Winston – Cold Out, but Warm Convos Had, #copblocktour
Note that the videos below are all raw (shot with my HTC Evo 5 via Cop Block’s Bambuser channel, my chest-mounted GoPro, and/or my Canon Vixia HF R10. At the conclusion of The Cop Block Tour I’ll make time to put-together some solid, over-arching videos using content from this stop. In the meantime, if you are so-compelled, you’re welcomed and encouraged to utilize this content and all other content at CopBlock.org.
On Friday, Jan. 25th, I left Richmond and made my way southwest toward Winston as part of The Cop Block Tour.
Almost immediately upon entering the arbitrary political boundary of North Carolina I encountered snow and later, ice. As I didn’t want my Tahoe to be among the many vehicles seen off the road, the last 30miles of the drive were done in four-wheel-drive-high.
I wasn’t expecting a big turn-out at the Winston meetup, yet that didn’t mean a lack of interactions with Winston police employees – though all were civil and actually pretty productive.
If you’re in this area I encourage you to connect and get active with:
- [email protected]
Though I arrived at the end of the stop (the driver stopped was not given a ransom), it was still good to both make the driver and police employee know that people are out there filming such encounters, which hopefully helps make it more likely such folks are on their best behavior.
A short time later, after parking in the lot of a nearby WalMart, I had a pretty congenial convo with current Winston police employee Woods (fast-forward to 2:35) and was able to leave literature both with him and his colleague, L. Waszczenuk #664, and I encouraged them to check out CopBlock.org/WelcomeLEOs and share any feedback.
This next video isn’t too captivating, yet it’s shared here to show what I think is a good practice – film whenever you see or are involved with a police interaction. If you never need to use the footage, cool, but if it’s not collected at the time it can’t be recreated should something happen.
Later, I saw more police lights in the distance and walked over to create an objective record of whatever actions were happening. In this case, it wasn’t anything too crazy – just a guy with a BMW who was unable to make it up the icy hill.
It’s shared here both to reinforce the value of filming all police interactions when possible, and because I attempted to share some Copblocking-related tips on the way to and from the scene.
When on the road with The Cop Block Tour I have thus far split time between crashing at friend’s places and fulltiming in my Tahoe. I gave a little overview of fulltiming in my Tahoe:
And a short time later approached Winston police employee Reese (sp?), in an effort to both learn why he and a number of his colleagues were in such a close proximity to my location, and to share ideas.
As I thought when initially approaching, the presence of Winston police was due not to me, but a minor traffic accident. Still, as I point-out in the video, it was a good use of a couple of minutes as Reese is now aware of CopBlock.org/WelcomeLEOs.
Since other Copblockers weren’t present to record the above interaction from another vantage point, I left my GoPro filming from my locked Tahoe – just in case…
Later, I double-checked to make sure it was alright that I park in the Walmart lot. Though they tend to have an open policy for overnighters, as a way to incur business, I thought it worth asking as I respect property rights.
I had spent four months in Winston over the fall, from which this content was generated from myself and other activists in the area:
Those interactions, coupled with Copblocking while rolling around, likely made many employed at Winston police aware of CopBlock.org and the efforts of those involved with the decentralized project, as Nehemiah James not too long after, submitted a post to Cop Block upon the recommendation of a Winston police employee, who apparently also recognized the not-too-professional actions of his own colleague. Read about in the post: Unlawful Treatment By Officer Lovejoy