If someone is showing this to you, you probably do not care about recording police, or police accountability for that matter. Maybe you accept the argument, “They are just doing their job,” or think, “I am just a regular law-abiding citizen. That will never happen to me.” The problem is that there is a good chance it might.
Too many ordinary, law-abiding citizens have been the victim of police abuse, whether it be physically, mentally, or constitutionally. Too often is a person subject to illegal searches or harsh treatment because, what, an officer doesn’t like them? Then, to justify the marks on the person or the remarks of the person, the “civil servant” creates a false story. These range from “resisting arrest” to “I was in fear for my life.” Perfectly innocent people are looking at actual jail time for a crime forged by his or her “protector,” and if not for a bystander recording the incident or a security camera pointed in that person’s direction, that jail time would have been served.
Unfortunately, this is not always the case. It is impossible to know how many innocent people are in jail because it ended up being a he-said, she-said argument between the victim and the police officer, because there was no other evidence. Nine times out of ten the officer is more believable because, well, it’s a police officer, why would he lie?
Now, what if you could have saved that innocent law-abiding citizen? You see a person getting tackled by a police officer. Do you keep walking and save 5 minutes or take out your mobile phone and start recording? That simple decision, 5 minutes of your time, could be the difference of years to another. Maybe you are on the other side. Innocent and unarmed, you are tackled to the ground and beaten. Wouldn’t you want someone to be recording the actual events, instead of relying on the officer that beat you to truthfully testify to what had happened?
We are in a dark age, heading towards a police state. Many police officers can disregard the constitution, twist the law, and neglect their oath to serve and protect without any penalty. For a crime that would put a normal citizen in jail for years, or even life, police officers often get off with a paid suspension or a warning. What many don’t understand is that badges do not grant extra rights.
To get the United States out of this dark age, we do not only need a knight in shining armor, we need an army of them. An army of people that say, “We will not give up our rights.” So, how can one do this without actually going to The President and telling him personally? There are actually many ways.
You can “flex your rights” by filming, refusing searches, refusing DUI checkpoints, remaining silent, or not giving identification unless you are being detained. You can also join a protest, sign a petition, and one of the most important: spread the word. Educate your family and friends about their rights and on current events or forward news articles relating to police brutality or infringed rights. But most importantly: be safe.
Always make sure you are within the law. If you are ever unsure about something, take the safe road and research it first (helpful apps can be found at www.copblock.org/apps). Make sure where you are filming IS public property. Do not act aggressive towards a police officer or engage in any threatening physical contact. Always be courteous and respectful to police officers as not all are bad. In fact, there are many good cops that honor their oaths and abide by the constitution, and I am truly sorry that their colleagues make them look so bad.
By not surrendering your rights, you are not only standing up for yourself, you are standing up for all of the citizens of the United States as you become one of the knights in shining armor fighting for the very ideas this country was founded on.