58 Responses

WP_Blue_Mist
  • Doc Says:

    God Damn. This makes me mad all over again. Hope all of that money helps you heal faster. We taxpayers are on the hook as we should be, if we allow this in our name.

  • H. Lara Braxton Says:

    This is terrible and cannot be condoned. When abuse of power in any form is committed, action must be taken. It is really important that this information is presented so that the community can become aware and with the exposure and recompense help others from the same fate.

    Ask not for whom the bell tolls…….

  • hugh clark Says:

    Damon may not be my favorite blogger but this is inexcusable brutality for sure.I hope he seeks a good attorney quickly, not just to erase his inappriate arrest but but to seek obviously needed reform.

    If Damon calls me tomorrow (935-4322) I can suggest two veteran tort attorneys — each of whom is a former prosecutor equipped to take on such a clear-cut case.

    He should thank Tiff for documenting these wounds from this abuse while they are fresh and so visible.

    By way, who is commander of Puna district these days?

  • Devaki Says:

    Poor man! Aren’t police supposed to be trained to disarm people with techniques that won’t cause injury. Any old meat head could slam someone on the ground and punch them, so why are the police trained and given uniforms if they aren’t held to a higher standard? Not that they had any right to lay a hand on Damon in the first place. Just because he had a camera and was trying to document the acts of the police?
    I hope he wins the case.

  • Hawaii County Police Officers Are Not Above The Law « The Kona Blog Says:

    […] the images which show the lingering affects of the assault. Please check out these links (here, and here) if you’d like to see what our local men in blue allegedly did to Damon that fateful […]

  • Brian Jordan Says:

    This is why Hawaii doesn’t have ret military reserve cops. I’m not saying Damon or myself haven’t made remarks that piss people off. However most police wish to serve and protect. Perhaps Mayor Kenoi an his Chief should ask why San Diego’s reserve program has saved &millions and kept agressive behavior in check. I Va. The Sheriff can deputize non Felons as reserve officers. I’ve asked the two previous Chiefs of the HPD wy we don’t have traffic and medically trained Reserve HPD. I just got the Deer in the Headlights look. Perhaps we should insist this program already on the bookls be INSTITUTED ASAP

  • Buddah Belly Says:

    I am sorry this has happened to you Damon Tucker. But all things happen for a reason, and it takes a brave strong soul to take this all the way to the courthouse. Please keep us informed, and we will be happy to be your observers in the courtroom.

  • Damon Says:

    I just want to clarify the picture above with me with the band-aid on my shoulder in the pictures above as that was the left side of my body which didn’t receive as much damage as the right side.

    My shoulder is left shoulder is bruised but not as badly as my other shoulder and arm which I have very limited movement in. The band-aid on my left shoulder was to cover a tetanus shot I received at the Hilo Medical Center to prevent tetanus. (ask the nurse… I pleaded with them not to give me the shot that was already in my sore arm!)

    Thank god I got the shot as the wounds on my hand near my thumb have been filling with pus, and the wound on my elbow I’ve been trying my best to protect… but still weird pus is coming out of some of the wounds…

    (sorry to gross you all out)

    I’ve said as much as I will for now… Lets move on and thank gawd I can still type this out with the pain I have throbbing through my right hand.

  • Damon Says:

    Sorry for the confusing post… Pain pills typing.

  • Obie Says:

    The injuries look consistent with someone who has been forced to the ground or dragged from a crime scene.Did you stick your cell phone or camera in the police officers face?

    Why were you charged with”Obstructing government operations?”

    Taking pictures from a distance is one thing,butting in on an ongoing investigation is something else.

    I will reserve judgment until all the facts are heard.

  • Michael Rivero Says:

    I just linked this story to whatreallyhappened.com.

    You may see a slight increase in traffic.

