Friday, July 8, 2011

Caught On Tape

Interesting discussion about how important it is that we retain the right to videotape police officers and other public servants:

Your cell phone camera has become a very important tool to use to document things as they happen. We can no longer rely on the media, or even public servants, to give us the truth about what transpires in certain situations.

Truth is important in a free society.

With regard to filming police in their line of duty, I don't think we should obstruct the police from doing their job - but I do think that anyone should be able to film anything in a public space. With regard to filming police - if they have done nothing wrong then they have nothing to hide.

That being said there are many police (and other public servant) abuses that have gone on too long and it's about time that the citizenry make it so they can no longer hide behind a badge - or a union - or their office title.

One organization trying to expose police brutality and abuse is Cop Block. They report on police abuse of authority.

I am not promoting being "anti-police" - but I sure think that we need to be able to put an end to police corruption and abuse (as well as any other public servant/elected official) and one way to do this is to be able to document the abuses with pictures and video footage.

Too many public servants have violated the public trust, and act as though they are immune or above the law. Like it or not, by holding their office they should be held to a higher standard.

Back in May, I was called to jury duty. I believe that one reason that I was excused from serving on a jury because during "Voir Dire' I was asked by the prosecution side if I thought that police lie. I replied "Yes", because of a personal experience. Apparently police were going to be called to testify against the defendant in the trial. In any case, I honestly do not believe all police are bad, but one must admit that we certainly have seen our share of bad ones.

One of my pet peeves is when I see a police car put on their lights and sirens in order to get through an intersection ahead of everyone else, and once through, they turn off the lights and sirens and go on their way. This is a clear abuse of their position.

Of course, we are talking about more serious abuses. Those should certainly be documented and our public servants should be held accountable.

Here is an interesting map (found on Target Map)