It wasn't long afterwards when I had the answer in the form of the so-called "PATRIOT" Acts One and Two.
This morning- I came upon a commentary by columnist Leonard Pitts via The WICHITA (KS) EAGLE titled "Why do police object to cameras?"
In his column- Pitts tells us of people who have been threatened and actually assaulted by the police when taking videos of police actions on public streets- even from private property.
Incredibly- Mr. Pitts also tells us that there are 3 states (he doesn't name them unfortunately) that actually have laws that makes YOU the criminal if you video police actions.
I have experienced this incredibly unconstitutional behavior by police first-hand.
It was in September of 1990 in Raytown MO- when a terrible head-on crash happened in front of a brothers' house in the 7300 block of Blue Ridge.
Another brother who was visiting from California- the brother who lived there and myself rushed out and rendered aid.
One driver had died and the other driver- intoxicated and pinned in her car- was badly injured.
We tended to the badly-injured driver using my EMT training until emergency help arrived.
I assisted the lone Raytown fire truck driver- pulling a reel line from the truck and assisted the medical helicopter's landing in the middle of Blue Ridge.
After all of that- and all the victims had been removed and taken away- I went and got my 35mm camera gear and stood in the front yard of my brother's house to take some photos of the scene.
It was then I heard a female Raytown cop screaming at me- I was NOT allowed to photograph the crash scene from private property or I would be arrested!
The half-dozen residents who had come out to witness the incident looked at the Raytown cop in amazement (not to mention the obvious look of shock on MY face!).
I told her that I had assisted in working the scene- and that I was taking the photos from PRIVATE PROPERTY- but that did not matter to the female officer.
She practically got in my face and repeated it loudly- I WOULD BE ARRESTED.
I ended up taking a few photos from my brother's back deck anyway- talking loudly that I was doing so- but the female cop didn't pursue the matter any further.
A lawyer later told me I should have continued trying to take the photos from my brother's front yard and got arrested.
Unemployed at the time- the cash I would have received from suing the Raytown Police would have probably set me up for the rest of my life.
You can bet that if something like this ever happens again- I WILL stand my ground (rights).