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Police Using YouTube To Tell Their Own Stories

Soulskill posted about 2 years ago | from the who-watches-the-watchers-who-watch-the-watchers dept.

Youtube 299

stevegee58 writes "Posting videos to YouTube allegedly showing police misconduct has become commonplace these days. Now police themselves are posting their own videos to refute misconduct claims. 'After a dozen Occupy Minnesota protesters were arrested at a downtown demonstration, the group quickly took to the Internet, posting video that activists said showed police treating them roughly and never warning them to leave. But Minneapolis police knew warnings had been given. And they had their own video to prove it. So they posted the footage on YouTube, an example of how law enforcement agencies nationwide are embracing online video to cast doubt on false claims and offer their own perspective to the public.'"

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Okay then... (4, Insightful)

detritus. (46421) | about 2 years ago | (#40301623)

Then they should stop confiscating the cell phones and cameras of protesters if they have nothing to worry about.
The difference is, the only real attention the media will give will be to the police, and this AP article illustrates this perfectly.

Re:Okay then... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40302015)

the only real attention the media will give will be to the police

That hasn't been the case so far. And it's easy to see why.

Allegations of police brutality (and the controversy surrounding it) gets eyeballs. Police just doing their jobs is boring. Guess which one "the media" wants.

See how that works?

What about cops? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40302445)

Allegations of police brutality (and the controversy surrounding it) gets eyeballs. Police just doing their jobs is boring. Guess which one "the media" wants.

I seem to recall a show called Cops that would disprove your claims.

Re:What about cops? (5, Insightful)

jxander (2605655) | about 2 years ago | (#40302625)

I seem to recall that show focusing on the "fun" stuff (for varying definitions of fun). I never saw a single episode where a cop rolled around his beat for 30 minutes, and cut to credits. I don't even recall seeing a routine stop. Imagine that episode: cop flashes his lights, car pulls over, speeding ticket issued, no drama, motorist apologizes for the violation and goes about their business. That's boring, doesn't get airtime.

Every episode had some form of chase, either on foot on in the cars, or they had cops tackling drunken rednecks or breaking up fights, getting shot at, etc. That's exciting, that's what airs.

Fast-forward to the current situation: protests. We-the-people don't want to see video of cops politely asking 15 times for someone to clear out. We get bored watching police standing around while protesters peacefully demonstrate, which is what's actually happening 95% of the time. We want the videos where someone gets punched, or slapped in cuffs and dragged away from their tent... even if you have to cut out the previous 6 hours of the cop telling people that they're not allowed to take a crap in the grass.

Re:Okay then... (0)

batkiwi (137781) | about 2 years ago | (#40302191)

There is only one "police", and they all act the same, have the same leadership structures, and the same operating proceedures.

Re:Okay then... (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40302197)

Yup. And, every time some video sneaks out, it demonstrates criminal sadistic behavior on the part of the police.

Even with video of cold blooded murder by cops (shooting Oscar Grant in the back while held down by a bunch of cops who showed they were conspirators to murder when they tried to collect every recording device (cell phones, etc.) in the Bart station to destroy the evidence), nothing but a slap on the wrist to the murdering pig, and nothing to his co-conspirators.

It is hard to listen to the audio (there is poor quality video too) of one recording of 50 pigs in border patrol uniforms torturing a man to death just on the US side of the Mexico border. The man repeatedly screams Ayudame! Ayudame por favor! Help me! help me please! They kicked him, beat him, tased him, crushed him, and finally, after much suffering-- silence as he died-- leaving his children without (what sounded to be a devoted father). So, 50 pigs torture, murder, and (again conspire to destroy evidence by seizing cell phones), and nothing done to the criminal pigs.

Or, the pigs who murdered a man who was supposed to be the victim of a medical emergency (emergency call pendant went off). Pigs knew it was a medical issue, and the company canceled the call, but the pigs broke in tased, then shot the severely ill, unarmed man dead after calling him a Nigger. All recorded by the device his medical pendant communicated with. Still, the pigs involved identities were protected, and the murderous racist pigs were treated as the victims.

