Jan 292011

A YouTube video with some New Jersey cops failing *twice.* First, they fail when they detained a guy and wrote him a ticket for having a shirt with a naughty word on it. Ooops! The US Supreme Court already ruled on this, way back in 1970. Cohen vs. California. Guess what: freedom of speech stomps your desire to not see naughty words. Suck it!

Second, they fail for threatening violence and legal action upon a guy just standing there filming the “police action.” One of the cops actually claims that they cameraman is actually interferring with him… when the cameraman is clearly standing off at a respectable difference and doing nothing.

[youtube Nn1mgZaQZPQ]

There has been a whole lot of this sort of thing in the last decade or two, as video cameras have become cheaper and easier to use… and are now built into cel phones. Soon enough, though, video cameras will be essentially invisible… every schmoe who wants to will have a twenty-dollar camera the size of a button or mounted to his bike helmet or sunglasses. Can’t stop the signal.

 Posted by at 9:34 pm
  • John Nowak

    It’s a bit tricky. If I were a cop and things got violent I wouldn’t want to see a video of me, with the perp’s provocation carefully edited out.

  • Then you’d better have your own video, with the perp’s violent provocation left in.

    Public interaction is public. If Officer Friendly isn’t comfortable having it on tape, he shouldn’t do it.

  • admin

    On the other hand, better start getting rid of dashcam video cameras and security cameras. I’d hate to be a defendant and have the cop’s violence carefully editted out. Goes both ways.

    The same set of arguements that “video cameras make cops jobs harder” apply to guns. Gosh, wouldn’t society be better if only the police were allowed to be armed?

  • Bruce

    It’s funny how on shows like “COPS” it’s OK. Long as it makes them look good.

  • kbob42

    Little things like this are why I have problems with authority. Police seem to have a “Us vs. Them” mentality when it should be a “Us for Them.”

  • Ugh. Don’t get me started on cops and “Them vs. Us”. It’s been going on for a long time.

  • DAD

    That was bullshit. They would have to lock me up. Then to court.

  • Madoc

    Scott & all,

    Yup, got the same sorta thing one day when I was back in DC. Middle of the day up by Dupont Circle and I came across a bunch of DC Metro cops standing around a guy they’d handcuffed and on the ground before them.

    The folks in the bookstore I was in watching this with me were all complaining about so many cops being involved with taking down a single guy. That “40 Bullets” incident up in New York had just gone down a few weeks prior and I pointed that out to them there in the bookstore. I told them it was better to have half a dozen cops taking a guy down without a single shot being fired rather than forty shots at one unarmed guy. That rather shut them up.

    So, I walked outside and took a few pictures of the goings on.

    And, true to form, the “Officer Friendlies” there got all uppity and telling me to quit taking the photos and “interfering” with them. This, while standing well back on a public street.

    Ah, DC…