Is it a crime for a child to take a photo of a cop handcuffing her father?

Houston Criminal Defense Lawyer, Mark Bennett, posted yesterday regarding this story from Johnson County Tennessee, where Sheriff’s Deputies have been arresting people and confiscating iphones after pictures are taken of the cops in public.

This reminds me of a West Virginia case I am dealing with right now where a man videotaped the police shooting tear-gas grenades into his home. The police then broke down the door, shot the man with a taser, and attacked the man with their k-9. Then the guy was dragged off and thrown in jail. Guess what the charge was? Murder? Kidnapping? No, he was alleged to have made a harassing phone call. Guess what happened to the video and the video camera? The cops seized it with the consent of the prosecuting attorney – and it has yet to appear or to be provided to the defense. The problem is, that the 911 logs prove that the officers found it, and called the prosecutor requesting permission to seize it. Do you think they could be holding out until after the statute of limitations runs on a civil lawsuit? Or do you think they “misplaced” it somewhere in the evidence room?

So for those of you who think that law enforcement corruption in West Virginia is a conspiracy theory, please see the above paragraph. It exists. If any State or Federal investigators are at all interested in this case, please feel free to contact me and I will provide you with all of the particulars. But I won’t hold my breath with respect to the State, since they would be the ones getting sued. And I suspect the feds are too busy to worry about West Virginia. Like they say, “if you investigate one case, everyone else will want their case investigated as well…,” and that could take a while.

– John H. Bryan, West Virginia Attorney

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