The other day I wrote about the judge who felt that citizens being able to record police activity was a bad thing and could lead to “excessive snooping”. Well there is one young man in Los Angeles who is probably really happy that one citizen decided to be ‘snoopy’ and record the police as they arrested him.
According to the original and official police record of the event:
Deputy Levi Belville testified that he saw Gipson in the side yard run and toss a loaded revolver onto the roof of a detached garage. The deputy said he ordered Gipson to stop and that the suspect walked back to Belville, who then detained him.
Now what actually happened thanks to a cellphone video recording made by a citizen:
The footage did not show Gipson running, tossing a gun or walking back to the deputies to be detained. Instead, the grainy video showed deputies arriving and walking past Gipson, who was standing against a wall of the house near the rear of the yard. One of the deputies, Raul Ibarra, returned to Gipson and escorted him to the back of the yard.
Needless to say the jury in the case acquitted Gipson but the fact is that without that video recording he could just as easily have been found guilty and put in jail. Instead we have an embarrassed police department and an officer caught lying. It’s no wonder the police what to make it illegal to record them.