Last week we reported that several states have banned the video recording of police officers in public. As if this wasn’t enough, we now learn of an incident Texas where a police officer actually entered a person’s home without permission and then arrested the man because he took a picture of the officer as evidence of the illegal trespassing:
According to the lawsuit (PDF), Sgt. Justin Alderete of the Sealy, Texas, police department arrived at the home of Francisco Olvera in October, 2009, apparently responding to a noise complaint. Olvera had been playing music on his computer speakers while working outside on his patio.
The sergeant asked Olvera for identification. When Olvera went inside his home to grab his ID, Sgt. Alderete followed him inside. Believing the officer didn’t have a right to enter his home without permission, Olvera picked up his cellphone and took a photo of the officer. At that point, the lawsuit states, Alderete accused Olvera of “illegal photography” and arrested him.
Olvera was charged with “loud music” and “public intoxication” — the officer had seen a beer can on the kitchen table, the lawsuit asserts.
In January, Olvera was acquitted of all charges.
source: Raw Story
It is our opinion that police officers should be held to higher standards, and if necessary, prosecuted for violating the rights of ordinary citizens who did nothing wrong.
The officer entered the home illegally and should be held accountable under criminal law for this. He then arrested this man for not just taking a picture, but public intoxication in a private residence.
That makes absolutely no sense. Chances are, the officer knew that the charges would eventually be dropped, but he decided to play the superiority card and give this person a hard time.
He should be punished for this, not just by being placed on administrative leave, termination or civil penalties, but criminal penalties as well.