Video: Should This Photographer Have Been Charged with “Contempt of Cop” Crimes?

Comments

1
What a joke. The only question is how much money will Shimek get after the charges are dropped and he files a claim for damages?
2
> “There’s nothing retaliatory,” Walls says.

You expect anyone to believe that, Walls??

> “Basically this case is being treated like every case that comes across my desk."

I sure hope these words are part of your letter of resignation.
3
Time for a law that explicitly states that private citizens are allowed to photograph and record any public official who is on official business at any time. No exceptions.
4
Heidi wrote, "Shimek now faces charges for both obstruction and resisting—charges, he says, that he never deserved in the first place"

Nobody deserves charges. I suspect what you meant is that Shimek has been accused of both obstructing (what?) and resisting (what?), and that he believes his actions were not violations of the law.

Should this photographer have been charged with something? Yes, if the prosecutor believes there is good reason to suspect him of having violated one or more laws. Otherwise, no, of course not.
5
@4 It's Sydney! Obstructing law enforcement and resisting arrest.
6
@5: Oops. I don't yet know the new Strangers well enough to attach notions of particular people with your names when I read your words.

Back to the topic at hand: Does it seem, based on information available, that Shimek committed either of the acts of which he was accused? Do you suppose people around here understand the legal prohibition of "obstruction" well enough to avoid violating the law? Should we punish people for doing something when most of us can't even put it into words?
8
Really @7. Did you learn nothing from this?

http://slog.thestranger.com/slog/archive…
10
Next time you hear police referred to as "Badasses" or some other macho shit, just remember this or any one of the hundreds of trumped up charges of Obstruction, Resisting Arrest or Assault on a Police Officer that we've seen in the news over the past few years. I have honestly never heard of a bigger group of crybabies.
11
Someone please refute Ken's assertion @7 that we live in a police state.
13
I believe we live in a place where in effect, the law is what police say it is, and I think we should fight that every chance we get. I think it's worthwhile to ask people to focus on the issue of whether someone is reasonably suspected of having violated the law or not rather than focusing on whether a cop, a prosecutor, or anyone else believes that the person "deserves to be charged."

The fact that the question Sydney posed is accepted as reasonable suggests that people are accustomed to the idea that police and prosecutors decide when people should be punished--something that is largely the case but should not be. Why are we talking about whether he deserves to have the wrath of our justice system brought upon him instead of whether he did something wrong that deserves punishment?
15
I believe we live in a place where in effect, the law is what police say it is, and I think we should fight that every chance we get. I think it's worthwhile to ask people to focus on the issue of whether someone is reasonably suspected of having violated the law or not rather than focusing on whether a cop, a prosecutor, or anyone else believes that the person "deserves to be charged."

The fact that the question Sydney posed is accepted as reasonable suggests that people are accustomed to the idea that police and prosecutors decide when people should be punished--something that is largely the case but should not be. Why are we talking about whether he deserves to have the wrath of our justice system brought upon him instead of whether he did something wrong that deserves punishment?
16
I am a journalist in the Burien area and have had multiple encounters with Hall over the last few years. I have never once had any kind of problem with him. In fact, on a number of occasions he has walked me through taped off areas to allow me to get better photos. Whenever possible, Hall has given me in-depth interviews on crime or accident scenes.

Because of that, I find this man's account to be very unlikely. I could believe this would happen in Seattle but the fact is that the Burien Police department just doesn't have a history of this kind of interaction with the community.