DEO shared this post as an entry for the second portion of the Bitcoin-Fueled Content Contest.
I have seen a lot of Cop Block videos. One common theme I see in the officers that find themselves on the business end of our cameras is that rather than embrace the transparency afforded by the camera, they are all too willing to act a fool on camera. They will resort to all kinds of underhanded tactics to gain control.
Why wouldn’t police departments start working within the law, to set a better example? Instead, they seem to use that energy for trying to find a way around the law rather than seizing the opportunity to change. In fact, it seems the “go to” move is to skirt the law! Undermine the validity of the Cop Blocker’s rights. It’s always trying to find another loophole to exploit, like trying to say the camera is a gun, or arresting a videographer for some bullshit charge like disorderly conduct! They will call on some crazy alternate side of the street parking rule to get the cop blocker to disperse. Or some other act of intimidation to gain compliance. The immediate threat is kidnapping and caging. It’s disgraceful!
Of course there are exceptions. I can recall to mind a video with Andrew Henderson, Minnesota Cop Block. He encounters an officer handing out parking tickets. He starts to inform the public, and the officer takes the attitude of, “You work that side and I’ll work this side of the street, and we will warn them all together!” Another example is Michael Burns of Central Florida Cop Block. He has a good, ongoing conversation with one of the officers he has had multiple contacts with. It appears as though this officer wants to understand Mike’s motivations rather than turn to the dark side right off the bat. There are departments all over the country that could learn a thing or two from these officers. Unfortunately, the cop more often takes the stance of trying to falsely accuse the activist of a crime!
To me, it speaks volumes that police departments’ reaction to transparency is to try to recoil further into the shadows. Why not use that energy to do the opposite, and say, “Yeah, we don’t want these rogue cops tarnishing our good names either!” But no, they turn to an even greater effort to accept appalling behavior and get the approval of the courts to call it “normal.” They would rather stand by the side of a murderer and all go down together than out the bad cop themselves!
Some departments have adopted a policy of having body cams on officers, and I have to wonder whether or not the officers have the ability to turn the cameras off. Are there any consequences for them turning them off in the middle of an interaction? Because if not, it will be no better than the failed dash cam program! Cop Blockers don’t turn off the cameras to try to hide things!
When they act against their mission statement, what do they do? They change the mission statement instead of adhering to their stated goals! What the hell are we doing over here?! I thought we were trying to make a better world… Was I wrong?