Recently Spokeman Officer Andre Traut implied that filming an officer during the course of their duty was perfectly legal, that is until they were in the act of arresting someone. While lawyers we met with here disagreed with that notion, we found it disturbing how little the police know about local current laws, and more importantly how aggressive they are to the idea of people watching them.
Maybe it’s because people don’t trust or respect the police out here, literally everyone we have spoken with sees little to no value in their existence. Or maybe it’s because countless people we’ve interviewed claim they have been beaten, tortured, or robbed by people with badges.
We def have considered the fact that it might be because a lot of the drugs and guns that are sold in the streets and the prisons pass through their hands, either physically or in the form of bribes.
While the local newspapers report on police issues extensively, and we’ve spoken to people who first hand have either paid off police or been smugglers while working as law enforcement, one thing is clear.
The videotaping of police on any level out here won’t prove to anyone what horrible things the police are capable of doing. The people here know this truth. At this point, maybe the best thing that videotaping the police can do is help show the world what people are experiencing here on the ground.
While this video refers to four incidents where the police were videotaped abusing and murdering people, the cameras rolling did
little to stop these incidents from taking place. And when an officer knows that if they get caught beating someone on video, they can just arrest the victim to legitimize arresting the copwatcher, than like in the states, we see a system that is designed to fail the people.
Regardless of what Officer Andre Traut says, we think that videotaping arrests is one of the most important times to be documenting, as this is one of the times police are most abusive.