Wednesday, August 27, 2008

This should make your blood boil...

I for one get a bit tired of the press at times. Still, this is a free country right? Yeah, right. Read this link. Here we have an ABC reporter on a *public* sidewalk, being arrested. Make sure you check out the video, it will make your blood boil. What the heck is wrong with the Denver police? Someone needs to loose their job over this.


Noons said...

This whole attitude is fostered by a climate of fear: first step in encouraging a move to a fascist state.

It's what desperate right wing nuts try to install everywhere in the world, not just in Denver.

And like everywhere else, there are always enough idiots trying to "rationalize" it and make it "acceptable".

Robert Freeman said...

Left/right, nuts on both sides to be honest, and those on *both* sides that would love a fascist state.

Let's not be so quick to just blame one side, both of the polarized ends of the spectrum are just as dangerous and just as evil.

The main problem as I see it is our lack of backbone as a people (which goes to your fear card being in play) in general AND a willingness to do whatever it takes to get the thing that's most important to us.

If our first focus was a love of freedom and the principles this country were founded on, things would be so different. Instead, we want to trump the individual for the whole. That thinking leads to what you saw in Denver in my opinion as much as anything else. That thinking will only make it worse, not better, for the individual.

Niall said...

I'm not sure it makes my blood boil, looks like fairly typical overreaction from a group of police officers in a tense situation. Thing is, when I overreact to something at work I can really only just mutter about it, maybe make an unfortunate remark and apologize later. If I'm an armed police officer likely my reaction would be worse.

Still had to laugh a bit at the text as well

"A cigar-smoking Denver police sergeant, accompanied by a team of five other officers, first put his hands on Eslocker's neck, then twisted the producer's arm behind him to put on handcuffs. " Gotta get those stereotypes reinforced, cigar-smoking adds nothing to the sentence except raising hackles.

Don Burleson said...

Hi Robert,

FYI, the video moved to here:

I'm not sure about the upset here. The story said that the police were responding to a signed complain from the Brown Palace Hotel that the new crew was blocking the hotel entrance.

As to the reporter, he was harassing the poor policeman who was just trying to do his job.

Noons said...

Bingo! You got it in one: worse rather than better, for the individual.

Charles Schultz said...

I am curious what the legal outcome will be. Will ABC have a separate piece on public outcry?

I agree that the trend this nation is taking (top down) is getting more scary by the moment. While I doubt 1776 would ever happen again (due to lack of backbone, as pointed out), one can only imagine the potential fallout that is imminently due.

Allan Nelson said...

The article said the sidewalk belonged to the hotel. Therefore not a public place. Besides the Democrats need privacy so they can collect money from the special interests and influence peddlers while still maintaining a populist image to the voters. There is nothing new here.

Don said...

I'm a sucker for a police abuse film but I don't know if it is true that the sidewalk in front of the hotel is "public" property. So much of what we know to be true isn't really true.

Second, having watched a lot of these kinds of videos I know from experience it is not a good idea to refuse to make eye contact and continue a cell phone conversation after a cop tells you to do something.

I was waiting for this reporter to start screaming, "Don't taze me bro!!" The reporters demeanor was exactly like that guy who got indignant at the Kerry speech and he used pretty much the same lines.

But, yes, I think that some provision should have been made to allow the filming of politicians and donors to be filmed on a what appears to be a public sidewalk. I'd be interested in seeing how this turns out.

Robert Freeman said...

I am curious about the hotel owning the sidewalk. I find that a bit weird, don't you all? Also, keep in mind, this started with the one officer pushing the reporter into the street (imagine the outcry if the reporter had been hit by a car/bus ... note the bus moving in the background).

Then we get a set of 5+ cops coming back LATER to arrest this desperado of a reporter. The reporter looks very dangerous to me. One question I also have, why wasn't the film crew arrested too?

Robert Freeman said...

Thanks to everyone for your comments. I want to make it clear that in general, I strongly support law enforcement. I also think that law enforcement has a mandate to be reasonable in their approach to dealing with citizens.

