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CP photographer arrested in Coward Shoe raid

November 4, 2013
By

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UPDATES: Baltimore Sun reporter Justin Fenton (@justin_fenton) tweeted out the “Statement of Probable Cause” against Scialom, and it seems to contradictorily describe him as “in the vestibule” and blocking “the narrow sidewalk” at the same time, and also notes that Scialom was found with “suspected marihuana” during booking (Scialom did not initially disclose this to CP). Fenton also tweeted: “Why did city cops bust up the Coward Shoe party? They say organizers were operating as an illegal “bottle club” in violation of state law.”

 

Just before midnight on Saturday, November 1, police raided a concert at Summa (formerly Coward Shoe; 322 Howard St.), which was to feature Ed Schrader, Roomrunner, White Life, and Uplift Mofos covering other artists. During Uplift Mofos’ set, police rushed in, clearing out the venue, and arrested City Paper contributing photographer Noah Scialom. The raid comes after two previous raids of another DIY venue, the Broom Factory, prompting more questions about a police crackdown on such spaces. Here is Scialom’s account of the raid.

I drove to the Coward Shoe cover show at approximately 11:30 pm on Friday, November 1. Upon walking up to the party, I noticed two police cars sitting on Howard St, one with lights slowly flashing red and blue. I proceeded to walk inside and observed one police officer talking to someone who seemed to be an organizer of the party. I went ahead to pay, but the people taking money let me go up for free, and I was told to just pay later. I was on the second floor (one floor below the band) saying hi to friends, when I noticed the same police officer was now walking around, talking on the radio.

There were no announcements to leave, and people were still mingling, however I assumed that at any moment the party would end. I then went upstairs to hear the music because I wasn’t sure what was going to happen or how much longer they would be allowed to play, and before even finishing their set, the band announced to the crowd that the police were there and that everyone had to leave, the party was over. People began to disperse, I gave my giant styrofoam skull to a friend, and began taking photos in earnest. I went to the staircase and took a few frames of people leaving. I could hear noise above me and went back up a few steps and took pictures of police officers yelling at people who were not leaving fast enough. A police officer in the stairwell shoved my camera away from my face, I advised him not to touch me, and that I am a member of the press working for the Baltimore City Paper. They heard me and continued to order me to leave. As I began to walk down the stairs and continued to take photos,  one Police officer grabbed my upper arm and forcefully led me down,and I stumbled down the few remaining steps. As the officer shoved me out the door, he proclaimed confusingly to “get your monkey ass outta here.” I walked out of Summa to the sidewalk and continued to take photos of people leaving the party.

At this point, Sgt. Wilson (whose name I later got from his badge), who had been standing just outside the doors, was directing people to leave. I continued to take photos and had stopped walking once I reached the sidewalk. I consciously said to myself that I am a safe, because I am on public property. Sgt. Wilson was moving about, telling people to leave, standing about five feet away from me. I took a few quick photos of him (including the one here), understanding from his rather tense jaw that he did not like it. He said nothing directly to me. I turned to my left and took another photograph of an officer standing by the fence, at which point I was, without warning, violently taken to the ground by Sgt. Wilson and my camera flew from my hand and bounced on the pavement. A knee was jabbing me in the back, and Sgt. Wilson was screaming for me to stop resisting as I lay there covered in police. I saw CP web editor and photographer Joe Giordano pick up my camera, and I told him to keep shooting. I was cuffed and on the ground surrounded by police and partygoers, then was picked up by a different police officer who roughly moved me toward the paddy-wagon and then shoved me inside after opening the doors. It was empty. This police officer then drove from the parking lot to the middle of the street. He left me alone in the wagon, and I started taking pictures from my cellphone and uploaded one photo to Instagram to make my ordeal public. I also texted a friend for a lawyer’s phone number, figuring I would probably need it to get out of jail.

The officer quickly drives off as I slide around into the metal frame of the wagon. At some point we stop and as he opened the door, I began to walk out thinking we were at the police station. He climbs in and pushes me back so that I fall on my handcuffed wrists to grab at my pocket for my phone, angrily saying “give me your phone.” Our next stop is at Central District. He tells me to get out. He pulls me in the door, tells me to have a seat on the bench, which I do. I was then handcuffed to the bench which further restricted my movement. I wait, talk to a few officers, and eventually Sgt. Wilson shows up. He asked if I was injured, suggesting that if I wasn’t then he would let me go. If I claimed that if I was injured, then I would be going to jail. Sgt. Wilson tells me this as another police officer who looks like a fat Chandler from Friends listens and writes down the official arresting report. I asked him if bruises and pain counted as injuries, and he says that now I am going to jail for being a smartass. I informed him that it was his choice.

