds population and 25% of the worlds prisoners..Eventually the citizen with a video camera may be replaced by a citizen with a gun and this is not where we want to go. It is past time for our erstwhile leaders to gain control of this “anti-freedom / anti-American” police policy and start welcoming & encouraging citizens to videotape arrests.

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