COLUMBIA PA 17512 NEWS
Once again west hempfield cops bully people: First it was at the bridge burning last June and now at the river park. My grandson and I parked the car in the park prior to this incident unfolding on Sunday morning. He found it to be interesting as did I, so we watched. WE were closely watched by a Marietta special police man and finally a west hempfield cop kicked us out and said the park is closed. Heavy handed seems to be their MO. If there was an active threat of harm, yes ask people to leave. There was no threat and we were at a distance of 200-300 feet or more. We did not interfere with any of the work taking place. Nor could we interfere with privacy. I certainly could not identify or determine the cause of death from that far away. The Columbia officers do not treat people that way. I do not want to be thrown out of a park that I pay taxes to support. Why don't they throw out the kids that are in that park vandalizing and doing drugs. They would rather exercise their power by throwing out a grandmother sitting on a bench watching. Also tell the west hempfield cops and Marietta special police about the laws of photography. Photos may be taken in any public setting .....period.
Yes, I witnessed this altercation and found it appalling. An overgrown, loudmouthed Hempfield cop verbally assailed a woman and the child who was with her. They were simply watching - well away from the emergency scene. What a "great" example he set for that little boy. And we wonder why kids don't respect authority. This bully was probably pissed off because he had to work the weekend. Any citizen who acted as this cop did would have - and should have - been arrested for disorderly conduct. I wonder why he thought he had the right to act that way. His actions seemed arbitrarily directed towards this woman because several non-uniformed men who were not part of the recovery operation and did not appear to belong to any of the rescue organizations were standing around watching without being harassed.And since when do Hempfield police have jurisdiction in Columbia Borough? This guy was way out of bounds on many levels.Also, the Marietta fire policeman told cameramen from two news organizations that no photography was allowed. When they inquired further, he relented and said videos were allowed but no still shots. WTF? He obviously didn't know the law and made up his own version on the spot. I knew my rights and took several shots anyway. This guy should have learned the law before pretending to be a policeman.Both of these public servants exhibited very bad form in serving the public.
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