Ask A Cop Blocker: Volume One

I am a Cop Block Network contributor, activist, educator, philosopher and artist. I am by no means a legal expert. But often I am asked questions, so I have created Ask A Cop Blocker as a way to answer as many of our reader inquiries as I can.

Recently Cop Block has been making some big changes. As a part of that we are making greater efforts to interact with our readers. So recently I have been posting the following message to our Facebook page in order to help provide information and show that we care about what is on your mind:

Do you have a genuine question that you would like to ask a Cop Block Network contributor?
Message me at the Joshua Scott Hotchkin page and submit your questions and who, if not me, you would like to have answer it.
I will field all legitimate questions and post them along with the answers on this page within a weekday or two of receiving your question.
Trolls and agitators will be dismissed out of hand.

The following are the questions and responses from the most recent Ask A Cop Blocker interactions.


‘Bob Villa’ asks:
How do you measure progress for Cop Block and is progress being made?

Joshua Scott Hotchkin answers:
I can only answer this personally, since each of us might have a slightly different answer.
My goal is to abolish police and replace them with specific services required in a given community according to their needs. I think people should have a choice about what services they pay for, as well, so the counseling, arbitration, security and other services withing a community should never be compulsory.
The only way to reach this goal is to get enough people to see that what we have does not, and can not, work. And that there are more innovative and creative ways to deal with the issues police exist to address.
So I measure progress by the every single person who absorbs and helps to spread this message. And while it may be slow going and not always appear evident, people are beginning to see this.
In that way I think that progress is being made. Ideas spread exponentially so the change in public thinking can change quickly.
I have no timetable, nor expectations, for when the critical mass that induces change will occur. But I am hopeful that policing as it now exists could be abolished in my lifetime.

Transgendered Police Interactions…

Sofia Jane Lugo asks:
Since you asked, I have a question for Cop Block: As a transgender woman, what should I do if i’m stopped and questioned? Should I assert my gender identity or choose my battles and let it go if they misgender me?

Joshua Scott Hotchkin answers:
Your legal gender is the one on your birth certificate, and that is all police will recognize.
That being said, I think legal gender is itself an irrational and oppressive function. Objective measurements of fluid humans is part of the zealous materialism of our times.
***** *****
***** *****
If asserting your identity is more important than staying out of jail, then that is what you should do. It depends on what you personally value. But make no mistake, doing so will land you in some hot water. I don’t like that, either. To be controlled we must be easily labeled. Nobody can be free to be themselves so long as the authority to control exists.
Abolish police and the state!

Is it legal to record cops where I live?

James Osborn asks:
Hi I saw your post, and have a few questions if you can help me. So, is it legal to record cops in Houston, Texas? If so, what should I do if they break my phone or take it?

Joshua Scott Hotchkin answers:
It is legal to record cops in public doing their duties in all fifty states, which has been supported at every level of the US court system. You must make it clear you are recording them, I suggest even telling them – “For my safety and accountability I am recording this interaction, which is a right that has been protected by the US Federal Courts.” You must also maintain a reasonably safe distance and not interfere with their duties in the course of recording them.
I would suggest that you speak to the chief of police, and calmly and rationally explain that your activities were legal and that her/his officers were acting against the law by taking your phone, and that you would be willing to overlook that criminal action if your phone is returned to you safe and intact immediately.
If that fails, you are going to need a lawyer. Sorry, I know that is impossible for most of the people cops mess with, but the system is not for your benefit, it is for theirs. This is why we must #AbolishThePolice

In the meantime, download Cell 411 and livestream your interactions so that…
a) The video will be uploaded safely, so that even if they take your phone you will still have documentation of the event on that services servers.
b) If you explain that the video is live and will be uploaded to a secure server, then they won’t have a reason to take your phone to begin with.

Good luck, stay safe and keep on filming the police!

Why don’t you follow up on every story?…

Robyn B. Holmes asks:
Why doesn’t Cop Block follow up on all the stories? I think it would balance out a lot of things, at the same time as providing a high degree of credibility for these stories.

Many of the people written about I’m sure have had their lives changed. How many continue to be targeted by police?
How many fall off the map?

Joshua Scott Hotchkin answers:
Until I joined the CopBlock Network as a contributor, I had no idea how things happened. It is hard to remember, but I imagined this highly organized setting with tons of communication, structure and cohesiveness. In reality, none of that exists. It is just a bunch of individuals who come and go as they please, doing what most excites and interests them at that time. There really is not much in the way of monetary compensation for doing this, so the motivation is always personal.
As such, we do not look like the news office you see on television. There is no Cop Block office, our contributors live all over the country (and sometimes outside of it, too), and we have personal discussions right in social media with no formal meetings whatsoever. We definitely do not have a man with a cigar barking out assignments to eager reporters. People just do what they feel like doing. And that is the beauty of Cop Block.
It would be nice if we could follow up each story, but hey, we do not even have enough willing contributors to write all the stories that are happening. In fact, we only get to a small portion of police corruption and abuse as it is. Keeping a list of stories and then doing regular follow ups just is not possible for a group of rag tag activists and writers that have little support for what they do.
No matter how much each individual gives of their self to Cop Block, the public always wants to know why we aren’t doing more. The answer is usually just that we cannot.
Come help.
Be the change you want to see. We are always looking for people to assist in any way or contribute. Here is an open invite. Submit your first piece at and include at the end a paragraph stating your intention to contribute regularly. We will get back to you.

Can we have accountability?…

Kelly Tharp asks:
Is there any way to demand all these lying cops be prosecuted for perjury? Every damn one is a fairy tale, and innocents suffer. Also is it feasible to start a campaign of jury nullification every time a lying cop takes the stand. We the people need to protect ourselves from this tyranny. It is the only power we have to shut down these lying cops. Every damn police report is a fairy tale. Also if cops are so brave, why do they always seem to be in fear for their lives?

Joshua Scott Hotchkin answers:
I have said it before and I will say it again – accountability is futile. Systems do not exist for the benefit of individuals. They exist for the benefit of the ruling class. The state, police…these things could never possibly hold the interest of individuals above their own. They could not survive. There is no fixing the police state. The history of policing is oppression, not service and protection. The thing that has to be fixed is the misguided attachment to an ideal state of these systems. It is synonymous with trying to build a nicer cage. Screw being caged – #AbolishThePolice
As for your last question, well I think you answered it!

Do I have to call the cops if my loved ones expire?…

Natasha Maz asks:
Hi, I have little question. If someone dies within your family or a friend or a spouse how do you take care of it without involving a corrupt dangerous system meaning calling the ambulance for example. I have been in institutions all my life i know the police hate me and I know they are corrupt criminals who will do anything to set you up.

Joshua Scott Hotchkin answers:
In order to answer this I had to do some research and spoke to some funeral professionals. The answers I got were that it depended on the situation.
If it was an expected death, as in an illness or medical issue that has been recently treated by healthcare professionals – you can report the death directly to a private funeral home who will help you make all the arrangements and get all the proper paperwork taken care of.
If the death was unexpected or the result of a trauma, it must be reported to authorities for investigation. If not you could be held liable on a number of criminal charges and suspected of responsibility for the death.
Peace, prosperity and health to you and your loved ones, Natasha.

Thanks for all of the great questions and keep sending them. I will do my best to answer them to the best of my ability, research them or pass them off to those who might have a better response. You can also request a different contributor to respond. But as with any other thing, do not believe me or anybody else. Do your own research, question everything and think for yourself.

Remember…I will only answer questions asked directly to me by messaging my Joshua Scott Hotchkin Facebook page.

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Alia Atreides

Hi, my name is Trevor. Thanks for reading!