Right or wrong, the way the arrest was handled seems to be quite over-zealous. I agree with Don that we have a one sided story here, but I'm hard pressed to understand why 5+ officers are needed to arrest a reporter with a cell phone. He does seem a very dangerous type doesn't he?

I ended up getting banned on ORACLE-L for a week for posting this there.... No hard feelings about that. I just think that we are a better nation than Denver has demonstrated in this clip and in other news I've seen. I also think that we need to stand up and demand that that law enforcement be reasonable in pursuing their duties.

Bill Ferguson said...

The sidewalk is public property. The City of Denver pays when improvements (replacement, crack repair, etc.) need to be done, but the Brown Palace Hotel is responsible for the upkeep (snow removal, etc.).

As much as I usually despise the media, in this case it appears the reporter has the better argument. The video doesn't show anything that happened beforehand, but the cop definately went beyond the norm by forcing the guy out (potentially) into traffic.

The police could have simply mad a barrier of themselves across the sidewalk (there were obviously enough there) and slowly moved themselves forward against the reporters, forcing them a reasonable distance from the door. Another cop or two could stand along the edge and announce anybody in the street would get a ticket for jaywalking, and two tickets would lead to an arrest for obstruction of traffic.

A simple, legal, and much more proper response from the police.

Joel Garry said...

Look down the next time you are in front of a big hotel. You may see a plaque to the effect of "private property, permission to pass may be revoked at any time."

Then again, who knows what any particular entity is going to want to do.

Can't believe you were banned for a week for that post, though, unless you had been previously warned about something else.

Robert Freeman said...

I was banned from Oracle-L for a week. I accept that. Steve is a good guy and I accept his decision. I may disagree with it, but I respect Steve and accept it without argument or comment other than to acknowledge the fact.

On a side note, my personal feelings is that there are those that take newsgroups a bit *too* seriously (and not, I'm not commenting on my week long banning or Steve in *ANY* way).

I got one mail today that said what I did on the newsgroup was "disgusting" and proceeded to heap quite a bit of judgment on me. I find that a bit much. I'd comment further on that, but bygones.

In the end, I just want whats right for the future of this country, for my kids, for my wife and for those I love. Sometimes a little civil disobedience goes a long way. I'm willing to sacrifice for what I believe in, and for what is right. You pick your battles though, this was mine.

Cheers to all and Hail Oracle!

parologist said...

There is a 'police science' type approach here. The reporter is young and after all is a 'reporter' so there are good and bad points at play here. First impression is he is to young to realize that when the police are beside you on the road, they are god and have been trained to be god. You have to deal with that later if possible. They can use deadly force, but what they really accomplished in this case was getting him off the street by arresting him. However, his advantage is that he is a reporter and more action is news, and his employer probably will provide resources that most 'young' guys would not afford. Especially if they are filming. (so its a draw)?

The film starts with what appears true that he was on the phone being interupted in what he thought was his job. The police officer is not going to give him an explanation as that takes power away and changes the dynamic to one of logic or discussion. This is upsetting in most situations... that one would expect explanation and indeed the officer new the reporter was off balance at that point, and the more this continued the worse it would get for the reporter. But police are great if someone asks them to do something, (and they agree), as alleged in this case... but not so great for you if you did not ask for help as with this reporter. It shows the frustrating part about a lot of law enforcement issues today such as having to protest miles from the scene. I could go on but it is my first post and not intended to be long.

Ophilye said...

Not sure if there are such things as Public & Private sidewalks, but I know the LDS Church could purchase an entire street and stop people from walking on it... so there must be some distinction.

Robert Freeman said...

Just a comment, the post that was removed was a dupe. I was not censoring any comment. :-) I seriously doubt that anyone would mistake the property that the church purchased from the city as public property now. It is still available for people to walk along, by the way. I'm not sure where you got the idea that it was not. I've yet to see a SLC police officer push a reporter into oncoming traffic on N. Temple from the property either. I'll be sure to keep an eye out.

I can understand how someone might think someplace was public property and be wrong, but that's not really the point, is it?

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