10/2/2014

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Woman says cop robbed her of her rights after taking phone

Woman says cop robbed her of her rights after taking phone

PORTLAND, Ore. – A police officer confiscated a woman's phone after she recorded them making an arrest in Southwest Portland.

Carrie Medina said she's recorded more than 10 arrests in the past to keep police accountable, including during Occupy Portland and anti-NATO protests in Chicago. But she's never experienced what happened Tuesday afternoon at Southwest 6th and Broadway.

Minutes after she began recording, a Gresham transit officer can be seen in the video walking over and demanding to see her phone so he can check for evidence.

On the video, Medina questions the officer's request, but he tells her he doesn't need a subpoena to search her phone for evidence of a crime.

"Ma'am, do you want to hand me the phone or would you like to show it to me?" the officer asks.

"I don't want to show you ...," Medina begins to respond. At that point the officer snatches the phone from her while it is still recording.

"I was not there to interfere, I was not there to intervene, I was not there to yell at them. I was just there to quietly watch," Medina said later during an interview. "He assaulted me. It was an illegal seizure of my property. It was a violation of my First Amendment right to be able to film. It was a violation of my Fourth Amendment right – the seizure and illegal search of my property."

Medina said off camera the officer grabbed and twisted her arm and threatened to arrest her if she didn't show him how to view her video.

She'd like an apology, but she said she really wants police to know the law.

A spokesperson for the Gresham Police Department told KATU News officers are not supposed to seize phones used on public property but declined further comment Wednesday night.

Correction: A previous version of this story incorrectly referred to the woman who had her phone confiscated as Cassie Medina. Her name is Carrie Medina.

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