About 20 minutes later, they put me in flex cuffs pulled extremely tightly (“cuffs aren’t made for comfort,” Sgt. Wilson informed me), and into another wagon driven by a female officer who takes me to Central Booking. After ten minutes of sitting in the male intake room another arrestee kicks me in my left shoulder. Everyone saw it and two correctional officers led him outside where he continued to kick the door screaming that he was going to kill all of us. When the CO goes to cut off my flexcuffs, he takes one look at my wrists and says “Damn.” and to my great relief cuts me free. I am then fingerprinted, processed, officially charged with “disobeying a lawful order,” and led into a room with nine other men where we are left to our own devices until morning. At 10am I was let out into a beautiful November morning with a court date to look forward to and a stroll back to Summa to pick up my van and go home.

See a gallery of the raid here.

  • MrPhotoEd

    Noah, If you are a member of the National Press Photographers Association, get in touch with them. Even if you aren’t, still get in touch with them. They have a lawyer who is a former news photographer and they have been fighting cases like this and they might be able to advise you.

  • Caitlin

    This is the same officer when asked “why are we being forced to leave the building?” told me “we don’t need a reason”, and proceeded to shove my friend and I down the stairs and out the door. Baltimore City’s finest.

  • bosco222

    The actions of the Baltimore City Police Force have always been suspect, but migration and geography are playing an evil hand to our boys in blue. The Baltimore cops like to arrest people, to fill up that big airy Central Booking Facility. With our 3000 cops, there is a diminishing pool of available arrestees in our tiny city of 621,000 and one has to cast a wide net for law breakers. The current challenge is perception, race and geography. The Broom Factory is at 2800 Sisson Street in Remington and Coward Shoe is at 322 Howard Street downtown, both traditionally black or mixed neighborhoods. Since the police tend to like locking up black people who are usually poor and can’t afford lawyers, these locations are traditionally police approved for an impromptu raid that will yield lots of arrests, legal or otherwise.

    But these music loving hipsters don’t seem to be bothered by racial geographic boundaries and will hold their concerts wherever they can find available space not where they can find other white people. The BPD, however, is a tiger that can’t change its stripes. It will continue to raid in neighborhoods where they have always raided. The only difference between yesteryear and now is that the cops are arresting white people: White people with cameras, white people who are employed with white newspapers, white people who can afford lawyers.

    So everyone, sit back, grab some snacks and let’s see where all this takes us. It should be an entertaining ride, unless you are a city cop.

  • Brad

    Have you ever taken the Baltimore City PD entrance examination? A monkey could ace it.

  • Caitlin

    Like I’ve said before, and will say again, the issue here is that Baltimore City officers can’t make sucessful judgements in terms of what’s happening in Baltimore communities. Half of their resources are being sent to break up a Halloween party on a Saturday night instead of policing areas where we’ve seen violence destroy families and where people are afraid to leave their homes. Thirteen people were murdered the week that they broke up the party at the Broom Factory. There is a lot of discussion about race and class and surveillance here. The fact of the matter is, those thirteen people that were killed the week the Broom Factory was raided, they were shot in neighborhoods that are no where near either of these DIY venues. You can talk yourself in circles about how white kids are upset because we’re getting raided in traditionally black neighborhoods, but the truth is that we’re upset because we know where violence in Baltimore City occurs – and it’s not in Station North, and it’s not near Summa. It’s in the less valued neighborhoods in the eyes of Baltimore City that are being failed by the Baltimore City Police force every day. They are the victims, and they arn’t being protected they way they should be.

  • FTP

    ACAB

  • Sunroof

    It wasn’t mentioned in the article but the cops also confiscated all of the door money meant for the bands. I believe it was around 1,300$

  • bosco222

    Do arrests decrease the violent crime rate? I’d argue and prove that large numbers of arrests do not decrease violent crime So far the Baltimore City Police have made a total of 32,892 arrests in 2013. Yet, the 2013 Baltimore City homicide rate is up 6% over 2012. There is no difference between having the BPD chase people around and arresting them in the Western District or Central Police District other than geographical location. These activities may give a cop tremendous job satisfaction, but that’s probably the only benefit. Large scale nuisance arrests are not a crime deterrent.

  • Scrapple66

    I totally get that photographing newsworthy events is your right as a photojournalist, and that the BPD is pretty much the worst when it comes to transparency and needs to be kept in check. But by not leaving when they asked you to you were hindering the officers’ ability to do their job.

