Dispatches from the Creation Wars

Remember the guy who was arrested for “unlawful photography” for taking a picture of the police making a traffic stop? This blog has more details on the case, which goes to trial this week, including an interview with the guy who was arrested, Scott Conover. Turns out there’s quite a history of police harassment here. Long excerpt below the fold:

It won’t be the first time he’s faced off against the Johnson County Sheriff’s Office in court.

“A couple of years ago, we had problems with the sheriff, so we sued them and settled out of court for an undisclosed sum,” he said.

But the problems started even before that, after he witnessed deputies beating a man in front of the restaurant/bar he owns.

“They beat the shit out of him,” he said. “The guy’s lawyer came back and took witness statements. When the statements made it back to the sheriff’s department, they came by and asked me why I was getting involved.”

Not long after that, deputies started staking out his business, Jammers Rocking Road House, which he said is modeled after the Tiki Bar in Key Largo.

“They were wolf-packing my customers,” he said. “They would lie and wait for them to leave and then pull them over to see if they had been drinking.”

Conover struck back by suing them.

When he pulled over to take the picture of the officers that night, it was because they had pulled over one of his bar patrons. He knew who they were, knew that the wife, who had not been drinking, was driving while the husband, who had been drinking, was in the passenger seat.

When they arrested Conover, his 12 year old daughter started taking pictures and they threatened to arrest her too. The blog post contains those pictures as well. Here’s my favorite part:

At the jail, Conover asked McCloud if had ever heard of the First Amendment.

“He then turned to me and said, ‘I’m charging you with disorderly conduct’.”

Thirty minutes later, after McCloud had left the jail – and had time to think of what other charges he could come up with – he called the jailer and added another charge against Conover; pointing a laser at an officer.

The problem is, the IPhone does not even emit a laser. A local TV station even aired a segment where they proved the phone did not emit a laser, Conover said.

Sounds like we have a police officer who should be brought up on charges of filing a false report. I can’t believe this case has gone forward. What the hell is the local D.A. thinking?