A police car was parked in a handicap spot and a woman decided to post the photo on Facebook, but was fined for outing the officer.
The incident didn’t happen in the U.S., where citizens are increasingly holding police accountable for their actions by recording or taking pictures of their behavior. The woman who spotted the police car parked in the handicap spot lives in Spain, where there is actually a law, named Citizens Security Law, which forbids people from photographing police.
Citizens call this ordinance — which came into effect July 1 — “the gagging law,” because it restricts people’s freedom of expression and prohibits “the unauthorized use of images of police officers that might jeopardize their or their family’s safety or that of protected facilities or police operations.”
Human rights organizations, such as Amnesty International, have strongly condemned this law, arguing that in certain cases, photographing police is critical evidence when excessive force is used. Fines for such offenses range between 600 and 33,000 euros.
According to local police spokesman Fernando Portillo, the cop car parked in the handicap spot because the officer was called to an incident in a nearby park. Portillo says police have the right to park where it is most convenient when responding to an emergency.
As to why the woman who took the photo of the cop car using the handicap spot was fined for posting the image to Facebook, the spokesperson said the officers felt the woman had impugned their honor by posting the picture and referred the incident to the town hall authorities, the Guardian reports.
“We would have preferred a different solution but they have the legal right to impose the fine,” Portillo said.
The unidentified woman took the photo of the police car parked in the handicap spot and posted it on Facebook, stating, “Park where you bl***y well please and you won’t even be fined.” Authorities tracked her down, found her within 48-hours, and fined her almost $900.
Citizens in Spain have protested the controversial law by taking to the streets and voicing their displeasure. The woman who took the photo of the police car parked in the handicap spot remains anonymous and now has to deal with a hefty fine.
This problem is not restricted to Spain. As previously reported by the Inquisitr, a cop parked in a handicap spot in Lafayette while eating breakfast and was shamed with a video that went viral.
[Image via Yahoo!]