A California man was jailed for four days for attempting to record police officers on a public street.
Daniel J. Saulmon was charged with resisting, delaying and obstructing an officer but the video shows he was standing well out the way of a traffic stop and was only arrested when he failed to produce identification to an approaching officer.
And there is no law in California that requires citizens to produce identification. And even if there was, it would require the officer to have a reasonable suspicion that he was committing a crime.
But prosecutors have already dropped the charge against Saulmon as well as a few other minor citations relating to his bicycle such as not have proper reflectors on the pedals.
And they most likely knew who he was considering he won a $25,000 settlement from the same police department after they unlawfully arrested him on eavesdropping/wiretapping charges in 2005.
This time, it appears the Hawthorne Police Department will be dishing out much more, thanks to officer Gabriel Lira’s abuse of authority.
“They knew exactly who I was,” Saulmon said in a telephone interview with Photography is Not a Crime Saturday, adding that he has recorded them on a regular basis since the 2005 arrest when he was jailed after attempting to file a complaint inside the police station.
“They always address me as ‘Mr. Saulmon’,” he said.
I’m sure the City of Hawthorne will be paying out another settlement from taxpayer funds. The cops should have to be personally liable for this kind of shit. If they knew it was coming out of their own paychecks they would be less cavalier with the constitutional rights of the people they meet in the performance of their duties.
And lest anyone think I am being inconsistent because I mocked the Occupiers that got themselves arrested, there is one critical difference between this case and the Occupiers: THE OCCUPIERS WERE BREAKING THE LAW!
If you intentionally break the law, even with the best of motives, you forfeit any reason to complain when you get arrested. If you want to be a martyr then you should suffer in silence.
But when you are obeying the law and you get wrongfully arrested by some badge-heavy fascist, you are entitled to scream bloody murder about it. You get to sue, too.