There’s a piece in today’s NY Times [reg required] that describes how amateur video helped get a few people off who were falsely charged during the RNC protests last year. The real story is how the cops, in at least two cases, completely lied and fabricated evidence.
“We picked him up and we carried him while he squirmed and screamed,” the officer, Matthew Wohl, testified in December. “I had one of his legs because he was kicking and refusing to walk on his own.”
During a recess, the defense had brought new information to the prosecutor. A videotape shot by a documentary filmmaker showed Mr. Kyne agitated but plainly walking under his own power down the library steps, contradicting the vivid account of Officer Wohl, who was nowhere to be seen in the pictures. Nor was the officer seen taking part in the arrests of four other people at the library against whom he signed complaints.
The last bit about the officer not being present to make the arrest doesn’t surprise me. When I was arrested, I was basically assigned an officer to make my arrest. There were so many of us corralled together on the sidewalk, they just peeled us off five at a time and delivered us to the next available officer for processing. For most of us, our arresting officers could not have witnessed (and therefore truthfully testify) about anything that we may or may have not done as they weren’t even present during the alleged infractions. Yay for cheap video cameras and people who aren’t afraid to use them.