Connecticut police pulled Michael Picard over at a DUI checkpoint, and could find nothing to arrest him for, but after hastily slapping down a cell phone camera which Picard attempted to film with, and then illegally confiscating it, the police inadvertently incriminated themselves, without ever realizing the device was still recording when they took it back to their patrol car.
The ACLU is now suing the Connecticut Police Department for fabricating retaliatory criminal charges against Picard. The police department has yet to comply with an internal investigation against the troopers who were recorded discussing how to trump up charges against him.
Remarks made by the police officers include, “Let’s give him something,” as one trooper declared. Another offered, “we can hit him with creating a public disturbance.” “Gotta cover our ass,” remarked a third.
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) complaint states:
“This suit challenges the actions of three Connecticut state troopers, who, acting under color of state law, detained, searched, and charged Michael Picard for protesting the government. . .”
Picard maintains that DUI checkpoints are unconstitutional and a waste of tax-payer money. He is also well known by the police because he has done public records investigations to find that for every two man hours put into a check point, it yields just one minor traffic citation—almost always for defective equipment.
During the police search of Picard, it was theatrically announced that he had a gun, though he is legally within his rights to do so in Connecticut. He was also told by one officer that, “taking his picture was illegal.”
The ACLU complaint against Patrick Torneo, John Jacobi and John Barone continues,
“. . . The defendants also energetically interfered with Mr. Picard’s right to receive information when they confiscated his camera and made efforts to prevent him from recording their illegal acts with his cell phone. Through their actions the state troopers violated Mr. Picard’s rights under the First and Fourth Amendments to the United States Constitution.”
Not only did Picard have a registered, active permit for his legal gun, but his requests for an internal investigation of the police officers has continued to be ignored.
Additionally, with criminal charges against the officers pending, someone from the police department repeatedly called Mr. Picard and asked him to come in and give a statement to them, without his criminal defense lawyer. Eventually his lawyer called them back and said, “don’t you ever call my client again. You have to talk to me.” This did not deter them from trying to get a statement from Picard, illicitly.
There have been a number of accounts detailing police corruption lately, but this time, ironically, the police recorded themselves acting in such a blatantly illegal manner.
Featured image: ACLU Video
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