Arizona Copwatcher Raymond had just left a court hearing over his previous arrest for photographing the federal courthouse (http://wp.me/p3d8YI-6gp) when he spotted a Phoenix police officer jaywalking, so he snapped a photo.
That resulted in the cop assaulting him and robbing him of his video camera, then pulling out his own camera where he photographed Raymond, before handing back the video camera ten minutes later and allowing him to be on his way.
Unfortunately, the cop turned off Raymond’s camera, so we are unable to hear what took place during those ten minutes, but Raymond says they kept demanding his identification and he kept asking if he was being detained.
“They said, ‘You are being detained for taking photos’,” Raymond said in a telephone interview with Photography is Not a Crime ( http://wp.me/p3d8YI-6IZ) last Sunday afternoon.
When Raymond wouldn’t give them his identification, they snapped his photo (apparently to add him to their database of suspected camera-wielding terrorists), then returned his camera, allowing him to leave.
The fact that they let him go shows that they knew all along they didn’t have enough to arrest him.
In May, they arrested him and caused him to lose his job and become homeless for walking into an alleyway after they kept following him for taking photos of the Sandra Day O’Connor United States Building. (http://wp.me/p3d8YI-6gp)
But he was found “not responsible” for that charge last Wednesday because it pertains to motor vehicles, as it clearly states in the city’s municipal code. (http://goo.gl/YmCDvP)
He left the hearing and walked around downtown for about 30 minutes before he saw the cop jaywalking and snapped a photo, which came out too blurry to post anyway.
But, of course, that prompted the cop and his buddy to confront him as if he were a criminal.
The cops are identified as Officer Schultz #7707 and Officer Garcia #5413, the latter who grabbed the camera after the former said he didn’t mind being recorded (but didn’t mind harassing Raymond for it, either).
Contact the Phoenix Police Department, whose motto is “Policing with a Purpose,” at 602-262-6151.
Raymond shared this article via CopBlock.org’s submit page.