Jonathan Turley reports on yet another instance of a police officer arrested someone and seizing their camera for filming them making an arrest, using the ubiquitous “disorderly conduct” charge and a transparently ridiculous rationale for why they had to do it.
Andrew Henderson not only had his camera taken from him by police in Little Canada, Minnesota but he was charged with violating the the federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) by filming officers responding to a call.
Henderson, 28, was filming Ramsey County deputies arresting a man when his camera was confiscated by a deputy, Jacqueline Muellner, who suddenly announced “We’ll just take this for evidence.” She also warned Henderson that “If I end up on YouTube, I’m gonna be upset.”
Henderson says that he later went to the police station to retrieve the camera and found that it had been erased. He was then charged a week later for obstruction of legal process and disorderly conduct, both misdemeanors. Notably, the deputy recorded on the citation, “While handling a medical/check the welfare (call), (Henderson) was filming it. Data privacy HIPAA violation. Refused to identify self. Had to stop dealing with sit(uation) to deal w/Henderson.”
As Turley notes, HIPAA does not apply here at all. It applies to the handling of someone’s health care data by doctors and hospitals. It’s time to start charging these officers with an illegal arrest. If there aren’t consequences, it’s never going to stop.