Manchester PD Violate Court Ruling

The First Amendment issue here is, as the parties frame it, fairly narrow: is there a constitutionally protected right to videotape police carrying out their duties in public? Basic First Amendment principles, along with case law from this and other circuits, answer that question unambiguously in the affirmative.

So ruled the First Circuit Court of Appeals in late August.

Apparently the two employees of the Manchester Police Department featured in this video were too busy “serving and protecting” the good people of Manchester to have gotten word. Because when Ademo and I were noticed filming their traffic stop at the corner of Armory and Dubuque, they conferred, shone their spotlight on us, then drive off after speaking with a third colleague in a cruiser.

They left before the vehicle they had stopped left. The same thing happened on June 3rd when we watched the watchmen with others.

But, I guess I shouldn’t be too surprised, seeing as no one employed by Manchester PD has yet spoken out against unjust charges and massive waste of resources being devoted to prosecute individuals who allegedly used children’s chalk on public property. But, someone will be the first.

EPN

Pete Eyre

Pete Eyre is co-founder of CopBlock.org. As an advocate of peaceful, consensual interactions, he seeks to inject a message of complete liberty and self-government into the conversation of police accountability.

Eyre went to undergrad and grad school for law enforcement, then spent time in DC as an intern at the Cato Institute, a Koch Fellow at the Drug Policy Alliance, Directer of Campus Outreach at the Institute for Humane Studies, Crasher-in-Chief at Bureaucrash, and as a contractor for the Future of Freedom Foundation.

In 2009 he left the belly of the beast and hit the road with Motorhome Diaries and later co-founded Liberty On Tour. He spent time in New Hampshire home, and was involved with Free Keene, the Free State Project and The Daily Decrypt.

  • andrew cook

    How exactly did the police violate the court ruling? I did not see them interfere with your recording. Are you saying that shining a light at you violated your first amendment rights?

    You guys are really losing credibility and support when you post bullshit like this.

    I do congratulate you however on saving another citizen from a bullshit ticket.

  • Agreed With Andrew

    I totally agree with Andrew.

    This post is nonsense and goes a long way to undoing the credibility you guys are trying to create for yourself, this site and the movement.

    If you need hits for some kind of advertising support then at least be open about it.

    Could it in fact be that they noticed some movement in the window of MARV and wanted to see what was happening? Is the best way to do that to shine a light into the window? You guys didn’t even exit the vehicle and do it in the open like you normally do.

    Claiming rights violations based on the fact that the ‘incomplete’ traffic stop was terminated after they likely identified you and Ademo is not credible. Did you even track down the driver of that vehicle and confirm your suspicions?

    Probably in the wrong area to comment, but if you wrote chalk on a building – paid for by public money or otherwise – you vandalised property. If they charge you for writing on the footpath then that is easily a spurious charge as that is subject to general wear and tear from foot traffic etc.

  • Law

    This story is a FAIL! I need another cup of coffee to keep awake reading this one. Oh, did I mention FAIL?

    I use to disagree with everying on this site, but I just realised that this is a joke website… Very funny guys, keep the humor coming.

  • Law

    As for Pete Eyre’s “bibliography… I’m sure we can read between all the lines. He wasted all his time going to “law enforcement school”? Was that the one he saw on late night tv, or did he fill out the application found on the back cover of a comic book. Let me continue, Pete couldn’t hack being a cop, maybe because of immaturity, mental unstableness, heath reasons, being a pussy or just a total coward. So he has to bad mouth law enforcement to make himself look bigger. Yawn and snore Pete. I’m sure your water coloring art school is doing swell.

  • Lawless

    Law, we all know what you are so just keep eating those donuts. Maybe you can find an african-american to beat up.

  • Tristan

    Reading these butthurt comments should validate the job you guys are doing. They have blinked and the Federal Court of Appeals (whatever that means) has backed you up. Chalking is not vandalism. Liming the lawn isn’t vandalism either.

  • PSOSGT

    What I see is a cop noticing someone off to thier right. They then spot light that person to see who they are or what they are doing.

