Sheriff's's Web cam ruled humiliating

Aug. 7, 2004 at 10:47 AM
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SAN FRANCISCO, Aug. 7 (UPI) -- A three-judge federal appeals court panel in San Francisco has ruled Arizona's Maricopa County Sheriff's Department's Internet cameras humiliated prisoners.

The Arizona Republic reported Saturday the court rejected the arguments of Sheriff Joe Arpaio who said live streaming video of prisoners being booked and processed served an educational purpose.

The cameras, removed 14 months ago, gave the public a glimpse inside the jail, showing how prisoners are treated after being arrested.

"We fail to see how turning pretrial detainees into the unwilling objects of the latest reality show serves any ... legitimate goals," the 9th Circuit Court said in a 2-1 decision.

"(Inmates) were certainly harmed by Sheriff Arpaio's actions. Exposure to millions of complete strangers, not to mention friends, loved ones, co-workers and employers, as one is booked, fingerprinted and generally processed as an arrestee, and as one sits, stands or lies in a holding cell, constitutes a level of humiliation that almost anyone would regard as profoundly undesirable."

Arpaio's office said the court is wrong and it is considering an appeal.

"I can see the (court's) rhetoric," said Jack MacIntyre, a spokesman for the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office. "I can't see where they articulated any particular harm to any individual."

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