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MI Officer Fired, Charged for Assault of Minor

by TChris

Andrew Gauthier, a police officer in Flint, Michigan, has been charged with assault after a video camera on a school bus showed Gauthier striking a 15 year old boy. According to Genesee County Prosecutor David Leyton, the video also "shows Gauthier grabbing the teen's head and pushing the youth's head against a window."

Gauthier (not to be confused with Philadelphia Flyers defenseman Denis Gauthier, recently suspended for two games for similarly violent behavior, albeit on-ice) was fired last week.

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  • This case is typical of the kind of case that will in the end result in strong bipartisan support for narrowing many kind of privacy rights. Yes, you are on videotape day in and day out, but, videotape is also just about the best imaginable evidence in a great many crimes and as a result protects people who a victims of crimes from police and the like, who otherwise would have been nearly impossible to prosecute, as well as catching hosts of common criminals. Likewise, videotape can acquit someone whom an eye witness identification or police report of a confession might have convicted. Unlike human memories, videotape doesn't degrade in a matter or hours or minutes and isn't nearly as vulnerable to suggestion from people asking about that memory. In the same way, even the ACLU supports a computer system that looks at licenses plates of vehicles that pass within sight of police cars or fixed cameras in plain view and checks them against lists of stolen vehicles, alerting police when a stolen vehicle is located. Videotape of incidents like this, because it is so definitive about the truth, can also be a powerful stimulus for changing the laws to control things like police misbehavior, that people might otherwise prefer to delude themselves into thinking never happens.

    Re: MI Officer Fired, Charged for Assault of Minor (none / 0) (#2)
    by kdog on Mon Apr 10, 2006 at 02:41:20 PM EST
    That worries me ohwilleke. I'd rather a few car thieves get away, a few bad cops get away, etc then live in a world under 24/7 surveillance. It's just too damn creepy.

    So, personally you've decided that your public safety is more important than our privacy, eh? Well, on behalf of the World, I don't give a damn what you think. That's not your call.

    Re: MI Officer Fired, Charged for Assault of Minor (none / 0) (#6)
    by John Mann on Mon Apr 10, 2006 at 04:27:23 PM EST
    How about a compromise? Cameras everywhere, but only a few of them work. It'd be a great way to recycle old videocams, and maybe those would-be criminals would think twice before murdering a convenience store clerk or blasting through a red light. Sure, the new camera manufacturers would throw a fit, but hey, you can't please everyone.

    Re: MI Officer Fired, Charged for Assault of Minor (none / 0) (#7)
    by Patrick on Mon Apr 10, 2006 at 04:48:36 PM EST
    So, personally you've decided that your public safety is more important than our privacy, eh?
    Public privacy? Isn't that an oxymoron?

    Posted by Patrick April 10, 2006 05:48 PM
    So, personally you've decided that your public safety is more important than our privacy, eh? Public privacy? Isn't that an oxymoron?
    Nah, but I anticipated moronic questions. Ya see, there's this thing called the Bill of Rights. It consists of the first 10 Amendments to The Constitution on the United States. The Amendment in question is the 4th. The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized. Evidently, they didn't think it was an oxymoron, either. Take it up with them, sport.

    Re: MI Officer Fired, Charged for Assault of Minor (none / 0) (#9)
    by Sailor on Mon Apr 10, 2006 at 06:35:45 PM EST
    Personally, I favor public safety than privacy.
    Personally I prefer liberty over security, just like Ben Franklin did. As he noted, folks who believe otherwise deserve neither.
    Well, if I am wearing a camera, it is really not up to you whehter I am taping or not.
    Yes, it is, just as most states don't allow taping of a phone call if just one party knows about it. And I'm pretty sure those shiny reflective toe guards you are using to look (and tape) up little girl's skirts are illegal too. on a more personal note: Patrick, I understand why you have a problem with cds1. charliedontsurf1, I understand why you have a problem with Patrick. But if our comments to this site are to remain viable you each have to stop responding in personal attacks from the other. Notice I didn't say 'responding to' it was 'responding in' . charlie, in my experience, Patrick and I disagree on almost everything, but I have come to respect him because he says what he thinks is right, not the company line. Big difference from some posters I might mention. Patrick, charlie is opposed to a lot of things you aren't, but behind the snark and glib statements there are real points to be considered. I would suggest that you each consider the content and not the wrapper of the other's posts. That said, I wish you both well, and even more, I wish I could take my own advice;-)

    Re: MI Officer Fired, Charged for Assault of Minor (none / 0) (#10)
    by Sailor on Mon Apr 10, 2006 at 06:40:49 PM EST
    Back on topic; How any times have we seen even video evidence not be enough? Kudos to MI for firing this officer.

    Re: MI Officer Fired, Charged for Assault of Minor (none / 0) (#11)
    by Patrick on Mon Apr 10, 2006 at 07:11:52 PM EST
    Nah, but I anticipated moronic questions.
    Not as much as I expect the moronic responses. Show me the violation of the 4th amendment sport? Where's the unreasonable search, where's the unreasonable seizure? Nice try, hide behind something that's not even close to relevant to the issues presented. I also support the other provisions of the U.S. Constitution, but that don't make them relevant. sailor, I'd like to, but I can't seem to stop myself. He's just so easy, and wrong, even though he sounds so sure of himself. have you ever met a more all knowing person in your life?

    Gee, Patrick, you've got this nice worn remo logo on ya. Must be 'cause I beat ya like a drum. Yeah, I'd imagine all-knowing pretty well sums it up from your perspective, sport. That's gotta be rough. Oh, well. Tomorrow's another day. I'm sure shrub won't do anything real stupid before you've had at least one coffee. He's very thoughtful that way. Hey, I talk trash. Your fuhrer is trash. Have a nice evening.

    Re: MI Officer Fired, Charged for Assault of Minor (none / 0) (#13)
    by Sailor on Mon Apr 10, 2006 at 08:53:47 PM EST
    have you ever met a more all knowing person in your life?
    Patrick, yeah, but I can still stand to look in the mirror every morning;-)
    Hey, I talk trash. Your fuhrer is trash. Have a nice evening.
    charlie, Patrick insults you, but read his posts, he does not blindly endorse bushco policies. I may think he's misguided, misinformed and possibly maladjusted, but he's honest in his beliefs, as are you. That counts for something. So guys, either take the word of experience, because I've been among the worst offenders so I know what I'm talking about or ignore me, because since I'm one of the worst offenders I have no right to say anything. I can see either point of view;-)

    Re: MI Officer Fired, Charged for Assault of Minor (none / 0) (#14)
    by kdog on Tue Apr 11, 2006 at 06:50:30 AM EST
    I just hope a device that can emit an electronic pulse to incapacitate any cameras within 50 yards hits the market. I'd put it on my Christmas list.

    Re: MI Officer Fired, Charged for Assault of Minor (none / 0) (#15)
    by kdog on Tue Apr 11, 2006 at 06:51:33 AM EST
    Safety is for hall monitors....I like good, old fashioned, dangerous, messy freedom. It tastes so good.