Cops Taser Citizen For Videotaping Them

Huzzah for my hometown! Portland, Oregon, wooooooo!

So a man was videotaping the police searching his next-door-neighbors property.

Without warning, cops charged at Waterhouse, ordered him to put down the camera, and then shot him with a beanbag gun and a Taser as he was video recording them. As a result, the officers issued criminal citations against Waterhouse, although he was acquitted of all charges.

One of the cops justified the attack in a report by writing “He had refused to drop the camera which could be used as a weapon.”

Waterhouse is suing for $30,000. I’m sure that me and other Portlanders can feel that paying off citizens who are attacked by cops for pretending this isn’t a fascist country is a very good use of our tax dollars.

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7 Responses to Cops Taser Citizen For Videotaping Them

  1. 1
    Jake Squid says:

    I will continue to tell anybody who will listen that the problem is with the police CARS. Portland Police cars have a big rose painted on them. It’s only natural that they try to overcome the pansy aspect of driving around with a big flower on their cars by continuing to beat the crap out of both suspects and random passers-by.

    I may need to run for mayor on a platform of removing the roses from police cars and replacing them with roaring tigers or lions. Or, perhaps, wild boars.

  2. 2
    Aaron V. says:

    The only objection I have with this is that he only sued for $30,000.

    “The camera could be used as a weapon?” That’s like a cop saying “Subject repeatedly slammed his head into my fist in an attempt to injure my hand.”

  3. 3
    JustaDog says:

    $30K isn’t enough. He should have gone for $500,000!

  4. 4
    Rachel S. says:

    What a bunch of idiots. There are a bunch of taser happy cops out there. It seems like many of them feel that because it is non-lethal that they can just use it willy nilly.

  5. 5
    Megalodon says:

    The state has made it clear to us that surveillance and scrutiny are not reciprocal rights and that when we attempt to exercise them, it’s a de facto crime.

    Of course, they don’t usually charge us with “surveillance of the state,” they just conjure up a charge after the fact, like “camera as a weapon” or “disorderly conduct” if they’re really desperate.

    This person was lucky that he had both a visual and audio record of the event (though sometimes that’s not even good enough). When you upset police officers by not showing the required obeisance, they tend to retroactively add details to the event when testifying, like how you were “hostile,” “confrontational,” and “menacing.”

    Knowledge of the law has ceased being any sort of defense at all. You can’t resist arrest, even if you happen to know the basis of the arrest is false or legally defective, which I guess is reasonable enough. The rule now seems to be that you cannot refuse anything asked by the police, even if there is no legal basis for their demand.

  6. 6
    Radfem says:

    I’m glad he sued because for one thing, the officer who justified it in his report and pushed to get the “contempt of cop” charges filed(from which he was acquitted)should be fired. So should the officer(s) who fired beanbags and tased him.This is really bad including its rationale to the point of being ridiculous.

    But they’ll probably get some sort of civic awards in due time for being outstanding police officers.

    The LAPD didn’t tase the media personnel but clubbed many of them during the May Day incident at MacArthur Park. Several million dollars worth of claims have been filed.

    There’s litigation by people who have been tased by officers and by officers injured while being tased in training(including spinal fractures based on osteoporisis) and if you’ve watched video of officers being tased, they’re being held up on both sides by other officers the whole time and have spotters.

    The debate is still out on whether tasers are “nonlethal” or “less than lethal”, but they are ripe for abuse including against young children. Here, it’s not so much their use although it’s increased in the past two years, they are used to justify fatal shootings of otherwise unarmed Black men even if the tasers are basically useless in their hands(that is, if their hands ever took them from the officers).

    There might be situations where in lieu of using lethal force, they can save lives. But it seems like there’s lots of officers and agencies out there who have no clue or do not care to use them in ways that aren’t abusive, excessive or like in this case, completely ridiculous.

    In one case here, the officer stepped out of the man’s reach and then shot him twice while he was squatting on the ground allegedly holding the officer’s taser. The cartridge was expended so it was useless unless used at very close range as a contact stun weapon. I’m not entirely convinced the officer who originally was standing behind the man when he allegedly saw him grab the officer’s taser, didn’t mistake the taser for a handgun and shoot him for that reason. His partner actually took one step closer to the man who had allegedly grabbed the taser and started hitting him with his baton on the legs. The evidence in this case is so contradictory that it took the city about a year to manipulate the police commission to the point where they would not only swallow it, but espouse it.

    I blogged on it a lot and even long after the department and D.A.’s office had adjudicated the case exonerating the officer, the investigators on the case still frequented my blog, to see what was going on with the commission in case they missed anything?

    What’s also a bit scary is that tasers get “lost”. I received an inventory list of my department’s X26 and M26 tasers and there were several unaccounted for. Where did they go?

    The rose thing is very odd. By all means, put a ballot initiative out there to get rid of them.

  7. 7
    Radfem says:

    I’m serious about the roses by the way. That’s just too wierd.