Abused by the Big Island Police and Arrested for Taking Cell Phone Pictures and Camera Photos

I went to Pahoa Village Club to cover the concert that was happening there last night and ended up with a lot more then I bargained for!  I got arrested for taking pictures and videos of cops arresting people!

I will be filing a lawsuit against the Hawaii County Police department soon for a few things tomorrow…

Mainly the police have now confiscated my camera and cell phone as well as roughing me up and locking me up in a police detention holding cell for taking video and pictures of them in action from the sidewalk in front of Pahoa Village Cafe.

People are allowed to take pictures and videos of police officers w/out getting roughed up.  I’m battered, bruised and bloody from an officer slamming on the sidewalk… Thankfully I have eyewitnesses that will come forward to say what happened.

My wife took pictures shortly after I was released from jail tonight…

I just want my cell phone back and camera back…. I was rolling video when the officer took me down and they took my cell phone and camera from me for “Evidence”.

LAWSUIT PENDING…. STAY TUNED!

*UPDATE* I’ve added pictures of my body wounds here: http://damontucker.com/2011/08/06/a-police-officer-brutalized-me-and-arrested-me-for-taking-pictures-pictures-of-my-body/

36 Responses

  1. Hey Damon, what was the resolution to all of this?

    • No resolution as yet…. although the Prosecutors Office dropped the criminal charges against me.

      • Damon,
        While researching the law in regards to filming police in Hawaii, I discovered this incident. I was wondering if you could provide an update for 2013. Hope you were able to successfully address this grievance. Aloha.

  2. Hey Damon, Saw you on the news tonight. I hope you get better soon. Wes

  3. Are you a kanaka maoli? If not, I can still add the names of those who did wrong to you as a citizen on the Genocide Activities file that I’ve been assigned to.

    My name is Amelia Gora, Acting Liaison of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of Hawaii, and although there are more than 40+ Hawaiian governments, ours is posted on the Washington DC, Whitehouse.gov website see: http://www.whitehouse.gov/assets/formsubmissions/54/c1dc2d2b35964f0392b21da2d9b05b42.pdf glad to assist. aloha. email: hawaiianhistory@yahoo.com or Attorney Dexter Kaiama cdexk@yahoo.com

  4. [...] to a post on his popular Damon Tucker’s Blog, ”the military have now confiscated my camera and dungeon [...]

  5. http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/42/usc_sec_42_00002000–aa000-.html

    http://codes.lp.findlaw.com/uscode/42/21A/I/B/2000aa-6

    Don’t forget these Federal Laws. They make the police personally liable. Sue in Federal Court also.

  6. everyone laughed at Councilman Greenwell when he said he was standing up to the police to prove things weren’t quite right with all of them. seems he’s vindicated by this, which is sad.

  7. Dear Damon & Family, I really enjoy your blog and I am sorry to hear and see photos of this. I hope you recover, body and spirit.

  8. [...] allegedly assaulted Damon Tucker, a prominent Big Island blogger, on Friday night. He was arrested (and assaulted) while he was taking photographs of the police arresting people at a Pahoa [...]

  9. Damon – you have them on assault and robbery charges. Like Keoki said, call Michael Green. This guy knows what he’s doing.

  10. Yes, please sue them and keep us updated (I came here through PINAC).

  11. There are NO laws against taking photos or videos of police, just as there are no laws against taking photos or videos of people in public places. It is our right to do so, covered under our Freedom of Speech.

  12. Shit bro … Super sorry to hear about this! Really, really sorry. Look forward to the updates…

  13. Why were they bothering you? Such a nice guy…don’t they have better things to do? I want to here the entire sequence of events because this is bizarre!

  14. Damon-

    Call immediately attorney Michael Green’s office at (808) 521-3336.

    With the pictures and a doctor’s documentation of injuries, this case is tailor made for Mike.

    Call the office and try to book an appointment.

    If you have trouble getting past his receptionists who answer the phones, tell them I sent you. I’ve heard it worked for others who wanted an appointment and had trouble getting past the “gate keepers” who answer the phones.

    Good luck.

  15. Like the military, police are thugs drunk with power. If we don’t stop them, guess what happens: they’ll arrest ya for distributing healthy, organic, raw foods. Yes, it has happened:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qgeM7bBCWP4

  16. [...] is not a crime. Big island blogger Damon Tucker is reporting that he was subject to police harassment and arrest for the simple act of photographing police conducting arrests in his home town of Pahoa. [...]

