Excessive Force Is Dangerous — To View on YouTube

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31 Responses

  1. b says:

    I probably recognized each story you linked without needing to click on the link.

    And it's heartbreaking.

    I've never had, at least in the U.S., a negative encounter with a law-enforcement officer. But I don't ignore the possibility that, one day, I will end up on the uglier end of a state-sanctioned fist, boot, club, taser, macing, bullet, or patrol car for no crime at all.

    And a prosecutor will be happy to fabricate a charge to justify it.

    And a judge will take their word for it, whatever the evidence.

  2. Scott Jacobs says:

    Well THIS story certainly leaves me feeling all safe and secure…

    I'm gonna go cry and drink now.

  3. Tam says:

    The quickest litmus test of a cop's ethics is how they feel about video, in much the same way that the quickest litmus test of a cashier's honesty is how they feel about a camera pointed at the cash drawer.

    If they demur, you have to wonder why.

  4. staghounds says:

    I'm a prosecutor by profession. Since the day I started the job I have been a missionary for cameras everywhere my police officers go and tried to get them to film everything they do.

    Tam is right, honest people are proud to be seen.

  5. marco73 says:

    The various shows with police videos have been around for what, 25 years? Generally the voiceover is done with a grave, authoritarian tone. Heros in blue and all that.
    Now that just about any ignorant clod can push a couple buttons and post just about every action of the police in public, all of a sudden the public is "wiretapping" and invading privacy.
    Please – you let the genie out of the bottle when you starting releasing dash cam videos, and what local newscast is complete without accident, rescue, or fire footage.
    Sure there are bad cops out there. Sunshine is the best disinfectant.

  6. EH says:

    marco73: it was different when the jackasses on video were only trailer trash.

  7. Kasey says:

    TIL that ken from popehat is a redditor. <3

  8. Ken says:

    My reddit account is extremely recent. Not really a redditor yet.

  9. Bergman says:

    If it's defamatory to show a video of cops actually committing crimes or behaving improperly, then it is also defamatory that police provide press releases to news media prior to an actual conviction of the suspect.

  10. nrasmuss13 says:


    Can we say "perp walk"? Last refuge of a prosecutorial scoundrel it would seem. Case in point well illustrated by the recent DSK matter, I think — a misogynistic s***head the man may be, but a strong case for rape? Apparently not one that couldn't be made stronger by a public display of the disgraced "rapist" in cuffs on his way to meet his supposedly well deserved desserts…

    Given your former work as a federal prosecutor, Ken, I'm curious about your thoughts: given the rather grotesque nature of the modern perp-walk, how is this squared with either the constitutional mandate of "innocent until proven guilty" or the canons of ethics? (besides a lame claim that it's all done at the discretion of the police without prosecutorial oversight or authority?). I can understand why a driven-to-win prosecutor might overlook this; why do judges? Have we really sunk so low?

  11. Dan Weber says:

    honest people are proud to be seen.

    I dunno. Would I want a video camera following me around? No.

    I still say (like I have for years) that cops should be walking video stations, both for their protection and ours, because of the nature of their job. They get to initiate force, which is a huge responsibility. But I object to this "if you have nothing to hide then why do you object to being recorded?" argument, even if being applied to cops.

    all of a sudden the public is "wiretapping" and invading privacy.

    Consent is a critical component of this.

  12. John Burgess says:

    I want to alter a car so that it has 360° photo coverage and audio. Both would automatically upload to servers both within and outside the US. Control of the functions would be beyond the driver's control.

    A notice that all interactions with the car are being recorded would be mounted above the front doors of the car. A more detailed description of the recording and distribution would be available.

    What sort of notice is required in states like IL to avoid their narrow 'evesdropping' laws?

  13. Scott Jacobs says:

    More than you can possibly perform, since it is a duel-consent state.

    Which is where they try to get people when they tape the cops – they neither inform the police, nor gain their consent. However, I would love to try it some time.

    Me: "Officer, I will be recording, via video and audio, our interaction, if that is alright with you."

