Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Jackboot Alert--HIPAA to Justify Confiscation of Video Camera

The Pioneer Press (Minneapolis/St. Paul) reports on the confiscation by the Ramsey County Sheriff's Department of a video camera owned by and recording made by local man recording a police arrest. According to the story, the man making the recording was filming from more than 30 feet away. Nevertheless, he has been charged with disorderly conduct and obstruction of legal process. The Sheriff has refused to return the camera and apparently someone with the Sheriff's office deleted the recording (although the Department denies this). The man was also warned not to post anything to YouTube. In a strange twist, however, the Sheriff's Department is claiming, after the fact, that the reason for confiscating the camera was that the "arrest" being filmed was a mental health check, and therefore the privacy rules under HIPAA applied. Of course, I'm not sure how that is going to fly if they are going to claim that nothing had been recorded in order to avoid admitting that they destroyed evidence.

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