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Red light camera footage used to locate driver involved in crash

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Updated: 9/08/2013 3:28 pm
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- According to local criminal defense attorney, Chris Carson, the Flagler County Sheriff's Office's use of red light camera footage for help locating a driver involved in a crash is like opening Pandora's box.

The Flagler County Sheriff's Office released video surveillance of a white car crashing into a red light camera pole on Moody Blvd in Palm Coast. It's not the video itself but rather where they obtained it and how they're using it that is raising questions.

In a press release to Action News, the Flagler County Sheriff's Office stated "video footage of the incident was obtained from a second red light camera."

"While it's not illegal I would say there are certainly some big policy reasons why I think that's a scary precedent to set," said Carson.

According to Carson, the Flagler County Sheriff's office may be blurring the lines between what the red light cameras were intended to do and what they're actually being used for.

"Do they deserve to be punished? Maybe. Should they be? That's a different question because once we start down that path, who's to say we will stop at just simply criminal prosecution?" said Carson.

Carson says it all comes down to a matter of privacy.

"It's a very slippery slope to start treading down. Unfortunately in the criminal world a lot times the initial erosion of privacy rights starts under the guise of protecting people from crime," said Carson.

According to Carson, if the person behind the wheel is found and decides to fight back it could potentially be the first time in our area that a case like this is litigated before a judge.

Action News did reach out to the Flagler County Sheriff's Office for comment but our calls were not immediately returned.
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The views expressed here do not necessarily represent those of Action News Jacksonville

eviltwinmorgan - 9/9/2013 7:48 AM
1 Vote
I cannot wait until cameras really are everywhere. So what if they can see into my house. Watch me dump or pick my nose. They already see me in front of my computer!

wishmistress - 9/8/2013 2:32 PM
1 Vote
kjab, you are naive. Also, have you never heard of Google Earth? Plus, police have the technology, and in some places, to use heat sensors at will. They can see you walking around in YOUR HOUSE. NOT a PUBLIC place. Nobody faults catching the 'bad guys'. Just hold your breath.

Realchange - 9/8/2013 11:18 AM
2 Votes
News flash privacy doesn't apply behind closed doors anymore either. Many the drones will be equipped with infra red technology. Additionally look up decisions by the Supreme court stating police now days do not need search warrants. Also some of us are old enough to remember when China and Russia started doing this people laughed and said that only works in police states. Except now some people are saying give up your liberty for security. We know how that turns out.

kjab2179 - 9/8/2013 10:15 AM
2 Votes
go to any other major city in this country & some around the world & they have surveillance cameras on the streets, not just red light cameras, you are on a PUBLIC street, you are not in your own home, police around the world have been using video surveillance & camera footage for YEARS to solve crimes, it's the same principle as pulling video footage from a store when it's robbed.....common sense people, if you are in PUBLIC, PRIVACY laws do not apply, you are in your own home behind private closed doors..........

Gunny48 - 9/8/2013 6:36 AM
1 Vote
In this case I don't have a problem. If a child was kidnapped, etc. we'd want ALL available assets used. This time it's justifiable but I certainly can see the potential for abuse.

Realchange - 9/8/2013 3:59 AM
1 Vote
Government reading our emails and chat rooms activities. TSA Agents virtually stripping you. Street camera's on every corner. Drones being authorized to perform surveillance on people at will. Police being allowed to knock and enter homes without warrants because they "heard" something. Yes they will catch few criminals from time to time, but will they ever return your rights? Welcome to the new age of electronics mind your place or else. No one wants criminals getting away with serious crimes, but the problem is no privacy of any kind is left at all nor any true freedom.

wishmistress - 9/8/2013 2:01 AM
2 Votes
( "It's a very slippery slope to start treading down. Unfortunately in the criminal world a lot times the initial erosion of privacy rights starts under the guise of protecting people from crime," said Carson. ) Persactly correctomundo! The question is...Are we surprised?
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