Ademo and I have been in Kansas City for the better part of a week now. KCK CopBlock founders and CopBlock Network contributors Danny, and Janel Florez have been providing everything necessary to work out of MAC, as well as, taking us to areas with heavy police traffic.
Our Friday night CopBlocking outing was successful. We cruised the Kansas and Missouri sides of the city. Eventually we came across a traffic stop. 2 people were in handcuffs and the vehicle was being searched. The police weren’t fond of our presence and it wasn’t long, until they tried to disable my camera with the spotlight on their car.
This type of reaction to cameras pointed at them only strengthens my opinion that police do not value accountability, and the citizen critiques done by CopBlockers are not looked upon favorably. Even if their light had blown out my camera there were plenty of other cameras around, to capture the interaction. Just another example of why, whenever possible try to film the police in teams.
Two of them had warrants, and the police still set them free. Later they told some of the KCK CopBlockers that it was because of us. The car battery was dead due to the interior lights being on during the search and the car wouldn’t start. Danny mentioned that they needed a jump to a couple of officers in one of the cruisers. The officers refused to help based on perceived liability issues, then drove off.
I called the KCMO police department and spoke with Sgt. Mills. He told me that it was up to the officers discretion whether or not they wanted to jump-start stalled vehicles. If you are paying for a public service doesn’t it seem strange that not only are the police against civilian critiques, or any outside accountability but when the opportunity arises to actually help someone; it’s up to their discretion whether or not they choose to help or leave you stranded.