  • Tiffany Edwards Hunt Says:

    Thinking more about this and I’m about to post a commentary.
    Not trying to victimize the victom bit i need to comment on the greater problem here. Damon’s greatest mistake in this story is not identifying himself as soon as the police officer told him to stop taking pictures.
    At that point he should have said,
    “my name is Damon Tucker and I maintain a blog. Where can I stand to continue taking photographs?”
    (He didn’t identify himself until after he was hand-cuffed.)
    Damon will likely monetarily gain from this, and hopefully us media professionals can asset some kind of protocol for journalists and residents who act like journalists. But it is definitely time for police and prosecutors to get more sophisticated about dealing with the public.
    Slamming people to the ground when you don’t want them taking photographs?! Come on. The County of Hawaii will have to pay dearly for that sort of heavy handedness.
    And Damon are you ready to refer to yourself as a media professional yet?
    Tiffany Edwards Hunt
    (808)938-8592
    Newswoman@Mac.com
    http://Www.bigislandchronicle.com

  • Michael Rivero Says:

    I disagree, Tiffany. The courts have repeatedly ruled that the police cannot bar anyone from taking photographs. The police were legally in the wrong the moment they approached Damon. A badge does not in and of itself make everything the police do legal. Like the President, they hold their office and authority only so long as they themselves comply with the limits of the law. If they exceed those limits, they are just ordinary citizens in funny costumes, as subject to arrest and civil lawsuit as anyone else for the crimes they commit.

  • John Says:

    Police officers are public servants. Citizens have the right to document their employees at work. The only way taking a photograph is “obstructing government operations” is if the photographer got in the way.

  • minkxy Says:

    Agreed, Mike. Tiffany is part f the lack of knowledge and fake “machine” prodical.
    Hold their chiefs responsible,them, and find out where it’s coming from.What’s rolling around in the meeting room, is there disgruntled chitchat among the police,etc.
    Do they need classes in procedure. I’d guess people wuld be willing to pay for the classes, even though it is common sense in this country.You can’t teach commn sense, but you can teach proper laws .

  • James Weatherford Says:

    I’m with Mike, too.
    An enforcement officer preventing any citizen, journalist or not, from taking photographs on a public sidewalk is just not what we do in a free society; using brutality in doing so is criminal.

  • Big Island Chronicle » Blog Archive » Puna News — Photographs Of Damon Tucker’s Injuries In Alleged Police Brutality Case Says:

    […] Big Island Chronicle » Blog Archive » Puna News — Photographs Of Damon Tucker’s Injuries In Al… This entry was posted in World News. Bookmark the permalink. […]

  • Ken Says:

    I honestly must disagree with you of this one too Tiffany. ANY person can and should be able to video or photograph our police at work – regardless of being “media” or not. How does taking video of the Police “in action” become

    Furthermore, I also disagree that the County will be paying handsomely for this. No doubt, Damon will get money. But it is US TAXPAYERS who will, once yet again, foot the bill for what I could legally say was “gross negligence” on behalf of our Police Department. (Yet once again there too!)

    I hope Damon you do file a lawsuit – and by the end of this week. I would also be naming EVERY elected and appointed person personally in this lawsuit – from Billy on down – AS well as at a minimum 500 John and 500 Jane Does, plus at least 1,000 Corporate Does.

    And please don’t settle for a cheap lawyer. You may wish to bring in a Los Angeles or New York City based law firm for this. Properly handled, and assuming there is no other part of this story left off, but I can see a settlement in the 2 to 3 million dollar range.

    And one question – why were the Police there in the first place? Were they responding to a call? Or just there?

  • Tom Lackey Says:

    Tiff,

    Be careful with this one because I don’t think that people with a press badge have more rights to freedom of speech than an everyday Joe. If anyone thinks that a person with a journalistic back ground is entitled to more laditude to freedom of speech rights because they ounce did it for a living and hold themselfs above the common folks should be careful of what they say.

    The Lack

  • Updated: Blogger Says Hawaii County Officers Beat Him For Filming Police From Across the Street | Hawai`i News Daily Says:

    […] to the gruesome picture that Tucker posted on his blog, Reporter Tiffany Edward Hunt also took pictures of Tucker and posted them at her “Big Island Chronicle.” […]

  • Rick Says:

    You must file a formal complaint with the Police Department, or as they say in the legal profession,
    “exhaust your administrative remedies,” before you can expect any remedies via a civil complaint filed in the courts. Best to go by the book on this, for obvious reasons.

  • dakine Says:

    I’d sure like to hear the other side of this story.. and if there are pics taken by others of the actual event, see them. in cases like this its hard to understand what really happened without having enough facts. one persons accusations, even ones so graphic, are still only half (at best) of the story. did anyone here see this happen or is all of our thoughts and feelings a product of damon’s account alone?

