Both found via the ever-excellent Boingboing.net, first off here’s yet more evidence demonstrating the shift of approach in Uk policing, particularly the Met, towards the inappropriate use of their extensive powers of search and arrest. Basically, a tourist taking photos of architecturally interesting places in London was commanded to delete all the photos, and had his details taken “to prevent terrorism”. His letter to the Guardian is at the bottom of this page, and the accompanying article is here.
A point to note is that, if you are stopped and searched by the police, they must give you a copy of a form detailing why you were stopped. I sincerely hope that Herr Matza has his copy, and that it does say what he alleges the police informed him: that photographing transport in London is forbidden, as the Met have commented that they know of no such law currently in place.
Meanwhile, in the US, a patrol stop goes South when the man stopped invokes his Fourth Amendment rights to refuse a search. Granted, there is a motor vehicle exemption to the Fourth Amendment that states, given probable cause, the police can search your vehicle without a warrant. I’ve got a feeling this is going to boil down to a he said, she said argument in court between the plaintiff and the police witnesses, and the judge will let the police off of the hook on the basis that non-compliance must be punished in today’s society. Nevertheless, kudos to him for standing up for himself, even if it did get him tasered and cut up for his trouble.