Spy Cameras Bust Victimless Criminal
August 31, 2012 by Sam Rolley
The arrest of an Orlando, Fla., man for allegedly smoking marijuana illustrates how constant, real-time surveillance is changing the way law enforcement works.
According to an affidavit, an Orlando police sergeant was watching live video on the city’s Innovative Response to Improve Safety (IRIS) camera when he spotted 29-year-old Joe E. Haywood and a group of other men passing around what police suspected to be a marijuana joint.
According to WKMG Local 6:
Haywood was handcuffed and ordered to open his mouth but refused, so an officer tried for 30 seconds to use pressure points on his jaw to open his mouth, the affidavit said. Officers said Haywood swallowed the joint during the incident and marijuana could be smelled on him, the report stated.
Officers said they then noticed a green leafy substance, which they described as a unburned cannabis leaf, on Haywood’s teeth, according the affidavit.
Haywood is jailed and charged with the misdemeanor of possessing 20 grams or less of cannabis, punishable by up to a year in jail, and felony tampering with physical evidence, punishable by up to five years in prison.
While many people would applaud the beefed up surveillance in crime-prone areas, with thousands of laws on the books and increasing law enforcement use of aerial video surveillance across the board, critics say the Nation is on a slippery slope to guilty until proven innocent.