  • Obie Says:

    Thanks dakine.

    I tried to bring that up earlier.

    To all of you who said that its alright to take pictures of the police, I agree.

    However if you stick your camera in the face of a police officer while they are performing their duties,you may be shot !!

    That officer may not have noticed it was cell phone or a camera, and thought it was a gun !!

    Damon got lucky !!!!

    If you are requested to quit taking pictures just move away.

    Why does he have a telephoto lens on his camera ?

  • Boyd Says:

    Finally some voices of reason!!! Are we to believe that he was just standing away from the crowd taking pics, and all of a sudden an officer went after him and beat him up. Come on people. Thanks dakine and Obie!!!

  • Ken Says:

    Rick is correct. You need to file that complaint. Your lawyer (you should have one by now) can deal with that while preparing the ultimate law suit.

    I also wonder what interest your employer will have with this matter. They do have experience in the ignorance and negligence of the Hawaii County Police Dept. first hand. This even may trigger a bigger look see by potential “referral” to another of your employer’s departments!

    I would also look at having your lawyer file an immediate injunction against the County to have a judge order the complete and unaltered preservation of your cell phone. It can be forensically downloaded – as they do with computers to see what web sites you visited before you kill your wife!

    I’m sorry, and this will result in an increase in our taxes – but Damon, SUE, SUE, SUE!!!!!!

  • Greg Says:

    I’m all for photographers documenting our public servants at work. A good photographer should know his equipment and be able to take shots or movies covertly without a problem.(Especially with today’s digital equipment).

    Hopefully we’ll find out what really happened. Was Damon standing out of the way with his camera and victimized; or did he wade into the fray for some juicy girl fight shots and interfere with cops trying to sort out a dangerous situation. If it’s the later, he may not deserve what he got, but he shouldn’t be too surprised by it. Get well Damon!

  • Peter Serafin Says:

    In 1967 (Katz vs. United States), the US Supreme Court held that a citizen has no expectation of privacy in a public place. I’m sure a competent attorney will use this precedent should Damon wish to pursue legal action resulting from police action.

    http://www.law.cornell.edu/supct/html/historics/USSC_CR_0389_0347_ZS.html

  • Peter Serafin Says:

    In 1967 (Katz vs. United States), the US Supreme Court held that a citizen has no expectation of privacy in a public place. I’m sure a competent attorney will use this precedent should Damon wish to pursue legal action resulting from police action.

    http://www.law.cornell.edu/supct/html/historics/USSC_CR_0389_0347_ZS.html

  • Tiffany Edwards Hunt Says:

    I think you’re misunderstanding me, Ken. I too agree that we the public have a right to take photographs. But we also need to speak up and assert that right when an officer tries to fell us to stop taking photos. We are to ask where police want us to stand in order to not hinder their operations.
    If police were sophisticated they would have their officers trained on dealing with the media or media posers who post footage on their blogs, Facebook or YouTube. Next time the police officer will detect the photographer / picture taker to the “staging area” and call in the PIO… That’s how it is done elsewhere

  • Jan Says:

    Taking pictures of a public incident is not against the law…..whether or not you are the media or just a private citizen….this is disgusting and I hope that Damon will take this to the courthouse….

  • Tom Lackey Says:

    I see that obie and dakine from Punaweb are tag teaming Damon the victim, but that is par for the coarse down in the swamp.

    Give the guy a break or is this a brite spot in your day because you ain’t too fond of the man?

    The Lack

  • Matt Says:

    the Hawaii News Now group (NBC and CBS) is doing a story on the 10pm news about this tonight (Monday)

  • Tom Says:

    Tiff,

    I really don’t understand your last comment. Why should I ask the police where I can stand in a public place? It doesn’t matter if I’m taking pictures or not.

    If I interfere with the police by, e.g., getting in their way during an arrest, then fine, I suffer the consequences, but being asked to move to a “staging area” so I can do something that’s constitutionally protected is what should happen? Do you really believe that police elsewhere create staging areas for people to watch whenever they break up a fight?

    I also cannot understand what blogs, facebook or youtube have in this debate. Why should it matter if someone posts pictures or videos to those places? If I take pictures of a public incident involving police can I only do that if I’m going to post them on facebook?

