Thursday, July 14, 2016

Devante Hill, Warrants weren't a Problem for Congressman Cohen

Devante Hill, front line in Baltimore, Maryland

The breaking news in Memphis, TN today is Minister, Devante Hill.  Hill, is a young African American activist, being credited with organizing a Memphis protest that shut down the bridge connecting Tennessee to Arkansas, this past Sunday.

He is also currently being detained for an active warrant.

Devante Hill speaking with local news reporter
after dropping off school supplies
A concerned citizen took the liberty of searching Hill's name in a warrant database.  Hill had two active warrants (one of which has been dismissed prior to this story).

Hill went to the courthouse to clear up the matters and is now being detained on one active warrant.

Hill's "criminal activity" has presented itself as a grand opportunity to discredit his involvement in the #blacklivesmatter movement and even has some people calling into question the Interim Police Director and the Mayor of Memphis.

How can someone, with active warrants, help shut down a bridge and then walk arm and arm with the police director and not be detained?

My question is, how can this young educated man, with warrants, who is clearly involved in activism, stand on the front lines and expect not to be detained?

The answer is, clearly, he must not have known.

And do we honestly expect that the Mayor or the Interim Police Director would have asked everyone they encountered Sunday night for their name and then proceed to look them up in the warrant database before engaging with them?

Or how about Tennessee's own Congressman, Steve Cohen?

According to the "Memphis Flyer", when asked how he felt about Sunday's demonstrations, Congressman Cohen stated he was proud of his summer intern, Devante Hill, and his involvement with the peaceful protest.

How could such a criminal get the praises of your elected official, let alone a summer internship with your local government?

If you're going to call into question the Memphis Mayor and/or the Interim Police Director, then also give your Congressman's office a buzz too.

Let's put our critical thinking skills to good use.  Should one man's plight speak for an entire global movement?

According to the Commercial Appeal, Devante Hill, won't let recent threats or the handling of his active warrants deter him from the issues at hand.

What about you?

Do you think Hill should remove himself from the front lines?  Do you think Interim Police Director, Michael Rallings, should have known Hill had warrants?

Does the recent news of Hill's warrants make you feel less supportive about recent protests?

Leave your comments below and share this article on your social media.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Restrictions on Police Body Cam Footage : What it Means to You

The Governor of, North Carolina, recently signed a bill restricting access to Police body cameras and dash cam footage.  North Carolina isn't the only state that has done so.

With this bill in place, Police dashcam and body cam footage is no longer public record.  Which means this type of footage is now CONFIDENTIAL information, therefore the public will not be entitled to view it.  Just like the information you share with your doctor and/or lawyer is secret information between only you and them, the same will be true for police footage.

Under North Carolina's new law, only individuals that can be seen or heard in the police footage, or their representatives, can request to view it.  There is no guarantee that their request will be granted.  Before the request is granted these factors will be taken into consideration:

• If the disclosure would reveal information regarding a person of a "highly sensitive personal nature";
• If the disclosure "may harm the reputation or jeopardize the safety of a person";
• If disclosure would create "a serious threat to the fair, impartial, and orderly administration of justice"; and
• If withholding release is necessary to protect an active or inactive investigation, criminal or internal.

Governor, Pat McCrory, stated, "if you immediately release a video, sometimes it distorts the entire picture, which is extremely unfair to our law enforcement officials.”  He signed the bill stating that it would promote "uniformity, clarity, and transparency".

What this means for you is, if there is an officer involved shooting or incident in North Carolina, or any other state that has enacted such laws, you may not want to hold your breath waiting to see the police footage on social media.

What this means for you is, if you have the unfortunate opportunity to be involved in an officer involved incident, in North Carolina, do not immediately rely on the police footage to be released to you or your representative.  In the event you are denied release of the footage, based on the above considerations, be prepared to go before the Superior Court with your request.

Do you think the above considerations lean in favor of one involved party over the other?  Is favor fair?

Do you think these type of laws promote police transparency, why or why not?

Civilians still have the power to use their personal cell phones for recording purposes.  Do you think regulation of personal cell phone footage will be next?

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