HIPAA, lies and videotape
Back in 1991, the American public saw something that it had never seen on the news before. There before our eyes was a video taken by a private citizen of several police officers beating a man by the name of Rodney King. The police were later acquitted, touching off the LA riots.
In the next 20 years, it has become more commonplace for people to record the actions of the police. It has become easier as cameras have become smaller, giving citizens not just still cameras, but the capability to record video on their phones. More and more people are watching the police, and the police don’t like it.
In Little Canada, Minnesota, 28 year old Andrew Henderson saw some police activity outside his apartment and went outside to video it, as he usually does according to him. This was in October, 2012.
Sheriff’s Deputies were loading a man with a bloody face into an ambulance, when one of the deputies approached Henderson and grabbed his camera. “We’ll just take this for evidence,” [Deputy] Muellner said. “If I end up on YouTube, I’m gonna be upset.” The audio was captured on his phone.
He tried to get it back, but the Sheriff’s office kept denying him his property. When they finally gave it back to him, Henderson claimed that someone had deleted the video from his camera. The sheriff also charged him with two misdemeanors: disorderly conduct and obstruction of legal process.
According to Henderson, he was 30 feet away, and deputies never warned him to get back.
In the citation, [Deputy] Muellner wrote, “While handling a medical/check the welfare (call), (Henderson) was filming it. Data privacy HIPAA violation. Refused to identify self. Had to stop dealing (with situation) to deal w/Henderson.”
This is where it gets really absurd. HIPAA laws do not apply to Henderson. He is not in the health insurance business, and he is not in the medical profession. He did not know, or transmit the identity of the man in the back of the ambulance, or any of his personal information. That’s what HIPAA is intended to protect.
So, the Sheriff’s Deputies came up with a bogus charge because they were pissed off that someone was videoing them. That’s absolute bullshit. The court system has already affirmed that the police can be recorded doing their jobs in public places.
That’s how we combat the police state. The State is watching us, but we are starting to watch them right back. They may have drones, but we have the boots on the ground. They want warrantless wiretaps, we don’t need no stinking warrants.
But the ACLU won’t help this gentleman out (though I think that as this spreads, they will have a sudden change of heart). He is going to court and defending himself, which is a bad move. The prosecutor will have a field day.
It just seems like more and more cops are trying to throw their weight around, and that’s the police state.
A Chicago news station ran a piece on the parking violations of Chicago police officers. The day after the piece ran, all of the staff at that news station had tickets on their cars.
The police are forgetting the “Protect and Serve” part of their creed. They don’t like being watched by us, but they have no problems watching us without our knowledge.