The Latest Police Scam for Confiscating Your Cell Phone

Witnesses upset over Antioch arrest, police confiscating cellphone videos |

A second witness ABC7 News spoke to says officers began confiscating cellphones from anyone who shot video of the incident. An officer asked for his cellphone after he shot video and the witness said, “Then he took my phone anyway because I didn’t want no problems. He emailed the incident to his phone.”

The first witness said, “They didn’t take no for an answer apparently because they pulled one lady out of her vehicle to get it, and she wouldn’t give it up and they were about to arrest her and finally they let her go because I believe she gave it up.”

However, a third witness told ABC7 News he was ordered to erase his video. So he did. He said, “They were being kind of controlling, like demanding, ‘erase your phone’ and they were trying to take people’s phones away.”

The American Civil Liberties Union says police officers may not confiscate or demand to view your digital photos or video without a warrant.

Antioch police told ABC7 News in a statement, “If a person is not willing to turn it over voluntarily, an officer can sometimes seize the device containing the video. The police would have to get a search warrant to retrieve the video from the device.”

I think the police need a warrant to seize the phone, period.  I’m especially angry about the woman facing either giving up her phone or getting arrested, because I’ve been in that situation myself, long ago, when I refused to allow a cop to search my car, so he arrested me (without telling me what the charge was), and then told me he had a duty to search my car, because I’d just been arrested and he had to make sure there was nothing dangerous in my vehicle.

Our cops are out of control.  Their “trained drug dogs” are trained only to give them excuses to search cars.  They beat and kill people in situations that would put a normal citizen in jail for life.  They act first in whatever way they wish, and twist the law later.

And the statists who run our government like it that way.  Otherwise, it couldn’t go on.

In the meantime, the cops in California claim they can seize your cell phone without a warrant for filming them.  For evidence.

About Bill Quick

I am a small-l libertarian. My primary concern is to increase individual liberty as much as possible in the face of statist efforts to restrict it from both the right and the left. If I had to sum up my beliefs as concisely as possible, I would say, "Stay out of my wallet and my bedroom," "your liberty stops at my nose," and "don't tread on me." I will believe that things are taking a turn for the better in America when married gays are able to, and do, maintain large arsenals of automatic weapons, and tax collectors are, and do, not.


The Latest Police Scam for Confiscating Your Cell Phone — 7 Comments

  1. The arrest at Contra Loma Boulevard and Buchanan Road was recorded by multiple people,…

    Given the ubiquity of smartphones these days, what would probably do the trick is if anyone and everyone in the vicinity of the brutality caught as much video as possible, of the initial arrest and the officers behaving like assholes. The more cameras the merrier. The police are unlikely to be able to round up all of the amateur videographers.

  2. Not just an exercise in futility but, until they are really force you to turn off the camera, it is a video of how they are breaking the law themselves rather than just filming them breaking the law.

    IOW up to the point when you are filming them may not have been breaking the law (though their intent may have been to do so), once they ask you to turn off cameras and then threaten violence, they now have broken the law.

    The police that are bad know full well when they are going to step over the line. I am almost certain they go after cameras BEFORE they intend to do their worst.

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