Police have _far_ too much power for the number of controls on their behavior. They should be recorded at all times (any incident without video and audio should default to the victim's account), and there should be civilian oversight boards from every community they police (that share the demographics of the community). These oversight boards should be empowered to make binding decisions about misconduct claims, and be given a say in the discipline such as recommending murder charges be pressed (the regular prosecutors office should recuse themselves from these cases due to their blatant conflict of interest). And, no cop should ever collect a pay check during an investigation (or, must repay 100% within 30 days + interest if after the investigation, the cop is shown to be in the wrong).

Victims should be able to make claims against police pensions-- that alone would probably reign in many of the pigs.

So many incidents where no recorded evidence too. Even harder to get even a slap on the wrist to the murderous sadistic pigs in these instances:

Pigs in Louisianna, who not only went on a racially charged murder spree, but tried to burn the bodies to destroy the evidence.

Or, the pig all juiced up on steroids who murdered a worker in a pet shop for not letting him use the stores phone to call in late (for the 20th time).

Or the pig who shot up the car of a few kids (the bullet holes show he was aiming to kill the kids-- shooting at their heads). The kids were driving down the dead-end rural SD Proctor Valley Rd., and one tossed an empty paper cup out of the window, and it bounced off the off-duty pigs windshield causing no damage, but the pig was infuriated, and tried to murder 3 kids. Then he filed a report that the kids attacked him (assaulting a police officer was the charge). It was just one parent that stood between the truth, and the kids going to prison because of yet another cop roid raging. It came out that the pig considered them trying to drive away from him, an out-of-uniform madman shooting at them, as assault.

If we treated cops like other criminals, entire precincts would be sitting on death row or at least be in prison right now.

power to the people (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40301633)

i guess police are people, too...

They are taping everyone now (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40301639)

For the Chicago G8 protests, the police filmed every man woman and child who entered the protest area and had dozens of officers filming the entire protest.

A few minutes after the protest ended they attacked everyone who didn't leave. They never showed tape of that.

The police want laws to say they can't be filmed but they want to film everyone. They want maximum transparency of the population and none for themselves.

Re:They are taping everyone now (1)

jlehtira (655619) | about 2 years ago | (#40301751)

The police want laws to say they can't be filmed but they want to film everyone. They want maximum transparency of the population and none for themselves.

Nope. Nothing says it was the same policemen having both ideas. Besides, someone could prefer no filming, but still resort to filming oneself while filming remains legal.

Re:They are taping everyone now (2)

cpu6502 (1960974) | about 2 years ago | (#40301843)

>>>The police want laws to say they can't be filmed but they want to film everyone.

While that is true, no State Law can overrule a State Constitution, and not Congressional Law can overrule Constitutional law. The right of the people to report on events (whether using an old-fashioned pencil, or a modern video) may not be outlawed. It's called freedom of the press.

As for the article itself: UK police have been filming protests almost ten years now. The have a designed officer who does nothing but film, so that they can protect themselves against protester allegations (both in the public view and in the court).

About time... (4, Insightful)

FatAlb3rt (533682) | about 2 years ago | (#40301643)

There's two sides to every story, and frankly, the occupiers usually come off as smug hipsters with a victim mentality - demonstrated through their actions and creative editing. But maybe it's just me.

Re:About time... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40301661)

It's not just you.

Re:About time... (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40301737)

I'm sure law enforcement agencies would never resort to creative editing. And I'm sure the media won't be more prone to parrotting the official "truth".

Then again, I live in a fantasy world where authorities can be trusted.

Re:About time... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40301811)

You sound like you might also use unauthorized chemicals as well and perhaps need to be locked up and have your career ruined to teach you a lesson about disobeying and rejecting government social engineering.

Re:About time... (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40301957)

The police don't need to edit. One favorite tactic of the police is to surround protesters, blocking exit routes and then issue an order to disperse. Of course the protesters who want to follow the order can't go anywhere and it they try to break the police line/blockade they get assaulted by the cops. So I'm sure there is footage of cops giving warnings, but I would bet that a lot of those times the protesters couldn't leave. I wonder if the cops film their own agent-provocateurs in action as well.

You forgot about... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40302547)

shouting STOP RESISTING to an immobile victim...

This. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40302267)

On one hand, I'm ideally down with the police slapping their own videos up on YouTube. For every dancing idiot being crushed by a jackboot at the Jefferson memorial, there's undoubtedly some angry arrogant ass who's done something to actually deserve being stepped on.

The problem, of course, is one that has long plagued our justice system: Who are you going to believe?