    Like one or two others I’m waiting to hear the other side of this story, but I really don’t get your comments right now.

  • Harley-D Says:

    The Lack is correct.

  • tjtjtj Says:

    Thugs in military and police uniforms must be put in their place, that of public servant. We want Sheriff Andy Taylor!

  • Damon Says:

    Yep… it’s the same Obie and dakine that have been questioning me for years. Always the anonymous folks… pfft.

    On a bright note everyone… I was able to take a shower tonight w/out having any pain from open wounds!

  • Ken Says:

    @tjtjtj – Having Andy Taylor as Sherrif would be a great fit.

    Seeing as we already have a bunch of Barney Fife’s!

  • Obie Says:

    Lack–I believe I was giving him a break,I said this in my original post.

    “I will reserve judgment until all the facts are heard.”

  • Tiffany Edwards Hunt Says:

    I’d sure like to know what is up with those Pahoa Weed and Seed surveillance cameras! If they were working, we the public would have access to all angles of the story, from beginning to end!

    @ Tom:
    I am saying that you have a right to take photographs in a public place, but you also run the risk of being charged with obstructing goveremt operations if you are standing in the middle of a fight that police are trying to break up. As the photographer you have a right and you also have a responsibility. It’s a double edged sword, that freedom that folks cling to.
    Yes, we have a right to photograph, and rather than a police officer saying, “Stop taking photographs!” he needs to say, “You need to stand right here to take your photographs.”
    A media professional is trained in dealing with police by identifying himself or herself upon initial contact.

  • dakine Says:

    Come on Tom. All I pointed out is that we’ve only heard Damon’s side of the story. And, that every story involving more than one person has other points of view. Have you ever known it to be otherwise? Unfortunately if the only other point of view is the police then we’re probably not going to hear it. They lawyer up before they get out of bed. But if someone else would share what they saw it would be helpful in forming an opinion. And you know I ain’t all that anonymous. You can find me behind the Io on the ad on this page.. or see my photos at volcanophoto.com

  • Mark Says:

    Good point Tiffany….where are the tapes from all the cameras? Doesn’t the public have a right to view the tapes?

  • Tom Lackey Says:

    Tiffany Edwards Hunt Says:

    August 8th, 2011 at 7:28 am

    Damon will likely monetarily gain from this, and hopefully us media professionals can asset some kind of protocol for journalists and residents who act like journalists. But it is definitely time for police and prosecutors to get more sophisticated about dealing with the public.

    Tiff this is from you previous post and this is what I am referring to. I agree with all of the rest but here it seems like the media professional is kind of thumbing their journalistic nose at anyone that attempts to act like a journalist. Or am I reading this wrong here?

    The Lack

  • Tom Lackey Says:

    That officer may not have noticed it was cell phone or a camera, and thought it was a gun !!
    1. Damon got lucky !!!!
    If you are requested to quit taking pictures just move away.

    Obie, you make a statement here saying that the victim got lucky and in the very next breath you say that you believe the police new that he was taking pictures. Well which is it?

    Bottom line is you don’t like Damon much so you are poking at an open wound, kind of like kicking someone when they are down wouldn’t you say?

    The Lack

  • Tiffany Edwards Hunt Says:

    Tom, as in the Lack, Tom,

    I’m playing devil’s advocate, and I’m razzing Damon (as I did in person on Sunday) for looking like a duck, acting like a duck and quaking like a duck — to borrow an expression from Kauai blogger Andy Parx used back when Damon had a run-in with police for raking photographs at the Pahoa post office. Remember?

  • Obie Says:

    Lack—I was just guessing about what might have gone on.

    So far no one from a crowd of people has come forward with any testimony or photos to back up Damon’s story.

    I have many friends and relatives who are hard working police officers.The officers involved should be allowed to present their side of the story.

    Guess what,the officers involved will probably be able to do that in a court of law and not on a blog or in the news media!!

  • Jay M Says:

    I am wholly against police brutality and support needed reforms to our police system.  But … There’s room for a other take here, surely.

    Damon has repeatedly denied being a reporter or journalist, so why are people calling him that now?.  He has stated that he doesn’t want to be held to any journalistic standards for what he says.  He says that he blogs for his own amusement only. Fair enough, but let’s not have it both ways.  He’s a blogger looking for items that will draw readers, not a member of the press.

