Welcome to the United States of Fascism

So now, according to cops in Philadelphia, you cannot use your cellphone to take a picture of something that is happening in plain public view if that view happens to include police officers arresting someone. Notwithstanding the fact that the kid was on his own property at the time of the arrest

Cell Phone Picture Called Obstruction Of Justice because, you know, taking pictures of the cops beating the shit out of a perp obstructs their ability to mete out street justice. Though, to be fair, in this instance, they were merely arresting a drug dealer and the kid wanted a photo of it.

The kid, according to the cops, broke a new law that prohibits people from taking pictures of police with cell phones. Which is pretty well squarely aimed at preventing people from documenting abusive cops so as to sue the hell out of them for police brutality. And without phot or video evidence, its much harder to prove that the police have behaved in a brutal and unnecessary fashion.

Strangely, the story doesn't mention anything about it being illegal to take photos of the police with a regular camera. Which he could have done from inside the house where they wouldn't have even known he was there.

"There is no law that prevents people from taking pictures of what anybody can see on the street," said Larry Frankel of the American Civil Liberties Union. "I think it's rather scary that in this country you could actually be taken down to police headquarters for taking a picture on your cell phone of activities that are clearly visible on the street."

It is not only the right of the people but it is incumbent upon the people to make sure that the police and other officials are not overstepping their authority. And photo documentation of those abuses is paramount to these checks and balances.

Taking away the tools by which we the people secure our rights is yet another step on the road towards Happy Cheneyland, that is, fascism.

Tags: , , , civil liberties, violation