  • Lucius Modernus

    when do we join together in protest and to raise awareness for this bullshit waste of taxpayer money? this aggression cannot stand…

  • clarification

    per the comment above as to “hindering the officers’ ability to do their job”:

    “”we’re upset because we know where violence in Baltimore City occurs – and it’s not in Station North, and it’s not near Summa. It’s in the less valued neighborhoods in the eyes of Baltimore City that are being failed by the Baltimore City Police force every day.”"

  • Scrapple66

    And also apparently the photojournalists as well, if he found this show to be the most newsworthy thing to be reporting about on a Saturday night.

  • Thomas Brown

    Well, there goes the Entertainment District. Wave it bye-bye Mayor Steffy. It’s like the city government and the city police don’t want people to live here in Baltimore. They just want to make sure it continues its slow, but sure decline…sinking into the ground. We pay their salaries. We sign no social contract. They ignore us. They abuse the power we give them. This city is a joke. The world is laughing.

  • Wally Pinkard

    I wonder how much this is going to end up costing the city. There is plenty of real crime in the city that they could actually deal with but I do understand that it is probably much easier to break up a hipster party in Station North than to deal with the real criminals in this city.

  • Thomas Brown

    Baltimore doesn’t have a lot going for it. What it does have is creativity, but these creative types can just move elsewhere. Baltimore is a sh*t-hole. These actions by the police department further enforce a dislike of the police department and city government by the citizens. We pay their salaries. They abuse their powers. It doesn’t even matter if people protest. This abuse of power mentality has deep roots.

  • Wally Pinkard

    I think Baltimore is far from a sh*thole and has a lot going for it. I love livinghere. I do not think that raiding hipster parties does anyone much good, but in many cases the police do a good job.

  • Toshi

    Now, more than ever, America is a Police state. Thanks Obama!

  • Erica

    Brad, have you ever taken it?

  • Erica

    It saddens me to read these articles for a number of reasons.
    1. What has happened to the respect for authority? If a police raid occurs, you better well believe it occurred for a good reason. Questioning authority during such raids only gets in the way of them doing their job, which is for your safety and well being.
    2. Police don’t ALWAYS have to use force or rule with a tough tone. My husband is a police officer and treats ALL people as PEOPLE, with dignity and respect. I’m not saying he never uses force, but does only when it is warranted.
    3. Our city has been run so poorly that people have a general distaste about it’s politics, policing and well being. Sad.

  • actually…

    …this is absolutely newsworthy. i think all of us here on this thread are hoping is blows up way more as it deserves to. if anything, there should be MORE video and photos taken by citizens who have right to videotape the police as they do their duty. the priorities of the BCPD are obviously negligible and undeserving of public funds based on what we know about these events.

  • BaltimoreDave

    As a Baltimore resent who has lived here 20 years, I do not want officers like Sgt.Wlson on our Police force. This is neither protecting or serving.

    In the end, he is likely to cost the city tax payers hundreds of thousands in legal action brought against him, if not in this case, then in another where he again uses questionable judgment and excessive force. He clearly did not case what the USDOJ said about Baltimore’s police in the Share VS BCPD case. http://www.aclu-md.org/our_work/legal_cases/1

  • BaltimoreDave

    I’m’ sorry your wrong and this story has no bearing upon your husband. The BCPD has a track record of police violating citizens rights, so much so the US DOJ was against them in the Sharp VS BCPD. This was also more than a “tough tone”. I do not want police like Sgt. Wilson protecting this city. What happened here was protecting no one, and treated the citizens of Baltimore at the venue with neither dignity or respect.

    That “tough tone” is what makes some people clam up when police really need information to solve real crimes. It’s bad police work and a terrible way of interaction with citizens they are here to protect and serve.

  • Jude I⚡caяiot

    He left and was outside in public taking photos when everything went down. There is no “lawful order” that can make people leave a public area. Unless the cops put up their police line tape or someone is following an officer around, then it’s not a “lawful order” for the cops to tell people to go anywhere. It’s just a BS tactic used by them to be able to arrest people.

  • Jude I⚡caяiot

    I don’t respect the police when they come in “to do their job” randomly. In this case, this guy was legally standing outside, taking photos, and was arrested. That is why I question authority and why you should, too. Too many cops are above the law and the Constitution. I’m glad your husband isn’t one of him… but I certainly hope he does his part to stop the ones who are… Not enough of the good ones do.

  • Jed Weeks

    “If a police raid occurs, you better well believe it occurred for a good reason.”

