Update on the Arrest of Reason.tv’s Jim Epstein at Yesterday’s D.C. Taxicab Commission Hearing
Jim Epstein e-mailed me to provide an update on the circumstances surrounding his arrest yesterday at a hearing of the D.C. Taxicab Commission, which we reported here. Here’s his post on Reason‘s Hit and Run blog, which includes video he shot before the police arrested him:
About 30 minutes into the meeting, I witnessed journalist Pete Tucker snap a still photo of the proceedings on his camera phone. A few minutes later, two police officers arrested Tucker. I filmed Tucker’s arrest and the audience’s subsequent outrage using my cell phone.
A few minutes later, as I was attempting to leave the building, I overheard the female officer who had arrested Tucker promise a woman, who I presumed to be an employee of the Taxi Commission, that she would confiscate my phone. Reason intern Kyle Blaine, overheard her say, “Do you want his phone? I can get his phone.”
(The woman who was given assurances by the officer that she could have my phone can be seen at the end of the video telling me, “You do not have permission to record this!”)
As I tried to leave, I was told by the same officer to “stay put.” I told her I was leaving and attempted to exit the building. I was then surrounded by officers, and told to remain still or I would be arrested.
I didn’t move, but I tried to get the attention of a group of cab drivers who were standing nearby. At this point I was arrested.
I spent the remainder of the day in a cell in the basement of the building. In the late afternoon, I was released.
This appears to be yet another case of abuse on the part of D.C.’s notoriously idiotic U.S. Park Police. Recall the Jefferson One dance-arrest case, and the follow-up dance-protests at the Jefferson Memorial for some background on Park Police overreach.