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Newport Police publicly chastise 3 black youths, order me to stop filming

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Published on Jul 29, 2010

In 2006 the Berkshire Advisors Group completed an in-depth study of the The Newport RI Police Department. Their conclusion was that the NPD was a "highly dysfunctional organization".

http://www.cityofnewport.com/city-man...

http://badcopnews.wordpress.com/2006/...

At a follow-up standing-room only city council meeting in October 2006 residents of Newport gathered to address this dysfunctional agency and to voice their continued harassment by members of the NPD, as the Newport Daily News wrote in an article:

"When two Newport residents complained about the department's lack of sensitivity in dealing with minorities, and even alleged some racial profiling, McKenna listened and said the department would try to do better in responding to complaints."

It has been 3+ years and Chief Michael McKenna has done nothing to address the multitude of problems plaguing this corrupt organization. This video is just one example.

I was walking to a store in the busy Brown/Howard Wharf area. It was a sunny, clear summer evening with tourists strolling by, and parents walking with their children in strollers. This peaceful scene of a beautiful vacation destination was suddenly disrupted when I saw this scene: NPD members standing over 3 black youths, a German Shepherd police dog in the background, an officer yelling, pointing, and swearing at these kids (why were these kids on the ground while the white females were allowed to remain standing?). Several people walked by and their expressions of disgust at the officer's actions prompted me to start filming.

The video is shaky for the first few minutes but I did not want to edit it out because the audio is very important. listen as the officer, later identified as Anson "Muzzy" Smith, screams "Don't be a wise-ass!!", and "....it's all big-time...". Watch as his attention is drawn to me. I am on private property...filming...well within my legal rights. He orders me off the property with no legal authority to do so. He then goes to grab me so I decide to leave because I have seen and experienced what members of the NPD will do, but still even as I walk on the public sidewalk he comes toward me again telling me to leave.

Is this a positive image to promote tourism in Newport?

More good reading on the topic of filming police in public:

http://www.time.com/time/nation/artic...

http://www.cato.org/pub_display.php?p...

or this (where many police officers endorse a citizen's right to film):

http://www.policeone.com/legal/articl...

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