Thursday, July 17, 2008

Man arrested for photographing cop

Scott Conover was arrested by a Johnson County, TN sheriff's deputy for taking his picture during a traffic stop--not his own, someone else's. He drove up to a stop in progress, slowed down, took a picture with his iPhone, and kept going. Officer Kenneth Lane went after him, pulled him over, falsely claimed that taking a picture of him was illegal and that he had to turn it over, and then arrested the guy, using two sets of handcuffs. The charge: "disorderly conduct, unlawful photographing, and pointing a laser at law enforcement officers"--all three of which were bogus.

More information, including a link to the officer's barely literate report, written four days after the fact, at Dispatches from the Culture Wars.

UPDATE (August 9, 2008): Turns out there's more to the story, and it makes the cops look even worse. Conover was taking a picture of what was part of an ongoing campaign of harassment against him, by going after the patrons of his bar. In this particular case, Conover knew that the driver of the car was a woman who was acting as designated driver for her husband, and only the husband had been drinking, and so he followed to take pictures to document what was going on. And this harassment of his patrons began after Conover was a witness to deputies beating up a man outside of his establishment, and he made a statement supporting that man. Conover had also previously sued the sheriff's department and settled for an undisclosed sum.

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