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Friday, March 14, 2014

Criminal Justice Quote: Bad Cops Hate to be Videotaped

     A Massachusetts man who recorded video footage of a profane cop was arrested and jailed, even though state law explicitly permits the recording of public officials. The video evidence was taken into police custody and mysteriously destroyed….

     George Thompson, a 51-year-old citizen of Fall River, Massachusetts, was sitting on his front porch when he noticed Officer Thomas Barboza sitting in a patrol car and having a heated, profane cell phone conversation. Thompson began recording the officer's call using his own cell phone. When Barboza noticed, he approached Thompson.

     Thompson freely admitted that he was filming Barboza--something that state law explicitly permits. But Barboza arrested him anyway….

     Police Chief Daniel Racine has launched an investigation to determine who deleted the footage, and said the guilty party will face justice. "If a Fall River police officer erased that video, he's fired and I would suspect the district attorney would take out charges," Racine said in a statement.

     Thompson had complained about Barboza before. The officer regularly parks on the street and conducts profane phone conversations within earshot of other people--something Thompson doesn't like. "I said to  him, 'Why don't you cool it with the language there?'" said Thompson. "He says, "Why don't you shut the [expletive] up and mind you own [expletive] business?"…

Robby Soave, "Cop Wrongfully Arrests Man For Recording Him, Jails Him, Destroys Video Evidence," The Daily Caller, March 11, 2014  

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