See Video Below
By Frank Gormlie / OB Rag
A video by a guy on the Mission Beach boardwalk who was being given a citation for smoking a cigarette has gone viral. The incident involved Adam Pringle who refused to shut off his cellphone while videoing the San Diego police officer – and now Pringle’s video of part of the incident has sparked a conversation that has gone national over the rights of people using the video on their cellphone (or other cameras).
Pringle – from Escondido – was smoking a cig on the boardwalk at Mission when he was approached by San Diego Police on bicycles. As the officer began writing up a citation, an infraction, Adam Pringle began using his cell phone to video the officer.
The officer then asks Pringle to shut off his cellphone. Pringle refuses – saying it was his right. The officer asks him at least one more time – and Pringle continues to video the officer.
Pringle then told the press that his cellphone was then slapped out of his hand and then tackled to the ground by the same officer who was writing the ticket. He was then arrested for disorderly conduct.
This was three weeks ago. Since then the video has gone viral, the debate has been reignited, Pringle got his confiscated cellphone back – and his lawyer has filed a claim against the City of San Diego for a violation of first amendment rights.
The basis for Pringle’s claims that his first amendment rights were violated is being supported by the National Press Photographers Association – who has also filed a complaint against the SDPD. The photogs’ group has a public position that sees when police confiscate cellphones because they’re seen as a weapon is a unconstitutional effort that violates the First Amendment.
Pringle has yet to be charged with anything by the City Attorney’s Office as they apparently haven’t decided exactly what happened. The police say they are conducting an internal investigation into Pringle’s complaint. A complaint like this is usually a formal part of the procedure prior to filing an actual lawsuit.
Pringle’s lawyer, Dan Gilleon told 10News:
“It’s a ticketing scenario and he had every right in the world to be videotaping this. It’s actually an important thing for society that this filming happens. It allows public debate.”
Another case from Florida that has also been in the debate had the police deleting images from a confiscated cellphone before returning it. [News source: 10News ]
Here’s Pringle’s video: