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Thread: Big Island blogger claims police brutality

  1. #1
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    Exclamation Big Island blogger claims police brutality

    One of the most active posters on HawaiiThreads (now banned) was recently arrested in his hometown on the Big Island for “obstructing government operations.” Translation: He was videotaping police from the street, as they broke up a fight at a nightclub in Pāhoa. The story is getting quite a bit of coverage from both the mainstream media and the internet blogosphere:

    Big Island blogger claims police brutality

    By Brooks Baehr

    PAHOA, HAWAII (HawaiiNewsNow) - Big Island blogger Damon Tucker claims he was the victim of police brutality in Pahoa early Saturday morning and that he will be filing a lawsuit against the Hawaii County Police Department. Police say are investigating the incident, but the charge against Tucker alleges he was interfering with official police duty.
    Man alleges police assault

    Tuesday, August 9 1:05 am

    By JOHN BURNETT
    Tribune-Herald staff writer

    A Puna man who was arrested early Saturday morning outside a Pahoa nightclub says he was assaulted by police for taking video of officers responding to a fight.

    VIDEO: Hawaii blogger filming with iPhone arrested by police


    Video by David Corrigan | Voice of Stephanie Salazar

    PAHOA, Hawaii: Big Island blogger Damon Tucker made statewide news headlines this week, claiming police brutality on the streets of his hometown Pahoa.

    We can’t be so fixated on our desire to preserve the rights of ordinary Americans.

    — U.S. President Bill Clinton
    USA TODAY, page 2A
    11 March 1993

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    Default Re: Big Island Blogger Victim of Police Brutality?

    We can’t be so fixated on our desire to preserve the rights of ordinary Americans.

    — U.S. President Bill Clinton
    USA TODAY, page 2A
    "Gentle Bill" said that????
    Oh, right, he was anti-Bill of rights.
    Anti-2nd amendment, particularly, anti-4th also, I heard. Not as bad as Bush against the 1st and 4th, but....

    Let's see... who was the last honest and principaled president we had? Thom Jefferson?
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  3. #3

    Default Re: Big Island Blogger Victim of Police Brutality?

    Quote Originally Posted by TuNnL View Post
    One of the most active posters on HawaiiThreads (now banned) was recently arrested in his hometown on the Big Island for “obstructing government operations.” Translation: He was videotaping police from the street, as they broke up a fight at a nightclub in Pāhoa. The story is getting quite a bit of coverage from both the mainstream media and the internet blogosphere
    I've been following his Twitter comments about this recently - thanks, TuNnL, for all the additional collecting of links and information about Damon's situation.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Big Island Blogger Victim of Police Brutality?

    Even if Big Isle police can somehow make the case that Damon was not filming the incident "from a safe distance," man! I can't imagine what kind of explanation the officers can provide which would justify the brutal injuries that Damon sustained at their hands.
    This post may contain an opinion that may conflict with your opinion. Do not take it personal. Polite discussion of difference of opinion is welcome.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Big Island Blogger Victim of Police Brutality?

    I guess one of the questions in this case would be "what is a safe distance"? Last weekend I happened to stumble into an incident across the street at WalMart. The only camerra I had on hand was my iPod Touch and that allowed me to shoot this.


    Direct flickr link: http://www.flickr.com/photos/macprohawaii/6016635623/

    Not much detail, but still yet I and others got away without any hassle by law enforcement from gawking or taking pictures. There was a small crowd on the other side of the street closer to the incident and the police did not chase them away.

    I was thinking perhaps local bloggers should pool themselves and maybe get a common, recognized press pass or something.
    Last edited by mel; August 11th, 2011 at 08:49 PM. Reason: deleted off topic line at end of post
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  6. #6

    Default Re: Big Island Blogger Victim of Police Brutality?

    Quote Originally Posted by mel View Post
    Not much detail, but still yet I and others got away without any hassle by law enforcement from gawking or taking pictures. There was a small crowd on the other side of the street closer to the incident and the police did not chase them away.
    Honolulu cops seem to be more hip to the legalities re: the general public's right to photograph/video record police activities in a public area, as compared to their Big Isle counterparts.

