Sunday, July 30, 2006

Cell Phone Picture Leads to Arrest

Cruz, 21, told the NBC 10 Investigators that police arrested him last Wednesday for taking a picture of police activity with his cell phone.

Police at the 35th district said they were in Cruz's neighborhood that night arresting a drug dealer.

Cruz said that when he heard a commotion, he walked out of his back door with his cell phone to see what was happening. He said that when he saw the street lined with police cars, he decided to take a picture of the scene.

'I opened (the phone) and took a shot,' Cruz said.

Moments later, Cruz said he got the shock of his life when an officer came to his back yard gate.

'He opened the gate and took me by my right hand,' Cruz said.

Cruz said the officer threw him onto a police car, cuffed him and took him to jail.

A neighbor said she witnessed the incident and could not believe what she saw.

'He opened up the gate and Neffy was coming down and he went up to Neffy, pulled him down, had Neffy on the car and was telling him, 'You should have just went in the house and minded your own business instead of trying to take pictures off your picture phone,'' said Gerrell Martin.

Cruz said police told him that he broke a new law that prohibits people from taking pictures of police with cell phones.

'They threatened to charge me with conspiracy, impeding an investigation, obstruction of a investigation. … They said, 'You were impeding this investigation.' (I asked,) 'By doing what?' (The officer said,) 'By taking a picture of the police officers with a camera phone,'' Cruz said.

NBC10.com - Local News - Cell Phone Picture Called Obstruction Of Justice

Very nice. Goodbye civil liberties.

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