    This is one of the most laughable statements I’ve encountered on the internet.

  • John

    It’s a known fact that some police depts. actually discriminate against a high IQ. http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/gnxp/2012/01/too-smart-to-be-a-good-cop/#.Unf-y_sljIs

  • sad

    This Fuckin City’s. Run by Pigs. They take the rights away from. All The Kids. Understand It. We’re fighting a War. We can’t Win. They hate us. We hate them. We Can’t Win

  • michaelmhughes
  • JeanClaudeVanHam

    http://abcnews.go.com/US/story?id=95475 – was this a good reason for a police raid?

  • Thomas Brown

    The police don’t “rule” us. They are paid with our tax dollars to enforce the laws. Who makes these laws? Slimey reptillian law school graduates. That’s as far as I can tell. It’s all a mystery.

  • Erica

    It’s not just a written test, it is a multi part test that includes both mental and physical evaluation. The written test may not be the hardest, but the physical sure is.

  • BaltimoreDave

    It was newsworthy EXACTLY for it happening on a Saturday night, given he works for publication that caters to younger people and people looking for entertainment news. You don’t really have much of a point.

  • coocookuhchoo

    I watched the above incident happen from about 10 feet away. I also have a video of Scialom being held on the ground and then escorted away, but unfortunately not of the initial takedown.

    In my opinion, the cops were far more aggressive than necessary, but Scialom is not telling the whole truth here. The cop first asked Scialom to “please clear the area,” to which Scialom replied, “I’m in public.” The exchange was then repeated once more.

    After Scialom’s second refusal clear the area, the cop violently took him to the ground, and then others piled on top while yelling “stop resisting,” like Scialom described above.

    The cops were assholes that night and the whole raid was bullshit. Scialom doesn’t need fabricate his story for that to be clear.

  • Pádraig Pearse

    Cops suck.

  • Steven Krause

    When you lower recruitment standards these are the kind of dummies that you get.

  • Steven Krause

    When you lower recruitment standards and fail to properly screen candidates, this is what you get! About 15 years ago I was in the Cross Street Market with my kids when a Baltimore City police officer entered with his bike. I immediately recognized him. I had fired him in the mid eighties for body slamming a co-worker to the ground. The co-worker had spinal problems and posed no real threat to him. When I fired him I told him that he was a bully and could have put his co-worker in a wheel chair for life. I wonder how he passed the psychological screenings?

  • BaltimoreDave

    exactly. this cop is just trowing anything to see if it will stick. If he was imbedding progress the in vestibule, why wasn’t he arrested there? He wasn’t arrested for suspected pot and they were even prepared to let him go if didn’t claim he was injured. Calling the side walk narrow in lamest reason imaginable to arrest a photojournalist given they were clearing a a safe building.There was no public safety impediment from a fire for example.

  • BaltimoreDave

    the DOJ has said that public has a right, especially the press to photograph police activity. That the cop asked to “clear the area” in an non emergency is bullshit.
    How far of an area? He was in a public space and had every right to be there.

  • coocookuhchoo

    I totally agree with you. I was just responding to the bit where Scialom said the cop took him down without saying anything to him directly.

  • dontmakememove

    Many of us who go to these type of parties only live in Baltimore because of the amazing music and arts scene here, if these raids continue and our scene is not allowed to exist, it would be of great disservice to the city. Not only will many people move away, but it will also stop the influx of creative young people who come here from all over the country. If there’s anything a city like Baltimore needs, it’s talented young people who will start new businesses and families and who add to the city both intellectually and with their tax dollars. It’s very short-sighted of the city to allow the police force to misuse their power this way. It should also be said that none of the raids i have heard of so far have had any official (reasonable) explanation – some of these parties might be on the border of legality, but so are many things (what if the BCPD dropped everything to put all their effort into stopping jaywalking?) Another huge issue is the attitude one is faced with when these types of things occur, me and many others have when – very cordially – asked *why* a raid/shutdown is taking place, simply gotten the answer “shut up or go to jail” – not very constructive, and not a good approach if you want event organizers and patrons to cooperate with you.

  • Robert Williams
  • polka

    Scrapple: Fenton DID leave the building when asked. He continued taking photos on the street, which is public property. Explain to everyone how he was “hindering the officers’ ability to do their job (sic).” I, for one, can’t understand what you mean to say. It seems you did not read the article from your assertion.

  • polka

    Scialom, not Fenton, as I mistakenly wrote.

  • run rabbit, run.