    He was rubbernecking after a civil disturbance broke out.  The police were  in worked up mode because there was a breach of the peace and some violent behavior going on.  

    Damon says it’s about his right to take pictures in a public place, but according to what Damon told Hawaii News Daily, he initially complied with an order to stop taking video, and then blatantly resumed right after the officer walked away.  Then another officer took issue and things got rough.

    Anyone with normal street sense would know better than to aggravate police who are breaking up a bar brawl, especially after being told to cool it … 

     I don’t like that they threw him down, and it sucks for him, but now he wants a huge taxpayer-funded settlement? Crazy talk.  This is not the new Rodney King here.

      Lesson learned–don’t piss off HPD just to get some sensationalistic pics to pump up your blog.  These are real cops, not mall guards.

    You can’t say he didn’t know the risk.  He publicized the Maui reporter who had Maui PD in his face for taking pictures in public.  Damon knows full well the police don’t like it.  In the Maui incident, there was no fight going on. It is a “right” to take pictures, but we have various rights that are not prudent to exercise in inflamed situations. Adding an audience factor to a street fight could escalate the situation by attracting more spectators.  

    This was entirely avoidable if Damon had stopped when requested. Get well Damon, but maybe rethink being such an attention seeker?  Not all attention is pleasant.

  • John Says:

    The police don’t have the right to arrest, detain, or beat someone who is doing something they “don’t like.” Their job is to enforce the law.

  • Ken Says:

    @Jay M

    Even if Damon acted like a complete jerk, this was and is completely unwarranted and unacceptable police behavior.

    The police do not get to decided if they like or don’t like their picture or video being taken.

    And yes- I hope he gets at least 2 million. I hope the one or two cops who did this – get fired. Unfortunately, they can’t be personally held liable, since the county self insures their behavior, but if there is a legal way to make them personally pay for this in terms of a civil judgment – I am for it.

    Again – this is NOT SYRIA.

  • James Weatherford Says:

    Not Syria? Yeah, like that!

  • Melissa The real victim that night Says:

    Hi I’m the girl that was jumped that night. The police did nothing wrong Damon wouldn’t get out of my face or the officers face. I’m was bleeding and very upset trying give my statement to the police. I and the cop repeatedly ask him to step back. Damon would not he resisted and cause everything that “happen” to him. Thanks Melissa

  • Greg Says:

    The bad news is that that we taxpayers will still have to pay for litigation; The good news is that we won’t have to pay for a settlement. I know Melissa; credible witness.

  • damon Says:

    Actually Greg…

    Melissa and I have spoke now and she realizes that I was not the person that was in her face and that I was already arrested on the ground and in Luquins parking lot long before she was beaten.

  • Tiffany Edwards Hunt Says:

    Melissa,

    Please call me at 938-8592.

    Mahalo.

  • Hawaii Police Don’t Need No Stinkin’ Press Pass | Hawai`i News Daily Says:

    […] was reporting as it was whether he was acting as a reporter should in a situation like that. She wrote that: Damon’s greatest mistake in this story is not identifying himself as soon as the police […]

  • Parx News – Reprinted With Permission. « Damon Tucker: Hawaii News and Big Island Information Says:

    […] Professional journalist Tiffany Edwards Hunt at her Big Island Chronicle site says it isn’t as much whether Tucker was reporting as it was whether he was acting as a reporter should in a situation like that. She wrote that: […]

  • Some Interesting Links – Mahalo for Your Support « Damon Tucker: Hawaii News and Big Island Information Says:

    […] Puna News – Photographs of Damon Tucker’s Injuries in Alleged Police Brutality Case […]

  • Damon Tucker Police Brutality Case « The Kona Blog Says:

    […] is likely the same Melissa who posted this comment on August 9th, […]

  • NWO Says:

    It’s all going to come down to who really has faith in the system anymore.. They have failed us miserably why should we listen to the police I don’t believe in our government there for I don’t believe in our so called “Police”.. The Eagle has fallen and the squares of the world meaning goody to shoes type of people will be left saying wTf just happened.. Live ur own life don’t follow these laws it’s all a hoax. The sooner people realize we need a new goverment the better chance of seeing some actual change will take place.

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