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Citizen surveillance prevails in Oregon civil suit

Published by Jennifer on October 18, 2007 7:49 AM

Frank Waterhouse had a major victory against the City of Portland when he was acquitted of charges of criminal trespass and disorderly contact. Now, he and three others are suing the Portland Police department for damages, claiming the police violated their constitutional rights when they tried to film a property search in May 2006. See video from Waterhouse's camera inside....

Waterhouse and three others were video taping a police manhunt on May 27, 2006 when things got ugly. A counterpart passed her camera to Waterhouse after being told by the police to stop recording, and he retreated off the property, only to be told repeatedly by a female officer to turn the camera off. Waterhouse refuses, at which point he is tasered and shot repeatedly with rubber bullets, and arrested on the aforementioned charges.

Watson was acquitted by a jury and now is engaged in a civil suit with the Portland Police. Surveillance footage in hand, Waterhouse is hoping to make a point to the Police - that it's his right to videotape. Citizen surveillance, also called sousveillance, is becoming more and more popular as recording technology becomes lighter and cheaper. Sousveillance, like video surveillance, gives ordinary citizens the power to prevent injustice and right wrongs on their own - and Waterhouse is out to prove that sousveillance and citizen surveillance is as important as the security cameras that schools, stores, and even police, use everyday.

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