Airport Security, Occupy Wall Street, and your Constitutional Rights

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Government Scanning an Innocent CitizenDuring the Holiday season, most of us will find ourselves traveling through airports to visit friends and family. Unfortunately these trips also result in unwelcome frisks, detentions, pat-downs, x-rays, and every other imaginable way that the government can walk the line between your right to privacy and their right to invade your privacy.

Every time I walk through security I am reminded of a case a year ago where a man was trying to record the activities of the government on a handheld videocamera. The man had previously spoken with officials to determine where he could lawfully stand to record the activities. Of course, the government took an entirely different stance when the man actually started recording.

After a few minutes of recording, the government decided that the man’s activities were illegal. They approached him and told him to turn off his camera. When he peacefully told them that he would not, they forcibly took the camera away from him. They then tackled the man, gave him a few punches for good measure, handcuffed him, and took him away. Following an interrogation, he was charged with assault on a peace officer.

The man was dragged through the court process and lost his job, but he rightfully fought the charges. At the beginning of the process, the State refused to acknowledge that the man ever had a video camera. After a vehement fight, and a judge forcing them to do so, the State made his video available for viewing by the Defense.

At trial, the man played the video, showing him acting peacefully and civilly. He simply stood in an area where he was allowed to stand, recording, in an area where he was allowed to record. And the government looked like total animals, beating an innocent man. Obviously, the man was found not guilty by a disgusted jury.

Three Police Officers beat an innocent Girl at an occupy Wall Street Protest in NYCYou have to wonder why the government continues to abuse its power time after time, destroying the lives of its citizens, and embarrassing itself in front of the eyes of America. These results are playing out every day in the courtrooms across America and especially with regard to the innocent people at the Occupy Wall Street protests around the nation, in Colorado, and especially in California. Fortunately, the courtrooms have ruled on the side of the citizens and the Constitution, in most cases. But why should we make our citizens go through that?

I have heard people say that protests always result in the lowest common denominator, ending in violence. It seems to me that the lowest common denominator, time after time, tends to be the police and the government officials who decide to end the peaceful protests by breaking people’s skulls, pressing charges, and ruining their lives. This Christmas, I will remember who is naughty, and who is nice, and I will make sure to vote accordingly.

The information in this post is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice or as the creation of an attorney-client relationship. For legal advice, please contact an Attorney.

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Nathaniel has worked in criminal law on both sides of the aisle spending time working for the prosecution as well as the defense. Most recently Nathaniel has represented individuals in violent felonies and drug cases. Prior to this work, Nathaniel handled DWIs, Domestic Violence Cases, Property Crimes, and White Collar Crimes. On the prosecutorial side, Nathaniel has most notably worked in Bosnia helping to prosecute individuals who committed war crimes and crimes against humanity in the Bosnian War from 1993-1995. In particular, Nathaniel helped in the prosecution of military leaders who arranged for the organized murders and rapes of innocent civilians in various towns in Bosnia. Nathaniel is a graduate of the University of Texas School of Law, Northwestern University, and Phillips Exeter Academy. Google Profile: Nathaniel Baca