Badges Don't Grant Extra Rights
January 31, 2013 by John Freeman 10 Comments
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Twitter Feed @wkshacopblock
What a nice lie you are telling. Where was the “threat?” Oh, there wasnt any. Another video of the police doing it right. Very well then.
“I know you can do this, but why are you doing it?” Police ask this kind of question a lot. It’s indicative of the mindset that A) we are to answer to them and B) the fact that taxpayer’s pay their salary isn’t good enough reason to spend their time trying to find people doing things that ARE deemed illegal. Not saying all things deemed illegal are in fact justifiably so. Just that deemed legal is most certainly a waste of their time.
The part that leaves me scratching my head in the context of filming is that the approach and question, even with the knowledge that it’s legal, is meant to either intimidate or assert a dominance. In the case of filming a policeman, obviously you’re dealing with somebody would be be immune or at the very least highly resistant to such an intimidation attempt and/or unimpressed by the assertion of dominance.
That cop was just about ready to snap at the asshole comment (perfectly legal.) I’d bet that camera averted and handcuffed ass beating.
Well it seems to officer was doing things ok. I give the benefit of doubt to the guy; the question seemed genuine enough. He stood out of the way, didn’t try to take the camera or block the shot, didn’t much acknowledge the camera until he was through with the guy. You can assume all sorts of things but it was only a question, one that needs to be answered, “why are you filming?” If your intention is to disrupt the police in their work then you need to go away. If on the other hand your want to be a witness there are other criteria to meet. You can’t have bias or prejudice. Preconceived notions about what is happening will make a lot of problems. I will stand up for the cops as quick as the people the are dealing with. We all have civility standards to meat and rules to live by. If all we do is condemn our voices will be part of the drone of the guilty whining and any justifiable complaints of officer conduct will fall on deaf ears. If you want to truly heard give out the “atta boy’s” when they are deserved. If you do they can’t say all you do is complain and make up lies.
Zee L Usay said “If your intention is to disrupt the police in their work then you need to go away.”
Such a blanket statement presumes that all police work is justified. As wiguy pointed out, the cop had such an issue with the word “asshole” that he threatened to punish him for it. Were it not for the camera, he might have. IF he was going to and IF the camera being there prevented it from happening, then I do not agree that dirupting the police in their work is tantamount to needing to go away in this instance.
The question “why are you filming me?” indicates that there’s an actual reason. I don’t think anybody using a camera in a cop’s presence is LOOKING FOR it to be necessary. Because that would mean that at the very least, abuse of power is afoot.
So no, I don’t agree that disrupting police work means they need to go away. A camera does nothing but capture reality. The only benefit to a camera going away is if something happens that a person wouldn’t want a camera to be there for. Like the adage “The only people that wish to disarm me are the ones that wish to do something to me they’d never get away with if I was armed.” Like a gun, the presence of a camera is no indication of intent.
Nor is it an indication of harm. This particular video, however tame, is now on the internet. As a result, people will discuss it, differing ideas will be exchanged, and we can all be enlightened on the nuances it contains. To me, that’s the very opposite of harm.
The only thing to see here is accountability, a non LEO holding an LEO accountable through a constitutionally protected action.
The LEO had no reason to ask, other than curiosity, which he stated. However, at the end of the video, where the LEO stated “Disorderly Conduct” by the individual referring to the LEO as an asshole is incorrect. It’s not “Disorderly Conduct” to refer to an LEO or anyone for that matter, as an asshole. That’s a first amendment right.
Wisconsin Disorderly conduct law is vague and ambiguous, “violent, abusive, indecent, profane, boisterous, unreasonably loud or “otherwise disorderly conduct” committed in a public or private place where the conduct tends to cause a disturbance.”
Just another opportunity for the LEO to play “Respect my authority” with a threat to the individual.
Poppa: Not guite right. It depends on how, when and / or where its used. “asshole” in and of itself it protected. But shouting in a crowd (which this wasn’t) or doing to create a disruption isn’t.
@t: Even that can be argued. If honesty was law, we wouldn’t have any mainstream media outlets. If shouting in a crowd was a crime, the street would be barren of everybody that’s ever been to a live concert or sporting event.
you are taking it to literally, wanting black and white in a gray world. Time, place, context…all plays a part. In this instance (this video) the only issue I have with this guy, and honestly with the officer is that he let this drunk guy get right up on him like he did. You (drunk guy) can state your point all you like, but I don’t have allow to aggressively get on at me like that. Time, place and context.
Should’ve taken him to jail for public intox.