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JERSEY CITY COP DETAINS MAN FOR FILMING TRAFFIC STOP VERTICALLY NOT HORIZONTALLY

Jersey Cop police detainment

“I really wish people would learn to recognize the fact that cell phones need to be turned horizontally,” Officer Ramon Aponte said as he was detaining Joseph Ferrante. “You need to shoot horizontally. TV runs horizontally, websites are designed horizontally. When you shoot vertically, you’re not using it to its full capacity.”

If you’re going to be a ‘sovereign citizen‘ and document police injustice you might as well do it with some cinematic integrity. Amiright?

Via NJ.com :

Jersey City police officials say they have opened an internal affairs investigation into a video that surfaced Saturday of a traffic stop outside the Journal Square PATH hub that shows a police officer detaining a man for recording the stop on video.

The 14-minute video shows Officer Ramon Aponte, a 10-year veteran of the police force and a former U.S. Marine, verbally sparring with the man, Joseph Ferrante, and detaining him on the sidewalk until a sergeant arrives. Meanwhile, Ferrante excoriates the officer and calls law enforcement in general “out of control.”

“The police have a total lack and disregard for people’s rights in this country,” Ferrante says at the end of the video.

Mickey Osterreicher, an attorney with the National Press Photographers Association, said police officers in most instances do not have the right to tell citizens to stop recording them or to confiscate cell phones that have video of the officers on them.

“Some believe filming in and of itself is interference, when clearly it’s not,” Osterreicher told The Jersey Journal.

The video is surfacing as Jersey City readies to outfit some of its police force in body cameras. The city, which is partnering with Newark and Paterson in the initiative, is seeking bids until May 14, and hopes to have the cameras by late summer or early fall.

The video begins with Ferrante on the sidewalk filming a traffic stop on Kennedy Boulevard near the PATH station when Aponte approaches him.

“Is there a reason why you’re recording?” Aponte says, before adding, “if you’re recording my stop I have to seize your phone.”

The two begin arguing over whether Aponte has the right to take Ferrante’s phone when Aponte, who tells Ferrante he is also recording the interaction, says he is calling “my boss” – Sgt. Kevin Brown – who appears in the last few moments of the video.

“If my officer is doing a motor vehicle stop and you’re filming him … it’s a distraction,” Brown says.

The incident soon ends with Brown telling Ferrante he is free to go, and then denying he had ever been detained.

“You in handcuffs? Are you in a police car? You’re not detained. You can leave now,” Brown tells him, before adding, presumably to Aponte, “Let’s go, we’re out of here.”

Ferrante couldn’t be reached to comment.

After watching the video, Osterreicher said Aponte was wrong to detain Ferrante and to threaten to take his phone. But, Osterreicher added, the incident hardly rises to an egregious level, citing the recent example of a deputy U.S. marshal caught on video grabbing a woman’s cell phone out of her hands and smashing it while she was recording an arrest.

“On a scale of one to 10, it almost barely makes it onto the scale,” he said.

Still, Osterreicher said, Jersey City police officers need better training on the rights citizens have to record them.

Public safety spokeswoman Carly Baldwin said Police Chief Philip Zacche has seen the video and ordered an internal affairs investigation.

Carmine Disbrow, president of the Jersey City Police Officers Benevolent Association, is defending the cops.

“Knowing both Officer Aponte and Sergeant Brown, and how seriously they take their oath to protect the residents of Jersey City, the professional way in which they handled themselves, as clearly depicted in the video, comes as no surprise to us,” he said in a statement.

Osterreicher said Ferrante is wrong on some of the details of the law. There is no U.S. Supreme Court decision allowing citizens nationwide to record police officer on the job, but in 2011 a federal appellate court ruled that citizens have the right to do so, he said.

He also chided Ferrante’s filmmaking style.

“I really wish people would learn to recognize the fact that cell phones need to be turned horizontally,” he said. “You need to shoot horizontally. TV runs horizontally, websites are designed horizontally. When you shoot vertically, you’re not using it to its full capacity.”

SOURCE

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