Saturday, March 22, 2008

Get up, stand up: stand up for your rights!

$40,000 for Man Tasered on YouTube

About two months went by after Jared Massey was tasered by a highway cop in Utah before he turned to YouTube.
Like other YouTube tasings, waves of outrage over excessive force followed — fire the cop, ban Tasers — and the police started an investigation a week and a half later. But the initial results were discouraging for the critics: The cop was cleared of wrongdoing; Mr. Massey paid the speeding ticket that he protested before being shocked twice.
The deal was announced a week after a Utah prosecutor ruled the Mr. Massey did not commit any crimes in the traffic stop, according to The Salt Lake Tribune. His civil case focused on the fact proven in the video — that the officer did not seek to arrest him before drawing and firing the Taser.
But wait, there's more!
The man who videotaped a St. George police officer's tirade against him last year, and put it online labeled "Cop Gone Wild," filed a federal civil rights lawsuit Monday over the incident.
The confrontation happened about 2 a.m. Sept. 7 in a commuter parking lot in
south St. Louis County at Spokane and Reavis Barracks roads. Darrow, who runs
his own painting business by day and attends community college at night, told a
reporter last fall that he was there to meet a friend.

He also said that he installed a video camera in his Nissan Maxima after
previous run-ins with police.

But [police Sgt. James Kuehnlein], who has since been fired, approached his car and began questioning him.

Darrow responded with queries of his own about the justification for the stop.
He also asserted his Fourth Amendment rights to privacy.

Kuehnlein had Darrow step out of the car, pinned him against
Darrow's car, then got in Darrow's face and shouted, "You wanna try me tonight?
You think you've had a bad night? I will ruin your (expletive) night."

Darrow said no. Kuehnlein then suggests he could make up reasons to detain or arrest Darrow, the suit says. "Do you want to go to jail for some (expletive) reason I come up with?"
Darrow was released after about 18 minutes, the suit says, and never arrested.
Although Kuehnlein also claimed to be taping the encounter with his dash-mounted video camera, the tape has since been lost or destroyed.
Nothing pisses off a cop more than standing up for your rights, just make sure you get it on tape.

If you act now you get a special bonus track!
Rights of Protesters Violated, Judge Rules

The Bush administration violated the public’s right to free speech by keeping protesters far removed from the 2005 inaugural parade, a judge ruled yesterday.

U.S. District Judge Paul L. Friedman found that the National Park Service violated its own regulations by giving the inauguration’s private organizers preferential treatment and extraordinary control over access to Pennsylvania Avenue. The Presidential Inaugural Committee roped off most of the parade route and allowed only those with tickets inside: largely a crowd of Bush administration donors, supporters and friends coming to celebrate the start of President Bush’s second term.

Protesters were limited to small, specific areas, leading to a lawsuit by antiwar activists.

“The inauguration is not a private event,” Friedman said in his ruling. “The National Park Service, on behalf of the PIC, cannot reserve all of Pennsylvania Avenue for itself, leaving only the Ellipse and the northern part of John Marshall Park to protesters.”
Friedman said the Park Service allowed the Presidential Inaugural Committee to apply almost a year ahead of anyone else for a permit, contrary to its usual regulations. It then granted the committee exclusive use of nearly all of the parade route from the Capitol to the White House and allowed the group to use the area for five months before Inauguration Day, instead of the typical three weeks.
See you can stand up for your rights, all it takes is lots of money and lots of time. Oh, and get it on tape.

Cross posted at VidiotSpeak