    Officer: "It is not…"

    Me: "Well then, I guess you don't need to talk to me then, do you. I'll just be on my way then…"

  14. Rrr says:

    … a duel-consent state

    must be a pretty hard challenge to meet … back to the Old West, eh?

  15. Scott Jacobs says:

    Oh shush…

  16. Rliyen says:

    Louisiana, for all its backwards ways, still has one party consent. Yay for small wonders.

  17. Krioni says:

    Pro-Tip: Want to gain the experience of being assaulted by the police? Walk near an Occupy Wall Street march (even on the sidewalk and moving along).

  18. Scott Jacobs says:

    Yeah, because people who didn't actively antagonize the cops got assaulted by the police all the time at those things.

    Fucking dipshit.

    While most of us here have a healthy dislike of the police (and authority in general), we also understand that such a dislike doesn't mean we should go around pissing the cops off for giggles.

    You feckless bumble-fucking assclown.

  19. Ken says:

    I hate to stop you in the middle of a quality rant, Scott, but I have read reports of non-OWS people claiming they were abused by police merely for being near OWS protests.

    I don't believe it simply because they say it, but nothing in what I have learned about police conduct makes me view it as inherently incredible.

  20. Scott Jacobs says:

    Though what I have observed of the OWS crowd makes me even more suspicious that these "non-OWS" people were a) not just "minding their own business" and b) probably were actually OWS.

    The very carefully edited and staged videos they have out make me more suspicious of the "anti-cop claims" around OWS than I am of most anything else.

  21. Krioni says:

    Here you go, Scott. A legal observer from the NLG was arrested for talking on his cell phone while observing police activity from across the street. They throw him onto the hood of a car, zip-tie his hands, then take him away.


    Now, instead of being "suspicious" and lazy, please educate yourself by going out and looking this stuff up for yourself. Video is all over the place that shows police targeting people who are merely exercising their First Amendment rights. I posted a single video for you – you have to do the rest yourself, or be revealed as someone no one here should listen to.

  22. Scott Jacobs says:

    First off, cock-monger, I don't consider the NLG to be "non-OWS" since they are regarded as the free legal advice arm or the OWS movement, going so far as having tables and workshops at many of the protest sites.

    Again, the video's that OWS has put out "proving" police excesses are carefully staged and edited to remove the actions of the protestors prior to the police acting.

    As for the video you linked, you failed to mention that the lawyer had – just moments prior – had some interaction with the police.

    The fact that the video-taker feels the need to run and hide every time the cops start to walk towards him suggests his interaction wasn't due to littering either.

    As I said, I am skeptical of the propaganda put out by OWS, and for plenty of good reasons.

  23. Scott Jacobs says:

    As for which one of us the folks around here will listen too, I leave that up to them…

    But since you're the fucking new guy, I wouldn't go wagering money, were I you.

  24. Krioni says:

    Wow, Scott.
    1) Here's a link to an unedited video showing what happened leading up to that attack. http://www.ustream.tv/recorded/19508535
    I'll summarize, but watch it for yourself if you refuse to listen. Protestors walking on sidewalk – some of the few sober pedestrians on New Year's Eve. Police completely surround them so they can't go anywhere. Police announce: "You are blocking the sidewalk. If you don't disperse you will be arrested." They then arrest people who try to disperse. They push away legal observers and citizen journalists who are watching their mistreatment of protestors. Then, the video segment I linked to previously.

    2) The NLG has a long history of supporting First Amendment rights.

    3) I'd like to know what interaction the legal observer could possibly have had that justified the way he was thrown around and arrested. "Put down the phone!" Seriously, you can think of something we didn't get to see that excuses that kind of abuse of authority?

    4) I addressed you with evidence backing up what I said originally after you threw out baseless accusations of doctored footage. You responded with childish insults. If you comment here regularly, I can only assume everyone else already is familiar with your behavior. You're right, as the new guy, I didn't realize I was feeding the troll.

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