Last weekend I took off for Long Beach, CA with my girlfriend to spend some time before we are separated for an extended period of time. A few days ago I flew to Ohio to link up with Ademo for the start of a major project with the CopBlock Network – more on that later this week.
The first night we grabbed some pizza, and were walking back to the car when we noticed flashing lights down the block. I pulled out my phone and started walking that way. When I got there the Sgt. asked me if I knew the man being detained. I declined to answer.
He asked again, as if, I was going to change my answer. I wasn’t the only one exercising my right, the man he was detaining chose to remain silent as well. The Sgt. repeatedly tried to get him to answer his questions, telling the man he would be let go just as soon as he provided an address, so that the police felt that he was cognizant.
Originally, I thought the man was drunk, but after listening to him speak, it became clear that he was sober, Later he told the EMT’s that he suffered from bipolar disorder.
The man remained silent, and eventually the police decided that he needed to spend the night in jail. After they began to put the man in the car I asked the Sgt. for his name, and badge number. He asked me why? I told him because I asked, and he is a public servant. He went on a bumbling verbal tirade that ended with him assuring me that he was qualified.
During our conversation, the detained man let out a yell. I crossed the street, and he was laying in the road next to the cruiser. It is unclear to me whether the cop did something, or if the man fell.
I have watched the video multiple times, and I’m still not sure if the cop was the instigator. Although I am leaning toward the fact that the cop did something wrong based on the fact that everything was peaceful until the man was in the cruiser. That’s when the cop bent over to buckle him in that the man let out a scream.
The police forced their help upon him based on his behavior, regardless of the fact that he made it clear that he wanted nothing to do with them. He declined medical help, and inquired as to what the charges were. He even asked if he had rights to his own body. The police remained steadfast in their desire to “help” this man against his will.
A few minutes later the man asked me to turn off my camera. I told him I would, but instantly realized that the wasn’t the best idea, he had yelled out in pain, was sitting cuffed on the cement, the cops obviously weren’t nice people and I didn’t feel comfortable simply walking away so I decided to keep on rolling. It just seemed too dangerous or likely that he could face police aggression.
Eventually a Firefighter EMS team arrived on scene and the man answered all of their questions. When the ambulance arrived though a female EMT tried to get me to turn off my camera and I refused. Almost immediately another firefighter told me to move on, when I mentioned the 1st amendment he snickered at me. Then yet another EMT comes at me sideways and claimed that I was intruding on this mans private healthcare information. He threatened to have me arrested for HIPAA violations if I kept recording.
This guy didn’t know I used to be a certified EMT-B, and have worked in medical environments ranging from treatment centers at Ft. Riley to Basra Iraq. He thought it would be easy to bully me into turning off my camera. He tattled on me to the police Sgt., like a little girl on the playground runs crying to her teacher, and the Sgt. told him that there was nothing that he could do. And I just smiled at him.
The incident ended with the man being placed into an ambulance and taken to the hospital. Hopefully he didn’t face another police aggression that night.
I spent allot of time thinking about this incident and it really didn’t make any sense to me. A man peacefully sitting on the sidewalk is accosted by armed strangers who demand his information. When he refuses them, they enlist the help of EMS in order to kidnap him and use his bipolar disorder against him. Its not protection, it’s discriminate enforcement.
Without proper market competition the police have no incentive to provide a quality service. Regardless of the crimes solved or the people protected they will on the 1st, and 15th receive their paychecks. It’s a monopoly on force and – ironically – we are forced to pay for it.
Due to this economical stranglehold on the market for protection services, the police spend more time attempting to generate revenue to keep the racket afloat instead of protecting and mediating. Thanks to the never ending news cycles of pro police propaganda that glorify kidnapping, extortion, assault and any disregard for the well being of others by police officers. So much so that police are publicly recognized, and praised, for providing these poor quality protection services.
Tell me again? What planet am I living on?