  17. I encourage you to fight this for all our sakes. Big Island police don’t exactly have a good reputation for treating people nicely and I would think that they wouldn’t want to make things worse. Unless you are obstructing the police it is NOT illegal to photo or video them on public property.

    All charges were recently dropped in the Emily Good case, now she plans a lawsuit:
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/06/28/emily-good-charge-dismissed_n_886405.html

    Another good blog, “Photography is Not a Crime”:
    http://carlosmiller.com/
    Also this Photographer’s Right pamphlet:
    http://www.krages.com/phoright.htm

    Good luck!

  18. Shame on them! They think they are above the law!

  19. That is really too bad the militarized police syndrome has reached moku o keawe. They pretty much got the green light to do whatever they wanted to people since the global banking syndicate with their nazi state intel staged 9/11 falseflag and cracked down on the last of the people’s liberty. In a way it is good they are showing their hand too early locally as they will be easily and soundly spanked in court by the public. There is no sovereign immunity for this brutality syndrome at levels below federal. I was hoping our braddas in da police force would remember the aloha spirit involves respect for citizens who want transparency about government and its agents incl. police who ideally will remain as peace officers not the new nazi gestapo of miliitarized police who can make their own rules and step on anyone’s toes.

    Of course there is a big difference between federal nazi cops and locals, and that is the fact that the county cannot print funny money like the Fed, they gotta borrow and when they cannot balance the budget it would seem like a bad time for the county cops to be running up adverse judgments bankrupting our little municipality. But ya know to protect your inalienable rights perhaps you just gotta drag those mofos into court and let the people decide who is right and wrong. Don’t make any deals and take this to the jury. The county will settle with you on the courthouse steps on advice of counsel since they are completely bogus here and risk a helluva alot if they take it to the brink. Lose money fo dem.
    The moral of the story is you local cops no can get away with what the federal gestapo does in the CIA, FBI, Pentagon etc and you cannot do what they do in Iraq to us in Hawaii. And the reason is you county do not have the money to do this because you cannot print it like the federal government. Please take note and restore the peace. In all the militarized training of local cops being fed down from the top in the phony GWOT stance, they should have explained that if you act like they do in Iraq here and you are county you do not have the backing of the Fed’s funny money. Once those lawsuits hit it will all be clear. I hope this nips the syndrome in the bud on our island.

  20. I will pray for you, Damon. You certainly don’t deserve this!!

  21. That’s just crazy. Don’t they have anything better to do, like Crystal Meth maybe?

  22. Suggest getting to a doctor right away and have report and pictures taken.

  23. I sent Shannon’s forward to me of your blog on this – plus this letter – to each County Council member…

    What is going on??? This is not acceptable…
    Esta Marshall
    Honaunau
    328-2400
    – Show quoted text -

  24. Damon,
    Glad you are out.
    Obstruction of Government Operations?
    ouch!
    Orwell must be chuckling in his grave.

  25. Keep us updated.

  26. Oh Damon, I am so sorry to hear this happened.

    LOVE, Mom

  27. Are they crazy?
    How many Police were there?

    First off, do they know you are a journalist?

    And second off, do they know you are also a Federal Employee?

    Time to call up Brian Delima.

    This is so BS… are there any laws or court cases here about citizen’s rights to record Police activity?

    Did they charge you with interference?

    This sucks – I am sorry that this happened to you.

  28. Holy crap! I remember years ago when you got hassled for taking a photo outside a PO. I bet your lawyer is going to tell you NOT TO SAY A WORD on your blog lest you… I dunno’… lawyers always tell you never to say anything.

  29. The way I look at this is if they erase the pictures and video they have no evidence of you taking pictures and if they leave everything in tact you have evidence of them assaulting you. Now you have to be careful that the camera and phone don’t show up as broken in the scuffle.

    The Lack

  30. Wow,

    Damon, were you asked to stop taking pictures?

    The Lack

  31. What was the (or was there an) alleged violation/offense the officer cited when you were arrested? Did you have to post bail?

    • Obstruction of Government Operations (Section 710-1010) No bail… but it was weird being held in a jail cell. I have court on September 8th.

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