Videotaping Philadelphia Police–legal rights and repressive reality

Even a top cop concedes a right to video arrests – but the street tells a different story

September 03, 2011|
BY JAN RANSOM, ransomj@phillynews.com

TAMERA MEDLEY begged the police officer to stop slamming her head – over and over – into the hood of a police cruiser.

Thinking they were helping, passers-by Shakir Riley and Melissa Hurling both turned their cellphone video cameras toward the melee that had erupted on Jefferson Street in Wynnefield, they said.

But then the cops turned on them.

Riley had started to walk away when at least five baton-wielding cops followed him, he said, and they beat him, poured a soda on his face and stomped on his phone, destroying the video he had just taken.

Meanwhile, two officers approached Hurling, urged her to leave and, after exchanging a few words, slammed her against a police cruiser, Hurling said. They pulled her by her hair before tossing her into the back of a cop car, she said. Continue reading