    “The written test may not be the hardest, but the physical sure is.”

    dig that hole; forget the sun.

  • justsaying

    Let’s see if I have this straight.

    The photographer in question doesn’t pay to get into the show. He mingles with friends, and he has some sort of giant styrofoam prop in his hands, which I’m guessing is some sort of “thing” that has meaning to the audience and/or performers. Then, when things start going sideways, he tells the cops that he is a member of the working press.

    Balderdash.

    I can’t say whether the cops were right or wrong here, but it does seem pretty obvious that the author wasn’t acting in a professional capacity, or at least acting like a professional.

    In the future, if you want to be treated like a journalist, then act like a journalist. Don’t be going to shows and waving styrofoam skulls and the like and pretend that you are disinterested, dispassionate observer, which is what a journalist is supposed to be.

  • justsaying

    Sounds good in the abstract. In the real world, however, that’s not how it works and with good reason. If the cops took the time to explain what they are doing and why to every person who asked in any given unfolding situation, they would never accomplish anything. Was this raid justified? I have no idea, but asking foot troops in a paramilitary organization to explain their orders and expecting them to engage in conversation is just plain silly. Doesn’t mean you can’t ask or demand answers at some point, and you are absolutely entitled to ask and receive explanations, but when cops tell you to go there and not stand here, well, you do it and get the answers to your questions later from folks in a position to provide explanations. Heck, the cops that night may well not have known why they were doing what they were doing, they were following orders, which is what they are paid to do. Does anyone really think that the cops would say “Gee, that guy raised a really good point, let’s leave?” To expect cops on the street to engage in policy discussions is like expecting the minimum-wage counter person at McDonald’s to explain the corporation’s strategy for meeting analysts’ revenue projections for the third quarter.

  • dontmakememove

    I disagree. If you’re coming into someone’s house and start demanding things, the very least obligation of the cops is to explain why they are doing something. I don’t want to sound too dramatic, but police action without justification is the norm of a police state, not a democratic society. Furthermore what i was pressing on is the fact that the cops have often been VERY rude and violent in their expression – something that’s only agitating to everyone within the situation. As a civil servant, you have an obligation to the public – as a civil servant that is allowed to exert force, that obligation is ten folded.

  • ThatGuyD

    Doesn’t matter who he is. He’s a fucking citizen and not doing anything illegal. These cops are fucking pricks, end of story.

  • “license and registration…”

    no need to bring journalism ethics into this discussion. you don’t have to “be a professional” or “be working in a professional capacity” to document the police. this has been defended by the DOJ and it’s a constitutional right for people to document police activity.

  • Jed Weeks

    No. Journalists are absolutely allowed to transition out of a participatory role and into a journalistic role when an otherwise non-newsworthy event they are attending becomes newsworthy due to unexpected outside intervention or events.

  • Lika Couponer

    Zeig Heil Officer WIlson. Zeig Heil.

  • CapeCodJim

    Photography is NOT a crime! Here is an awesome website covering these type of events: http://photographyisnotacrime.com/ I have no affiliation with them but suggest contributing to the cause!

  • enkisea enkidu

    She wont question authority because she is above the law since she married an officer.

  • stainpouch

    These guys are slow learners. Perhaps if they pay enough, often enough, they will catch on.

  • Difdi

    They have little to no effect on preventing crimes — most criminals aren’t afraid of police. But if the guy who spent the last three days knocking over five convenience stores is sitting in a cell, he’s not going to be robbing five more over the next few days.

  • Difdi

    The problem is, that to change things the people in charge, enormous egos and all, would have to admit that they were wrong, that their policies are garbage. Won’t happen.

  • Bryan

    Yep, Baltimore City Police need a Massengill! I was arrested and treated like a rat, charged with the same crap! “failure to obey”. If I could have gotten away with it, I would beat each one of them mercifully with a baseball bat, including the ones that stood back and laughed.

  • Difdi

    It saddens me that people are turning from good citizens into Good Americans (much the same as their spiritual brethren the Good Germans did some 70 years ago). When you can look at massive corruption, widespread oathbreaking and a culture of lies and abuse…and all you can think of is how awful it is for the corrupt, honorless liars to have the truth of their existence exposed for all to see…

    THAT is the truly sad thing.

  • Difdi

    If I were to walk up behind you and say words addressed to no one in particular while staring at the back of your head but not doing anything to get your attention while you were busy focusing on something would I have spoken to you, from your perspective?

    Probably not. But from a bystander’s perspective, the answer might be different. Apparently it is different from yours.

