Zimmerman traffic stop cop accused of taking iPhone shot

The man who shot Trayvon Martin gets pulled over for speeding. While his license is examined, the police officer's dashcam records what sounds like iPhone taking a picture. Was this for work or posterity?

Would an officer take an iPhone shot of your license? Fox 4 DFW Screenshot by Chris Matyszczyk/CNET

A uniform can give you a sense of power.

Yet when power meets fame, is power tempted to record the event for posterity?

This curious thought has come to those who examined police dashcam footage of a traffic stop last Sunday, where the accused speeder was George Zimmerman, the man acquitted of murdering Trayvon Martin.

The stop happened in the city of Forney, east of Dallas. And many believe that they hear the sound of an iPhone taking a picture as the police officer is in his car examining Zimmerman's driver's license.

As Fox 4 in Dallas-Fort Worth reports, the officer is to be questioned as to why an iPhone shot might have been taken -- presumably of Zimmerman's license.

Dallas News | myFOXdfw.com

The police say that it is somewhat normal for officers to take photographs in order to show superiors specific things. But what would need to be shown in this case?

The suspicion here though is that the officer couldn't help but take a personal shot, not thinking that the sound would be picked up by the dashcam mike. Many also hear the sound of "unlock" and then typing on a keyboard.

Some might conclude that the policeman may have been texting the image.

The local police say that the officer isn't being investigated, but will be questioned when he returns to work on Saturday.

There are so many who, in positions of responsibility, simply cannot help themselves when confronted by fame of whatever kind.

Certain magazines that are found in supermarkets are said to pay nurses for secretly taken, highly tasteful images of dying celebrities.

These are, presumably, taken on personal cell phones.

But, as Google, Facebook, and the NSA have taught us, once a file exists, there is no knowing where it might appear.

Attorney Pete Schulte told Fox 4: "The only issue that's going to come about is if that information was shared outside of the law enforcement community."

Clearly, the details of George Zimmerman's driver's license would be of interest to many -- both supporters and detractors. What if they suddenly appeared in a mysterious manner on some enthusiastic Web site?

Schulte offered that most police department policies don't actually have specific rules about Twitter and Facebook and what is or isn't permissible for officers to do or feature on those sites.

Will the officer be asked to have his personal iPhone searched in order to reveal any texts that might have been sent during the traffic stop?

There might be a certain irony in that. Civil liberties groups are fighting the insistence of some police forces who believe that cell phone searches by police should be legal.

For example, one bill proposed in New Jersey would allow the police to examine your cell phone without a warrant , should you have been involved in an accident.

Oddly, as CBS News reports, the officer in the Zimmerman case didn't recognize him. It was Zimmerman who explained who he was.

Perhaps the officer might have texted fellow policemen, as if this was the highlight of his day. Perhaps more will be revealed after he is questioned.

 

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