abuse of power, betrayal of trust, Civil Rights, civil rights in US, cricketdiane, Freedom, freedom of information, Human Rights, police, police abuse of power in the United States, police brutality in US, police brutality in US states, public servants trust, state governments, US Bill of Rights, US Constitution, US Constitutional Rights, US Government
“We think every citizen should have a camera in their car,” he says. “Every encounter with police officers — every one — should be filmed.”
A week later, the friends returned to police headquarters to try again. This time, they brought a full assortment of cameras and mics. They shot footage of the cops stonewalling Bredwell again. When officers noticed the cameras, they arrested Hammonds and charged him with obstruction of justice, loitering, and trespassing. He says an officer grabbed him by his hair in an interrogation room and then locked him in a sweltering van for two hours in 90-degree heat.
In South Florida, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) sued the City of Boynton Beach this past June on behalf of a local woman named Sharron Tasha Ford. She had gone to a movie theater to pick up her son, a minor, whom police accused of trespassing. Ford said she had “a bad feeling” about the arrest, so she took a camera with her. When she refused to stop filming, she was arrested and charged under State Statute 934.03, the “two-party consent” recording law.
My Note – Well, that’s the truth but it is going to be kinda hard to videotape as the first quote says, since it is apparently illegal to film the police in America even when they are engaging in brutality against citizens. But, then I think we all already knew that – it has been true for at least twenty years in America.
What year was the Rodney King incident – ever since police were caught doing that one, they haven’t wanted anyone to be filming them because recorded information makes them “look bad”. The number of dashboard cameras when they have yielded information which caught police engaging in brutality and other horrendous actions – has been buried, only to come to light sometimes years later. This has been going on for a long, long, long time in America and it has just never been fixed and never gotten better.
It is a bit much for judges to uphold charges against people who filmed public servants paid by public moneys in their actions with private citizens in public environments (in a freedom of press country.) When it is those same judges having that police brutality aimed at them, they want access to tapes of it to use in court and want there to be public records of the events – even those made by private citizens with their own cameras nearby of the event and the actions of police in it.
When police engage in activities with the public trust backing them, they have given up the right of privacy as they engage in those particular activities. If they don’t want to be filmed as they are treating citizens brutally – then stop treating citizens brutally as if they have no rights. Police can stop acting in ways that are inappropriate and a dishonor to the public trust given to them.
At every turn where an abuse of power happens by any police officer, or police force in America – at any level or agency of our police services, that atrocity small or great affects us all. Not only are we paying for those services to be provided under a specific set of Constitutional rules, laws and guidelines which are being ignored, but it also models a type of behavior and violent disrespect for others that none of us would agree to support.
And, worse than that almost is the fact that this type of behavior from our police including brutality and abusiveness has not stopped crime in our communities, nor stopped gangs, nor discouraged shootings, murders, robberies, rapes and other violent crimes, nor has it made our communities safer. It hasn’t made good things happen nor stopped bad things from happening. I would say, that means there is something wrong with doing it that way, aside from our Constitutional laws that police officers and police agencies are breaking when they do things in these brutal ways and abuse their power and office.
If they think for one minute, that filming them isn’t going to happen or that laws against filming them will end up meaning anything – they are wrong. This is not 1930’s America anymore.