  • PSOSGT

    And if someone has to clean up the mess you made, i.e. jimbo has to bring out the hose and spray it down. The owner has to pay him. Which costs him money. Which counts as a “loss” i.e. vandalism. You don’t have to destroy something to comit a crime.

  • Guy Fawkes

    From what I could see all the cops did was shine a flashlight and then drive away. While the flashlight may have been annoying they do have a right to observe what is going on around them. As I see it them driving away not giving out a ticket is a good thing. I’d have to say it looks to me like the cops were complying with the law here.

  • Law Talks Ass

    Law posts: “Let me continue, Pete couldn’t hack being a cop, maybe because of immaturity, mental unstableness, heath reasons, being a pussy or just a total coward. So he has to bad mouth law enforcement to make himself look bigger.”

    Are you saying “Law” that it is acceptable for law enforcement to kill people with no provocation or cause, file false charges, commit perjury and tamper with evidence? These are some of the things that law enforcement in the US is accused of daily (and found guilty of as well).

    I suppose in your world exposing people for their crimes is wrong, if they wear a badge and have state appointed authoritah.

    If you aren’t a pussy or a total coward perhaps then you should join the police force and show us all how you can hack it.

    Yes. That would be awesome.

    <3 <3 <3

  • Law

    So “Lawless” assumes I am a non-black cop, or, at least, one that enjoys beating up blacks, and likes donuts. Nice assumption and boring stero-type dip-shit.

    “Law Talks Ass” Thanks for the quote, I’m flattered. However I fail to see anywhere in my previous post(s) where I suggested support or encourage police brutality or crime, or the covering up of either. And you assume that I am NOT a cop. Again nice assumption moron! Keep drinking the Kool-aid and maybe you mom will let you stay out after dark.

  • Lulz

    Please have the sense to remove this post. Despite Pete’s obvious distaste for LEO’s based on his prior interactions with them, this video shows no laws being broken and only hurts the cause of CopBlock.

    By all means, keep up the activism and keep videoing within your rights; you’re sure to catch someone’s rights being violated. But even on a ‘slow news day’, this story should have never made the cut.

  • Russ

    This story is a non-starter. The police do a lot of things wrong, and even a few things right from time to time, but shining a light on some random vehicle watching them conduct a traffic stop is neither wrong or right – it’s just them not being stupid. They pull someone over, and in the course of running the plates, checking for warrants, etc., they see some guys in a van watching them. They have to (quite reasonably) assume that they COULD be in danger. So, they shine a light, see that it’s you, and since they know who you are they knew they weren’t in danger. So, they go back to their trfic stop and conclude their business. Where’s the problem?

    It really does damage your credibility when you allege a violation in the headline and fail to offer any evidence at all of a violation in the article itself. I, for one, am emotionally and intellectually invested in the success of your mission, and credibility is the key to success, so please don’t do this again!

  • starblazer

    Law, do everyone a favor and shut the hell up you ignorant pig.

  • Mr. Bawkbagawk

    uninteresting vid is uninteresting. also, @ Law “unstableness” isnt a word i think what you meant was “instability”. thanks for coming out.

    in all seriousness: please dont post do nothing vids, your ruin your credibility or is that “credibleness”? post of this nature make you guys look like whiners. you do good work please dont detract from that by posting stories like this or vids like “where’s the little girl. thats what break.com is for.

  • Law Still Talks Ass

    Oh “Law” I suppose it was naive of me not to assume you were actually a police officer.

    Oh wait.. no it wasn’t. You never stated you were law enforcement at any time. In addition your chosen handle in no way implies that you are a member of the police force.

    I could’ve chosen the name “I am the Law” or “Judge Dredd” and by your logic you would have (to great comic effect) assumed that I am a judge, or a member of the police force.

    If so – and assuming you are actually a police officer – I feel deep pity for any person who is faced with the prospect of having you investigate any charges brought by or against them.

    Also.. how exactly does drinking Kool-Aid aid me in coercing my Mum to let me stay out late at night?

    It doesn’t matter I prefer Flavor-Aid anyway. And North Africa.

  • Law Still Talks Ass

    EDIT: Gah! Ignore the last sentence – managed to drag in from a report I’m writing >.<

  • God

    Will you all just grow up? … draw your own conclusions and stfu!

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