In what truly is a newsworthy event, the sheriff of King County, Washington, John Urquhart, has actually fired an officer for threatening to arrest a photojournalist taking pictures of him making an arrest and then lying about it. And he firmly supports the right to record the police:
King County deputy Patrick “K.C.” Saulet has been fired for threatening to arrest me last summer, when I was photographing several officers on a downtown street corner, and then lying to investigators about the incident, says King County sheriff John Urquhart.
The termination is effective today.
“You have a constitutional right to photograph the police,” Sheriff Urquhart asserted in a phone interview with me today. Threatening to arrest a citizen for legally taking photos of cops while on public property, he added, “is a constitutional violation, as far as I am concerned.”
Incidentally, my friend Radley Balko praised Urquhart for his decision on Twitter and he replied, “Thanks for the kudos. Your book is required reading for my command staff.” That’s a really good sign.