July 10, 2010
Police were "hopping mad" as they attempted to remove a state-of-the-art revenue suppression device -a sombrero- from a scam cam
A giant sombrero placed over a Redflex ticketing machine in Paradise Valley, Arizona was stomped on and destroyed by town police officers before being placed in the back seat of a cruiser.
CameraFRAUD volunteers had gathered at the “scamera” location in the upscale Phoenix suburb late last month to assist a production crew from Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show” in obtaining footage and interviews regarding two controversial Arizona policies: photo enforcement and SB1070.
According to witnesses, PV Ofc. Steven Chavira arrived on the scene and immediately demanded the production crew cease filming, using his hands and body in an attempt to obstruct the crew’s cameras, apparently unaware of the irony of his actions.
According to TheNewspaper.com, “Chavira… then jumped several times in vain attempts to reach the giant hat that rested on the camera head just beyond his reach. After using a stick, Chavira and a second officer were able to knock off the sombrero, which he stomped on several times before taking it into custody in his patrol car.”
Did the officers act inappropriately? While covering or blocking a ticketing camera isn’t known to violate any local or state law, the officers actions appear to be unprofessional: the immigration debate is a hot topic; sworn law officers stomping on something racially symbolic is a public relations fiasco in the making.
Furthermore, destruction of evidence is a serious crime, and would be applicable if the town had decided to attempt to maliciously pursue the individuals responsible for the placement of the sombrero.
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September 12, 2008
The City of Scott$dale, in coordination with the fraud experts at American Traffic Solutions, Inc., placed a photo enforcement vehicle disturbingly close to the establishment where CameraFRAUD.com held a public volunteer meeting.
The meeting, held on the evening of September 12th, was located at a Peter Piper Pizza on East McDowell Road, and was publicized for over a week in advance on CameraFRAUD.com. A marked “Scottsdale Police” photo enforcement van was illegally parked on the shoulder of McDowell, between the restaurant and the embankment for Eldorado Park.
A quick look at the City of Scottsdale’s online scheldule of van locations shows that a new scheldule was generated on Friday, September 12th, and the van was set to be located at “7600 Blk E McDowell Rd E/B” between 4:00 PM and 7:15 PM. (Peter Piper Pizza is located at 7607 E McDowell Rd). The van was there until at least 8:00 PM.
With hundreds of places where the vans could be located (multiplied by the various times of operation), the chances of such placement being an “honest mistake” seems highly unlikely— but not impossible. The City of Scottsdale has a clear record of attempting to squelch dissent with the recent arrest of a freelance journalist / videographer for local site FreedomsPhoenix.com.
Now, one is lead to wonder if the city is actively attempting to intimidate businesses (and perhaps provoke) peaceful citizens who are guilty of no crime other than lawful assembly over a pizza pie.
The Cameras are Coming Down.