Some dirty, smelly hippy could be perfectly in the right. A few minutes with Premiere Pro and it appears that someone is being untruthful. Who is that someone? Is it our fine, upstanding officer, who's video clearly shows his side of the story is correct? Or is it some dirty, smelly hippy, who probably did some creative editing, because he's a dirty hippy, amirite guys?

Anyone with a clue, of course, won't immediately side with the cop. But the court of public opinion - which is largely what our justice system has been descending into - isn't made up of clueholders.

Re:About time... (0)

PeanutButterBreath (1224570) | about 2 years ago | (#40301743)

There's two sides to every story. . .

So putting two different accounts of a story on YouTube is a good way of figuring out what really happened?

. . .and frankly, the occupiers usually come off as smug hipsters with a victim mentality - demonstrated through their actions and creative editing. But maybe it's just me.

Nah. All the cool people hate "hipsters" these days.

Re:About time... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40301785)

Psh, I was hating hipsters before it was cool...

Re:About time... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40301935)

At the very least putting both sides of the story shows people that there are two sides. There's a huge chunk of the population that are very easily swayed by media. An occasional reminder that every source of information has bias, usually an agenda, and is providing an incomplete picture (that may itself be a subset of the incomplete picture they were given by a first hand source..) is I think a good thing.

My specific view on the situation? Police have a hard job, protests are very tricky situations for law enforcement, and protesters arn't always the innocent victims the media loves to show getting hawled off by the forces of evil. Additionally, while we have weeks to tear appart an incident, the cop on the ground is doing that shit in real time. None of that gives them a free pass, but I think it should be kept in mind when watching any "police brutality" video.

Re:About time... (1)

PeanutButterBreath (1224570) | about 2 years ago | (#40302009)

Would you at least concede that putting a second side of the story up might actually further distort the facts?

Re:About time... (1)

Caerdwyn (829058) | about 2 years ago | (#40302489)

What's your solution then? Only one side allowed to be heard, with the other side silenced? That's indefensible.

"Innocent until proven guilty" applies to allegations against police too. It MUST. Claiming otherwise is, in my opinion, as evil as committing crimes under the color of law.

Re:About time... (1)

PeanutButterBreath (1224570) | about 2 years ago | (#40302607)

YouTube is not trustworthy forum, regardless of how many sides of the story it hosts. Moreover, the police are not subject to any sanction that would be enforced solely based on the one-sidedness of YouTube videos. They can not be "proven guilty" in any meaningful sense by losing a YouTube propaganda pissing match. At worst, they could be subject to scrutiny by a real authority, which will give them ample opportunity to defend themselves.

The solution is for police to focus on enforcing the law (inc. WRT their own conduct), and for guilt or innocence to be determined in the courts.

Re:About time... (1)

Galestar (1473827) | about 2 years ago | (#40302087)

Nah. All the cool people hate "hipsters" these days.

So it's hip to hate hipsters? Does that make hipster haters hipsters?

Re:About time... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40301759)

That's because you make up your mind based solely on what the media tells you. You're a good little propaganda consumer.

Re:About time... (2)

MightyMartian (840721) | about 2 years ago | (#40302141)

As usual, the fault in these incidents lie with both sides; the cops, for often being quick to move into "riot control" mode, and the protesters, because they believe that nobody will give a shit about their cause if there aren't at least a few of them with blood pouring down their foreheads.

As for the other 98% of us, we just want to get through the day without being fired, mistaken for a protester or having our stupid ass kids that we've invested so much time, money and emotion into getting involved in these protests.

Re:About time... (-1, Flamebait)

Hatta (162192) | about 2 years ago | (#40302143)

Funny, the police always come off as power tripping pigs with a hard on for authority - demonstrated through their actions and creative editing. But maybe that's just me.

Nice... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40301645)

The pigs will fit in well with the rest of the worthless human trash on YouTube.

I'm okay with this (5, Insightful)

Dice (109560) | about 2 years ago | (#40301659)

If we can film them in public places then they can do the same: liberty is a two way street. Let the information flow and justice prevail.

Re:I'm okay with this (4, Insightful)

afidel (530433) | about 2 years ago | (#40301747)

My thoughts exactly, this is the proper response to police being filmed, not confiscating cameras and arresting people who dare to disrespect their authority. The only issue left now in my mind is mandatory retention and access under sunshine laws.

