Ready, Aim Shoot: Stand Your Ground – With Your Smart PhonePosted: February 25, 2014
“…it’s up to each and every one of us as free Americans. Do your civic duty: Take out your smartphones, America, and stand your ground for freedom.”
As the Sun-Sentinel reports, 33-year old Brandy Sherling was stopped by a Broward County, Florida sheriff’s deputy for a minor traffic violation. When she told the officer she was recording the conversation on her smart phone, he demanded she give him the phone and told her (erroneously) that she was committing a felony by recording him. The argument went on for over four minutes. Finally the officer pushed Ms. Sherling from her car, twisting her arm and spraining her wrist in the process. She spent a night in jail—but was never charged. Now she’s suing. Good for her.
[See also – 7 Rules for Recording Police]
Oh, not because she’s going to get a ton of taxpayer’s cash from Broward County. Because she shows us the way we Americans will ultimately protect our freedom and civil rights in a nation where the desire for security now trumps the Bill of Rights.
From the NSA sweeping up metadata to local police scanning license plates, the authorities believe they have carte blanche to surveil us. So as they spy on us, we have a civic duty to return the favor – just like Brandy did with her smartphone.
You see, the only real safeguard we have against this new wave of creeping, technology-driven totalitarianism is to expose the abuses, and create tidal waves of public outrage. The surveillance community instinctively understands how powerful and deeply ingrained our distrust of government “security” runs, even in red states. Justice Scalia, certainly no liberal, penned the 2012 Supreme Court opinion in United States v. Jones, which found the warrantless use of GPS auto tracking devices violated the Fourth Amendment.
In spite of this Supreme Court ruling, the Department of Homeland Security went right ahead with a national license-plate tracking proposal that was even more sweeping in scope. It was only after the public uproar following media reports about the plan that DHS was forced to beat a hasty and undignified retreat. They didn’t even feign a pretense of national security; they just said, in effect, “Oops – our bad.”
So it is clear that only “We the People” have the power to rein in overzealous intrusions upon our constitutionally guaranteed rights. Every time we pull back the curtain on the government voyeurs, they are forced to back down—and quickly….
- “I Know My Rights:” Woman Jailed After Filming Traffic Stop (heritage.org)
- Edward Snowden’s Moral Courage (noliesradio.org)
- Poll: What does Sherles v. SEIU Local 1000 mean? (sacbee.com)
- Stand your ground with your smartphone (640whlo.com)