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Citizens' right to record crimes could land them in court

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Updated: 12/13/2013 9:56 pm
ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. -- A controversial maneuver by a law enforcement officer has locals concerned. Witnesses are calling it a UFC-like takedown or a body slam of a 70-year-old driver.

"I wouldn't call it a body slam," said Retired Special Agent Ron Wirth, who sees it differently and said he can't tell if Kathleen Allegrone was thrown or not. "What a bad time for those people to walk in front of the camera because you lose all context for a couple of seconds, for exactly what happens in those few seconds where she moves from the car to the ground."

Allegrone appeared to be resisting, during her December arrest, a red flag for law enforcement.

"Officers are trained in all their training, whether it be FBI, state enforcement, city law enforcement, to affect the apprehension, affect the arrest with the least amount of force necessary," he said.

Witnesses would argue that the least amount of force is the opposite of what the officer used on the woman.

The entire ordeal begs the question if officers are trained to treat anyone differently, regardless of age.

"No, they're trained to treat everyone exactly the same," said Wirth.

After Allegrone hit the ground, another officer almost immediately asked the witnesses to stop recording.

We wanted to know if that's illegal and what rights citizens have in these situations.

"You want to be careful about taking pictures of something, of videotaping something, because you may find yourself in court testifying about something that you think you know a lot about, but aren't sure exactly what happened," he said.

We're told if that witness refuses to share the video with law enforcement, they can be subpoenaed.
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The views expressed here do not necessarily represent those of Action News Jacksonville

RetiredJSO - 12/15/2013 8:35 AM
1 Vote
If you see something involving the Police and you decide to video tape it, there is no problem and it is your right, but be prepared to testify in court if your video is used. It is your right and obligation. Without your testimony the video can not be used.

imtellin - 12/14/2013 5:44 AM
2 Votes
typical of the feds,, retarded or not !!! to caution folks about videotaping something, because you may wind up in court ??? what horse manure !!! all the evidence the courts may need, is already out there... so to try to scare folks from taping recording publishing police actions is ludicrous... this fool must have been a proponent of homeboy security !!! they'll remove our rights to keep us safe from ourselves ???? what rubbish !!! the old fool must really need that fed pension to keep espousing the company line !!!!
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