They should be forced to release video (5, Insightful)

saibot834 (1061528) | about 2 years ago | (#40301927)

In case of a legal dispute, the police should be forced to release their video, as to provide the clearest possible picture of the case. They should not only release them when it suits them. Unfortunately, presumably incriminating police videos often end up "missing", with little or no consequences for the policemen.

Re:They should be forced to release video (1)

Sooner Boomer (96864) | about 2 years ago | (#40302643)

In case of a legal dispute, the police should be forced to release their video, as to provide the clearest possible picture of the case. They should not only release them when it suits them. Unfortunately, presumably incriminating police videos often end up "missing", with little or no consequences for the policemen.

This is called "discovery", and is part of the legal proceedings. The problem is that the authorities ("the police") have the power of a warrant which allows seizure, whereas the public in general only have the power of subpoena (give it to us, pretty please...).

Re:I'm okay with this (2)

DirkBalognapantz (609779) | about 2 years ago | (#40301937)

I understand the instinct to call for balance in these situations. However, when it comes to the government or government institutions, liberty is not a two way street. No one oppresses the government. Liberty is an individual matter. While I believe in and would defend a police officer's individual liberty, I do not believe that is the same thing as granting them equality as an agent of the state. My other concern here is that a law enforcement agency or officer would post video that may be used as evidence in a future legal proceeding. I am not a lawyer, but I find this to be an impropper use of potential evidence and possibly a violation of procedures or laws. Anyone with some knowledge of the law want to give their thoughts?

Re:I'm okay with this (4, Insightful)

houghi (78078) | about 2 years ago | (#40302073)

If we can film them in public places then they can do the same

No, they can't. They are there to enforce the law. They are not a news agency.
If they have issues on how people behave, they should go to court. Then a judge can decide if it was illegal or not.

In no way should they be able to start posting these. Very specific exceptions might be given by a judge, not even by themselves. And only if it could help solve a case.

Again, they are not the bringers of news.

Fuck the Police (-1, Troll)

morari (1080535) | about 2 years ago | (#40301669)

I don't care about their story. They're all corrupt, limp-dicked imps that couldn't handle being picked on in highschool.

Re:Fuck the Police (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40301711)

Apperently you were not the Prom King... Too bad, so sad...

Re:Fuck the Police (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40301727)

-1: Troll, or maybe you're retarded, hard to tell.

Re:Fuck the Police (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40301779)

I don't care about their story. They're all corrupt, limp-dicked imps that couldn't handle being picked on in highschool.

I hope you don't live in Arizona: http://yro.slashdot.org/story/12/04/04/1640215/arizona-attempts-to-make-trolling-illegal

Post it all. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40301705)

The police should make ALL of their video/audio available to the public.

Re:Post it all. (1)

Githaron (2462596) | about 2 years ago | (#40301757)

Agreed. It should be a legal requirement.

Re:Post it all. (4, Insightful)

CannonballHead (842625) | about 2 years ago | (#40301827)

What?

So cops come to your house in response to a call and film it, for whatever reason. Turns out you didn't do anything but someone said it was a domestic abuse case. You want that film if you answering the door at 2am public? Even though you didn't do anything wrong? Isn't that an invasion of privacy?

I agree the police side should delete the film, if it was kept, but making it public ... not so much.

Re:Post it all. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40302075)

If you didn't do anything, I'd imagine it would be a very boring and bland video. I don't think there is much to worry about in that particular case.

Re:Post it all. (1)

geekoid (135745) | about 2 years ago | (#40302079)

I have no problem with the police filming. I think they should only become public under certain circumstances. IF the police are going to film, then there shouldn't be any cuts in the film, ever.

Re:Post it all. (1)

Beerdood (1451859) | about 2 years ago | (#40302123)

Your house is a private residence, so they can't film that and make it public. A protest generally takes place in the public, where anyone is permitted to record

Re:Post it all. (1)

chmod a+x mojo (965286) | about 2 years ago | (#40302127)

Fucking better believe it! Then you don't have neighbors gossiping about how the police where there and blah blah blah, and rumors about WHY and who did WHAT ETC.

With video evidence proving that the suspicions had been unfounded, everyone would be like "hmm whatever, he didn't do anything wrong... nothing to add to the rumor mill today".

