Here’s the thing: It’s all well and good for Mayor DeStefano to state that it is perfectly legal for citizens to record on-duty cops in New Haven. But if New Haven police are permitted to arrest and jail—and if prosecutors are permitted to charge and convict—citizens for doing precisely that, it pretty clearly isn’t legal, by any definition of the word.
It’s also about damned time that cops who delete citizen-shot video that may incriminate them or their colleagues get the same punishment a citizen would get for doing the same thing. They can’t play dumb with the “Gosh, if the videos aren’t there, you must have never taken them” excuse this time. The police report clearly states that Luna was arrested for “taking pictures” and “filming”. The bumbling cops then inadvertently provided photo evidence of their tampering with Luna’s phone. Luna should take the phone in to see if the videos can be recovered, and if it can be discerned when they were deleted.
As it stands, the only person to suffer any consequences in Luna’s case is Luna, the one party who, according to the mayor and chief of police, didn’t do anything wrong.
WTF is going on in this country? Seriously, people.