This post will upset a lot of you, but I will risk it.
When I first watched this video – the day after it circulated – I was very upset. Upset because I have been stopped when I felt that had to suck up to dishonest cops because I didn’t have a camera running or an audio recorder running. When I saw this video, two things went through my mind.
1. If it had been me, I would have baited and antagonized that cop until he either beat me or threw me in jail under false pretenses. It wouldn’t have taken much, as he seemed just begging for a reason to club this kid and throw him in jail. I then would have sued the department and the cop for all they were worth. I would see that the video of the violation surfaced on the Internet the day before the trial and I would go for a reward on the scale of the Rodney King case.
2. I wish the hell I had a setup like that in all of my vehicles.
Now, after further reflection and reading dozens of comments on blogs and news sites, I still feel the same way.
Several folks questioned if the kid had an issue with cops…
Well… I have an issue with cops! My issue stems from the fact that I have found most of them to believe that they are above the law, better (or more special/important) than “civilians”, and that they are willing to lie/cheat/coerce/or collude with other officers to get a conviction, whether they believe the party in question is guilty or not.
I would love to see a company reduce the cost of these devices as they have done with cellular telephones. Imagine if these devices were available with nothing down and $15 a month….
Imagine every teen, black, woman, college kid, construction worker, constitutionalist, Arab, and Mexican, with one of these installed in their cars. It would serve exactly the same purpose as concealed carry of firearms; It would level the playing field and take the power away from the bullies. No longer would the bully/criminal/cop have an unfair advantage. No longer would the cops’ testimony carry more weight than the drivers’. No longer would criminals assume that it was safe to “car jack” someone with no repercussions.
If an armed society is a polite society, then a cop fearful of being recorded would become a decent, law abiding human being again.
I personally would love nothing more than to see bad cops removed from the justice system.
If it is OK for cops to set up stings, road blocks, and the like, why isn’t turnabout fair game? Why shouldn’t these devices be used to root out the bad eggs on the police forces? Why not entrap cops into engaging in police brutality, sexual harassment, racism, and miscarriages of the law? In my opinion, that would be an excellent use for these devices – perhaps the ONLY way of reversing the current condition.
In most cities today, we are recorded on every street, parking lot, public building, place of business, and traffic stop. Yet, when the facts are in question or where foul play is suspected (think Pentagon 9/11) all the tapes are confiscated and held by a secret agency or law enforcement group. I’m sick of that.
I think that it is high time that the American public fight fire with fire. If the cops record every incident, either make it a law that every person stopped is entitled to a free copy of the video of their stop – on request at the time of their stop for free – or that the case can be dismissed and the incident expunged from their record.
I would like to see more of these cameras in use. I would like to see them as standard issue for all new cars. I would much rather have a camera than the damn “On-star” cellular devices that are currently installed in all new vehicles and used as tracking devices…
I don’t want you to think I am anti-cop. I’m not. What I am against are abuses of power, trampling the rights of those not wealthy enough to defend themselves or smart enough to know how. I am against bullies. I am against using law enforcement officers as tax collectors. I am against intimidation by thugs with guns who believe that they are above the law because they have a gun and a badge. The sooner these people are removed from the field of justice, the better (and safer) we will all be. I believe it is also in the best interest of law enforcement agencies to support their removal. By doing so, they may once again restore the concept that the police are the good guys.
Got comments? Email me, dammit!
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