Editors Note: The content below was originally posted to KeeneCopBlock.org on September 21, 2014. It is reposted here to demonstrate the positive impact those active with Keene Cop Block have had in their community – a college town of about 25,000 people.
Last week the write-up CopBlock works to keep police in check, authored by Alexa Ondreicka, went live at The Keene Equinox, which has the tagline, “The voice of Keen State College.” Below are some experts from the piece
Click here to read the full article, which also gives:
- more comments from Ian Freeman about his motivations and actions to help create a peaceful community
- a recount from a student filmed by someone active with Keene Cop Block during his interaction with strangers wearing badges
- comments by Amanda Guthorn, the director of campus safety at Keene State
By: Alexa Ondreicka
For years, videos have been floating around the internet exposing police officers in every way possible.
While there are many different viewpoints surrounding the actions of the police force, students at Keene State College in particular are being thrust into an entirely separate situation with the implementation of CopBlock every Friday and Saturday night.
CopBlock, according to member Ian Freeman, is a “decentralized organization—meaning nobody’s in charge of anybody else—that exists worldwide.”
Freeman noted that holding police accountable for their actions is their main focus, hoping to expose police officers who target people for “victimless crimes,” such as open container violations or possession of marijuana.
CopBlockers expose these police officers by video-taping their interactions with the people they are targeting and then placing the videos online for the public to see.
“A primary sort of weapon we use against the police is the video camera,” Freeman explained, “Police accountability is the focus of CopBlock, and the best way to hold them accountable, we’ve found, is through the public’s eye.”
Freeman said, “A CopBlocker can’t be there every time the police are behaving badly. It’s your responsibility to protect yourself and the best thing you can do is record your interaction. I’ve seen cameras change how a police-encounter goes more times than I can count. And usually changes it for the better.”
He continued, “That’s all it takes—to have a concern for the people around you. And trying to create an environment where the police behave better, hopefully, and that fewer people get hurt, and fewer peaceful people will get arrested.”
- CopBlock Know Your Rights Flyer Updated for 2014 post by Ian Freeman with updated flyer
- Know Your Rights – page with videos and information to help you stay safe
- Film The Police – page with tactics, maps, links to smartphone apps, and more