  • justsaying

    I didn’t bring journalism into this discussion, the author did. He is the one who is portraying himself as a member of the working press. I am merely observing that members of the working press behave like journalists, not participants in an event. Of course it is anyone’s constitutional right to document police activity. It is not anyone’s constitutional right to ignore a valid police order, and when cops tell you to get out of the way while they’re doing something, that’s a valid order, whether you like it or not. Any lawyer worth salt will tell you that you do what the cops say and let a judge sort it out, which appears to be what will happen in this case presuming charges are pressed against the author. The author says that the cops set on him because he kept taking pictures, but he doesn’t say just what the cops were doing that they feared would become public. It’s worth noting that at least two other people were taking pictures and were not arrested. Certainly, none of the images show the cops beating up anyone or destroying anything or doing anything else that could be construed as illegal, nor does the author say they were doing such things. Were they as kind and polite as some posters here seem to think they should be? Of course not. They’re cops, and you don’t have to be a cop to know that you can’t disperse a crowd by having an encounter session.

    Not that it matters in the scheme of things, but according to the author, he was cuffed after being taken to the ground, but is somehow able to use his cellphone in the paddy wagon while in handcuffs. Huh? Unless he’s Houdini or the cops broke protocol, that’s impossible. Once you’re arrested, you are supposed to be cuffed with hands in back, and that’s the way you stay until you get to jail. Ask anyone who has been arrested.

    Again, a judge will sort this out, but I’m not sure I’ve seen anything here to indicate that the cops did anything other than disperse a crowd and arrest someone who didn’t get out of the way when so ordered.

  • Difdi

    And that’s why police are becoming less and less effective in the real world. It has ALWAYS been known that effective policing is impossible without the cooperation of the community.

    When police take the time to be Officer Friendly, talk to people and explain things, they get the job done. When they decide to be Officer Jackboot, it might be quicker in the short run but in the long run it alienates the community and lowers cooperation until police cannot do their jobs.

    At the very least, the police need to explain why it is lawful for them to go onto private property and start barking orders. Do they have a warrant? Who knows? The police refused to say. Resisting a lawful order is a crime but it’s not illegal to ignore an UNlawful order. If the police have no legal authority to do what they are doing, all of their orders are unlawful. If they refuse to explain why their orders are lawful, then tons of people can get into legal trouble for obeying what they think the law says (and what it would say, if the police lacked the warrant they refuse to talk about).

  • Difdi

    Wrong.

    He was allowed in by the gatekeeper of the venue, who did have the authority to do so. He didn’t scale the back fence or sneak in through a window, he was allowed in by someone with authority to do so. Your attempt to paint him as a trespassing scofflaw has failed.

    He then mingles in a way that doesn’t make people immediately think “spy/outsider”, as part of reporting on the party, since it’s his job as a reporter to do exactly that. When the cops come he tells them the absolute truth — that he is a member of the press. Your attempt to paint him as a liar has failed.

    The real balderdash here is the absurd idea that you cannot be a reporter unless you are a dispassionate drone. That IS a popular journalistic style, but it’s not the only one. And hey, last I checked even reporters have freedom of expression!

  • coocookuhchoo

    The cop was standing directly in front of him. The cop told the photographer to clear the area. The photographer responded to the cop. The cop told him to clear the area again. The photographer responded to the cop again. Then the cops tackled him.

    This is a pretty dumb thing to argue. The cops were all dicks and should have had better things to do; we can all agree on that.

  • justsaying

    Actually, the police do have a legal right to tell you to move, even in a public space, if such movement is needed to accomplish an objective. The witness here (coocoo-whatever) says that the author was told, twice, to move and did not before he was arrested. “I’m in public” means absolutely nothing in terms of justifying failure to obey a police order. Think about it: If that were true, then anyone could ignore darn near any police directive anytime they wished. That the author writes that he felt he was safe once on the sidewalk and this witness says he told the police essentially the same thing indicates that the problem here may well be ignorance of the law, which is no excuse.

  • legalpanther

    He was a member of the working press. Just because he was a participant does not mean he was something other than a member of the working press. This happens all the time, a member of the press is doing something on their own personal time when a newsworthy event occurs in the journalist’s presence. Photo journalists always seem to have a camera on their person for this very reason. When it happens, the journalist removes his participant hat and places on his journalist hat. He certainly was a member of the working press, there is no denying this fact.

    As to whether it was a lawful order, I do not know, I was not there. But not all orders that an officer gives are lawful. You do not have to obey an unlawful order.

