Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Ft. Worth Police Officer tries to trample on my liberties - says "You can't take pictures." What?

I was driving through my neighborhood in West Meadowbrook early one Saturday morning and noticed yet another crime scene at an East Lancaster bar in City Council District 8, East Ft. Worth. Stopped and spoke with some neighbors who were looking over at the scene. I asked what happened, they told me someone was murdered. I drove around to take pictures so that I could post it here on Morning Coffee, Evening Wine blog site. I got out of my car and started snapping shots to prove that no matter how much Mayor Pro Tem Kathleen Hicks and the leaders of West Meadowbrook Neighborhood Association like to ignore the fact that this neighborhood is crime filled, crime does happen here more than any other Council District in this great City of Fort Worth! The Fort Worth police officer says, "Hey, what are you doing, you can't take pictures, this is a crime scene!" I said, "Yes, I can, what law says I can't! What is your badge number?" Since I live, and own a business, in one of the worst areas of Fort Worth, I deal with the Fort Worth police force probably more than any of you reading this blog post. I see the side of the Department that not many see. I feel it is my duty and purpose to report what I see and experience. It is wrong for any police officer to abuse their power and I have seen it more than once or twice and everytime I see it, it makes me wish that my business could afford the luxury of a manager so that I could run for office and speak up for the taxpayers who pay the salaries of the entire police force and who continue to elect people to office who aren't doing their jobs well. No matter what people call me, I think the truth should be dealt with in an effective, open, efficient manner. It Fort Worth politics, I feel the truth is hidden, covered up, ignored and unspoken. I did report this officer and to my knowledge, the officer has been questioned and taught a lesson.


Anonymous said...

The next time you get upset at a Police Officer for doing his job, you may want to educate yourself on the law. If you take a picture of a crime scene, that picture and your camera can be confiscated, since photos of a crime scene are considered evidence. And yes before you ask, it has happened. The Officer was merely guarding the crime scene, and I am sure it was not a personal attack on your civil liberties.

Suzette said...

There is no law that states that I cannot take pictures of a crime scene. The Fort Worth Police Officer who told me "You can't do that," was wrong. We can take pictures.
We disagree on this one.
Thanks for reading and thank you for commenting.

Anonymous said...

Sure you can take pictures of a crime scene. If you are the POLICE PHOTOGRAPHER! That's just like saying that you can take pictures of a barbecue in my backyard when you were not invited. You do NOT have the right to intrude on my privacy or the investigation of a crime. You merely being there could contaminate the crime scene. Just who the heck do you think you are? Are you THE most entitled person in Fort Worth?

Suzette Watkins said...

If I am standing in my front yard, I can take pictures of the house in front of me all day long. If I am on the roadway and I pull over and take pictures of the buildings or fields along the roadway, there is no law against it -- I can do that all day long. I don't think that I am 'anyone' except for, a citizen that is entitled to my rights of life, liberty and pursuit of happiness. You don't have to have a special license to take pictures of crime scenes. Tell me what you see on the nightly news...pictures of crime scenes -- there is no special permitted needed to obtain those photos. My rights were trampled on -- the FWPD apologized and agreed with me, that what took place was wrong. Thank you for continuing to read Morning Coffee, Evening Wine Blog site and voicing your comments. I am going to agree to disagree with you on this issue.

Darren O. said...

Dear Suzette-
I was doing a search on abuse of power by Ft.Worth Police officers, and came across your blog and this article. I had something similar and more extreme happen to me on this past Wednesday evening. I contacted Internal Affairs and was told a Sergeant would get back to me. The woman on the phone refused to give me her name or even a comp/conf. #. I called Internal Affairs again this morning and they told me I would have to come in person to file a report. I plan to do so, but am concerned and unsure of how to proceed from here. I have attached an email I wrote up just an hour after the event.

I am exhausted, but here is my email and a brief synopsis of what happened tonight. Approximately 8:57 pm Officers S-----n and St--- responded to the third complaint I called in about harrassment and threats by a neighbor of mine at 5**** B******* Avenue #in Ft. Worth, TX. From the moment Officer Sh***** came to my door he treated me in a hostile manner and belittled my complaint. I knew this officer would frustrate and intimadate me so I excused myself and asked my partner, J. to please deal with this officer. I went to get a notebook and a pen to keep record of the situation because I wanted to keep record of any report I made as this was the third time I had called the Ft. Worth Police about this situation without any resolution. This seemed to anger Officer Sh***** and He became verbally abusive and threatening at this time I used the cellphone that was clearly in my hand to both officers to take a photo of the officers as I felt the situation was escalating. Officer Sh***** rushed inside my home, grabbed my phone out of my hand, threw it to the ground, and body slammed me to the couch in my living room. At this time Officer St*** came in and tried to diffuse the situation as I am almost certain He knew this was a blatant abuse of force and completely misdirected as I was the citizen calling for Police support for my situation for the third time that evening. Officer St*** came in and tried to calm me down and cover for Officer Sh***** I appreciate that he was there as I feel Officer Sh***** would have continued to abuse his power and oppress me with some misdirected sadistic power trip.
D***** O******
I no longer have a cellphone as Officer Sh***** destroyed it. Luckily My neighbor allowed me to use her phone to call internal affairs and then you Chris. Please help us in any way you can. I have been the victim of violent attacks several times in my life, but I refuse to accept the treatment I received by an Officer I called to protect me and my Partner. Thank you!

I didn't put in my full name or the involved officers. I am leaving my email address (praying I don't get any hateful or threatening responses)in the hope you could refer me to any sources or agencies locally that could be helpful. Thank you!