    Quote Originally Posted by mel View Post
    I was thinking perhaps local bloggers should pool themselves and maybe get a common, recognized press pass or something.
    In the case of someone spontaneously photographing police activities as it is taking place, the issue of the photographer being an accredited journalist or not is totally irrelevant. Law enforcement officials are supposed to be accountable to all the public, not just reporters.

    Note that this is not the same as someone who enters into an area that has been cordoned off as a crime scene w/o authorization. Once a crime scene has been established and an area is taped off in order for police to conduct an investigation, then yes. At that point, law enforcement would have the discretion of limiting access to the press. But when an incident is suddenly taking place in a public area (like in Damon Tucker's case), then no. Cops can't arbitrarily stop any Joe Blow who wants to take pictures. If a cop uses force to stop someone from shooting pictures, then that officer had better be able to provide proof that the photographer was not at a "safe distance" or was otherwise obstructing the authorities from doing their job.
    This post may contain an opinion that may conflict with your opinion. Do not take it personal. Polite discussion of difference of opinion is welcome.

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    Default Re: Big Island Blogger Victim of Police Brutality?

    FM, I concur with all your points.

    Yep after the crime scene is taped off the police have the right to chase anyone who doesn't belong out of there. The area just beyond the crime scene is then fair game because the yellow tape just screams "crime scene" or "accident investigation". Most media respect this and the tape makes for a good picture too.
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  8. #8
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    Default Re: Big Island Blogger Victim of Police Brutality?

    and to think he went to the Mayor's office a couple of days later to receive an award for his part in helping organize and run Opala In Paradise, a group of men and women dedicated to clean up illegal dumpsites in the Puna area.
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  9. #9

    Default Re: Big Island Blogger Victim of Police Brutality?

    Quote Originally Posted by Frankie's Market View Post
    If a cop uses force to stop someone from shooting pictures, then that officer had better be able to provide proof that the photographer was not at a "safe distance" or was otherwise obstructing the authorities from doing their job.
    In Damon's case, perhaps some of that proof of "safe distance" will be in photos on the iPhone the police confiscated.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Big Island Blogger Victim of Police Brutality?

    Quote Originally Posted by Leo Lakio View Post
    In Damon's case, perhaps some of that proof of "safe distance" will be in photos on the iPhone the police confiscated.
    Assuming the iPhone survived getting run over by a police car, then maybe.

    But as I said in post #4, even if that is the case, what would justify Damon getting slammed to the ground and receiving all those nasty cuts and bruises at the hands of HIPD? If he was fighting back against the officer, then why wasn't Damon charged with assault and/or resisting arrest?

    Instead, Damon is only charged with "obstructing a government operation."

    As I said, it will be interesting to see the officer's report that would justify a citizen getting physically manhandled like that, just for that offense alone.
    This post may contain an opinion that may conflict with your opinion. Do not take it personal. Polite discussion of difference of opinion is welcome.

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Big Island Blogger Victim of Police Brutality?

    Another incident this week which involved a big fight at Aloha Tower was captured I presume by several people with their cell phones. Haven't heard of them being arrested. Video aired on KGMB tonight.

    http://www.hawaiinewsnow.com/story/1...und-each-other
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  12. #12
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    Default Re: Big Island Blogger Victim of Police Brutality?

    It's Puna. Damon probably caught one of the cops pocketing some dope or something.
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    Default Re: Big Island Blogger Victim of Police Brutality?

    Welcome to the 21st Century. Lawless police, indiscriminate persecution, the Police State, etc. Science fiction come alive. Thank you Philip K. Dick.
    Be Yourself. Everyone Else Is Taken!
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    Spreading the virus of ALOHA.
    Oh Chu. If only you could have seen what I've seen, with your eyes.

  14. #14

    Default Re: Big Island blogger claims police brutality

    *bump* Wasn't sure where else to put this, but I thought folks here would want to know...

    If you are a friend of Damon's, words of condolence would be appropriate at this time, as his mother passed away yesterday afternoon; he was at her side.

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