  • larry

    BCPD does whatever it wants and will tell you they do whatever they want

  • larry

    did you see the Atlantic ity police beat the crap out of a white boy then let the dog chew on him for 200 stitches

  • larry

    on what grounds

  • larry

    moron , this has nothing to do with Obama

  • larry

    BCPD are incompetent and corrupt and treat people like dirt

  • larry

    wonder if he is abusive like a lot of cops

  • larry

    the cop was wrong , he can stand in public an dtake pictures

  • larry

    or the police could use that as an excuse anytime they wanted like they do now

  • larry

    always Failure to Obey or Loitering

  • justsaying

    According to what I’ve read, he is a freelancer. It is not clear from the story whether he was assigned to cover the event or not–based on the presence of at least one other CP employee, I made an assumption that he was on assignment. That may or may not have been correct. If he was on assignment, then he should not have been behaving like a participant. If he was not on assignment, then he should not have identified himself as a member of the working press given than he is not a CP employee–otherwise, anyone who was ever paid by a newspaper for a photograph would be able to claim working press, regardless of whether they had a contract or agreement to cover an event. You are right: Journalists who work fulltime for a given publication sometimes fall into newsworthy events while on their own time and turn into working press at a moment’s notice. But freelancers? Unless he had a contract with CP to cover the event, then he’s not working press. He’s a bystander with hopes of selling some pictures, nothing more, nothing less.

    You are also correct that you don’t have to obey an unlawful order, but you do so at your peril–again, it’s best for a judge to sort that out. But, really and truly, mince through the hyperbole here and what we’re left with is a guy who didn’t move after twice being ordered to move and no evidence of precipitating police misconduct or, given the fact that other people took pictures and were not arrested, desire to cover up anything.

  • William_C_Diaz

    There is a level of intellect that should automatically qualify you for handicapped parking… Both tails of the distribution face significant challenges, lol.

    Have a great day!

  • justsaying

    Huh?

    How did I attempt to paint him as a trespassing scofflaw? Due respect, but you appear to be jumping to a lot of conclusions here, so let’s be clear. If you are a member of the working press assigned to cover an event, then you either pay admission or make prior arrangements. You don’t figure it out at the door. There has been a suggestion that he was at the event on his own time and became a member of the working press when the cops showed up. That argument fails, I think, because he does not hold a regular job as a journalist with CP or any other media outlet, insofar as we know. He is a freelancer. The distinction is important because he says that he told the cops that he was working for CP, with the implication being that he should have been afforded courtesies normally extended to the working press. As I have said, unless he was assigned by CP to cover the event or got a regular paycheck from the newspaper, he was a bystander with a camera and should not have identified himself as working press.

    I didn’t mean to suggest that reporters must be dispassionate drones, so let me reiterate. If you are a journalist assigned to cover a party/concert, then you watch the party/concert, talk to folks, take some notes, or, in the case of a photojournalist, observe and take photos of the party/concert. You do not join in or become part of the party. Otherwise, what you risk ending up with is a bunch of drivel along the lines of, “Wow, man, you shoulda been to last night’s show, the most awesome-est thing ever! Everyone was partying their ass off!” when what readers want to know is, what songs were played, how long was the set, was the sound mix right, etc., all stuff that takes a fair degree of concentration and detachment–in short, work. You can’t be a partygoer and a journalist at the same time. Now, if the event was really good, fantastic–the story can be filled with passion buttressed by facts. But if it sucked, then you need to say so and why–which can be awkward when someone let you in for free.

  • William_C_Diaz

    MLK by Camden yard is a fine example of differential policing, its clear to see which side is which…

    Have a great day!

  • William_C_Diaz

    It isnt the waste of money that makes this story significant.

    Have a great day!

  • justsaying

    Oh. So you were there and can definitively say everything that happened?

    Thought so.

  • Chris

    I like that the story is very detailed. Not going to be good for those p!glets

  • Chris

    Technically yes, but technically no. Yes he can stand in public, but technically if a cop gives you an order you’re supposed to follow it. I don’t agree with that 100%, but it’s a crappy situation all the way around.

  • Chris

    Respect for authority? If it were a raid…wouldn’t they get the people out first?

    Ohh nm…I was going to type up a long winded response but you just ended that with the “my husbands a cop” nonsense. Of course you feel that way…you have someone close to you that does the same job.

  • http://readagoddamnbook.blogspot.com/ M’ris

    Do doctors stop being doctors when they’re off duty? When a situation arises while they’re off duty, while they could be of assistance, are they supposed to sit around and do nothing? Or clear the way with a “hey, I’m an MD, i’m off the clock now, I could help but I’m not being actively paid so I guess my skillset doesn’t apply here”?

