John R. Houk
© July 4, 2012
I am a huge supporter of law enforcement to such a degree that I understand the reason a cop can be upset after a perpetrator has shot at him/her. I can understand the anger built up after a long grueling chase in which police are trained not to shoot unless deadly force is used against them. There is undoubtedly going to be a little police retribution.
On the other hand there are cops that have a short fuse that use brutality even when an arrest is not warranted. Groups of cops can go way overboard in violence against perpetrators and perceived perpetrators who are just in the wrong place at the wrong time.
The mobile phone in this case is the best citizen defense against police brutality in cases of crossing the line on the brutality scale. There is a huge amount of lobbying from police departments to make it illegal for a private citizen to record police brutality in progress.
Check this out:
More and more people use their smartphones to record police misconduct. But laws against wiretapping are being used to intimidate and stop them.
Over Memorial Day weekend this past May, residents of Miami Beach witnessed a horrific display of police brutality as 12 cops sprayed Raymond Herisse’s car with 100 bullets, killing him. The shooting provoked outrage in the surrounding community, not only because of the murder, but because of what the police did afterward.
Officers on the scene confiscated and smashed witnesses’ cell phones; later, when they were confronted by the media, the police denied trying to destroy videos of the incident.
But 35-year-old Narces Benoit removed his HTC EVO’s memory card and hid it in his mouth. He later sold the video to CNN, placing the police in the awkward position of explaining why they lied about allegations of cell phone destruction. More importantly, the video showed at least two officers pointing guns at Benoit, demanding that he stop filming.
Police brutality takes many forms around the country on a regular basis, particularly in poor and minority neighborhoods. Sometimes, the only method of accountability is a victim’s word (if they are still alive) against that of an officer. Unsurprisingly, the police officer’s version of the story is often adequate for a judge to dismiss allegations of wrongdoing, unless there is hard evidence of misconduct, such as a video or audio recording, which can be useful to unravel conflicting versions of police-citizen encounters.
Due to advancements in technology, the average citizen carries a digital camera in his or her pocket or purse, creating a potential army of amateur videographers on every street corner. A quick YouTube search of “police brutality” lists endless videos, often cell phone footage, of what appear to be police acting with unnecessary and violent force. Some of those videos have served a crucial role in bringing charges against brutality that may have gone unaddressed had it not been for bystanders recording. (READ THE REST: 15 Years in Prison For Taping the Cops? How Eavesdropping Laws Are Taking Away Our Best Defense Against Police Brutality; by Rania Khalek; AlterNet; 7/27/11)
There is a Youtube video circulating that shows disturbing police brutality. This nearly 1 hour long video shows scene after scene of police brutality on a national scale. This is the kind of video that makes the police look like the enemy of citizens. I still don’t buy that! Nonetheless, when the police enter the police brutality realm citizens need to have proof for their own protection. After all most police automobiles have video rolling, citizens need that right as well.
NoGuff has sought my opinion on a video.
A video I’d like your opinion on.
(WHY COPS FEAR-SHTF)
Hi. I watched this video about bad cops. Yes, it’s one-sided, as I’m sure most cops are good people and honest and have integrity (at least I hope so). This focuses on the bad ones, but it does seem that there are a lot, based on this video (the parts where people just ask for a form at the police station will demonstrate this).
I’d love to get your opinion on it. I’m a supporter of the police, but not 100% as I know there are bad apples. Plus the fact that most have said they will follow illegal orders when SHTF. Remember Katrina? Remember the Tea Party rallies where SWAT showed up in full riot gear? I mean some of this stuff (like the downtown park round-up you’ll see) really makes me question WTF we’re doing in this country, allowing the few in our communities to do these things to us without consequence. It really makes me question where our real freedom has gone.
“WHY COPS FEAR-SHTF”
It’s long, about 58min, so give yourself a good time block to watch it. I’d love to get your opinion.
Thanks a lot,