    Why would a journalist stop being a journalist when there’s suddenly a story to report on and document, even if it’s not on their schedule or during their working hours?

  • alphamale11

    The only time I knew it to be safe there was when Baltimore St was run by the mob who wanted no nuisance problems or problems of any kind. Like Vegas use to be. Then it fell to the thugs to run the departments and the senior officers who were use to being paid off. I have heard it said that the police forces don’t want anyone with an IQ higher than 100 and personally I have never found any reason to question that.
    Now we have the chicken or the egg question.
    There was a time when Cops walked a beat. They knew everyone one on that beat from the hooker to the preacher. Street corner justice, of course, in full view of the neighborhood. Funny thing, if you had it coming, there were no hard feelings on either side. And if a cop got a bit heavy handed, a talk with his sergeant cured the problem. But of course there came a time when the cops said it was too dangerous to walk a beat alone. Or so they said. And that is the way it became.
    Damn I am glad that I am old and live in the country and don’t have to worry about this kind of sh-t any longer.

  • Jim Strathmeyer

    You have to wonder when the journalists will stop consistently sticking up for all the dirty cops. Will we have to wait until they are all individually assaulted? Your profession is the only one that can do something about this.

  • StanSki

    Welcome to the New World Order full of sadist pigs whose wormy brains delight in making you and the rest of us suffer. I’m surprised someone hasn’t walked into a police station with an AR or blown one up here in the States. It is way past due if you ask me.

  • Bumper

    Strong Backs and Weak Minds.

  • upset citizen

    Baltimore city police are scumbags and gang bangers. We should get rid of all of them and start from scratch.

  • legalpanther

    A freelance photo journalist is still the working press. Just because he sells his photos and stories to those who will pay the highest price, does not diminish his role as a journalist.

    You are correct. He did not obey two orders to move. However, even if that were cause for arrest, there is no reason to take him to the ground in a violent manner.

    What disturbs me most is the thought behind the following sentence: “You are also correct that you don’t have to obey an unlawful order, but you do so at your peril . . . .” Though I may be reading more into this than what was intended, but it seems this is advocating just following the order, even if unlawful, in order to avoid some inconveniences. Some will do this, but others should not. We need people to stand for they feel is right and take the risks. For if people do not take risks, we are all potential victims of what totalitarian state that failure to challenge would bring. You are correct in that a judge should sort it out, now that he was arrested, but he most likely should not have been arrested in the first place.

  • Bassack Obassa

    “Stop resisting!”
    Let me guess, you weren’t resisting. That’s a dirty trick used by police to give other officers the impression you’re resisting. Then, of course, they all jump in to “help.”

    Hindsight’s always 20/20 but what might have worked better was to say you were not injured, wait a day or two, then go to the station and file a complaint against the Sergeant. Not that anything would’ve come of it, but Internal Affairs is required to investigate and they can’t arrest you for complaining about their conduct (in that manner). You could have then said the officer pressured you to say you weren’t injured under threat of arrest. Even though you were arrested in the end you can still do all of this, but the arrest will be a blemish on your record.

  • ThatGuyD

    No, but being a bartender for years and attending many many parties over the years in and around Baltimore I can speak with some sort of authority on cops being cocks right from the get go 8 times out of 10.

  • Polterguest

    fuck you, you goosestepping cunt.

  • Barnadine_the_Pirate

    At least as related in the paper, there was no lawful order to disobey. This sounds like BS that will be stetted or nol prossed once a prosecutor gets it. The cop doesn’t care. His point was to hurt you, ruin your night, and cost you money. Many cops are just bullies, and many, when faced with a choice of de-escalating a situation so that everyone goes home or escalating a conflict so they get to abuse and humiliate people, opt for the latter.

    Having said that: when the police lawfully shut down an unlicensed impromptu cabaret, they have no legal obligation whatsoever to tell the customers why they are being told to leave. One can question whether this is the best use of police resources (probably anyone who lives near the club and doesn’t want the crowds and noise that late would argue that it is) but there does’t seem to be any dispute that the event itself was unlawful.

  • http://clintjcl.tumblr.com/ ClintJCL

    You missed his point and responded to something that wasn’t what he said.

  • http://clintjcl.tumblr.com/ ClintJCL

    So what was the “good reason”, asshole?

    Oh, I see. You suck cops’ cocks, so you’re biased.

  • http://clintjcl.tumblr.com/ ClintJCL

    Hopefully