Re:Post it all. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40301833)

No, it shouldn't. Listen, if someone has a problem with the way cops treat them and want to do something about it, fine, make all the relevant data available via subpoena.

But what you and the GP are suggesting would only result in an army of lawyers combing through data trying to turn even innocent police actions into multi-million dollar lawsuits and suing our municipalities to the ground.

Re:Post it all. (-1, Flamebait)

morari (1080535) | about 2 years ago | (#40301951)

There are no innocent police actions. They are unquestioning enforcers for an inherently immoral system. They all need strung up.

Re:Post it all. (0, Flamebait)

philip.paradis (2580427) | about 2 years ago | (#40302017)

Here, I packed your philosophical suitcase for you. Whenever you're done saying your goodbyes, I'll gladly wave goodbye as you depart to live in another country. People who spout pseudo-philosophical tripe like your post should have stayed in college for a few more years.

Re:Post it all. (1)

Falconhell (1289630) | about 2 years ago | (#40302633)

Very appropriate flamebait mod you got there Phil, For a new user that s pretty quick. Keep at it and you will post at-1 very soon. Personally I am horrified by the way we see US police treat citizens even on camera in a show like cops. Arrogant irresponsible dumb violent cowards just about cover it.

Re:Post it all. (3, Interesting)

Hatta (162192) | about 2 years ago | (#40302105)

It should, AND losing any video should be a crime in itself. Severity of the punishment should be the same as that for the crime for which the video is needed as evidence.

Re:Post it all. (1)

pkinetics (549289) | about 2 years ago | (#40302457)

Note to self, register a website ala Smoking Gun to get all the video footage... Then people's stupidity can be immortalized in the InterTubes...

That's fine by me (1, Insightful)

pegasustonans (589396) | about 2 years ago | (#40301723)

Next, we should give the protestors guns, handcuffs, and bullet proof cars.

Sounds fair.

Re:That's fine by me (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40301791)

I protest you being a complete limp-dick moron.

Give me a gun now, I'm counter-culture and Occupying.

Shithead.

Try thinking for half a second before you open your mouth.

Re:That's fine by me (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40301851)

That's right. FUCK the protesters. I love and trust the police and my government. I get down on my knees and supplicate before them. Glory hallelujah!

Re:That's fine by me (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40302491)

There are very few countries where I'd rather see armed protesters than armed police officers, and you don't live in one of them.

I trust the police and your government more than I trust a mob. I trust the police and your government more than I trust you.

Re:That's fine by me (1)

kenh (9056) | about 2 years ago | (#40301803)

Where do you live? Police don't have "bullet-proof cars" in my town...

Re:That's fine by me (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40301841)

I will bet you a pretty penny they have bullet-proof glass.

Re:That's fine by me (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40301885)

I'd take that bet if it wasn't a crime in my jurisdiction.

Re:That's fine by me (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40301901)

I'm pretty sure the local police don't have anything beyond standard automotive glass in their Chargers.

Re:That's fine by me (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40301905)

Fair? Increase the # of cops so that it is 1:1. Now it's fair.

Idiot.

Re:That's fine by me (1)

pegasustonans (589396) | about 2 years ago | (#40302135)

Fair? Increase the # of cops so that it is 1:1. Now it's fair.

Idiot.

Sounds fine by me. Make everyone a citizen policeman.

What was the point you thought you were making?

Re:That's fine by me (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40302109)

Ah well in many states it is legal to carry a gun. Some states require a permit if you want to carry it concealed. That would apply to protestors too, I suppose.

Same for handcuff ownership, and selection of vehicle.

I find it hard to believe the police these days. (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40301783)

I find it hard to be on the side of the police these days. I live in Montréal, and I've seen and read about a lot of police abuse. They always have an excuse, a reason or some lie. I would be more inclined to believe them if they would show us what they are doing against inappropriate conduct by their own officers, or if they would publicly acknowledge any wrongdoing when it happens. When they constantly protect the ass of their officers, they lose credibility. When the press is constantly attacked by the police while trying to capture what is happening, they lose credibility. When they hide their badge number so we can't report them, we know they are up to no good. When they kettle a group of people, and then tell them to disperse while not letting them, well they probably think we're stupid about believing that they gave the people a way out. And when they detain and arrest people for no valid reason, or to issue them a traffic ticket because people were protesting peacefully, well they should consider themselves lucky we're not acting like the miners in Spain and all we do is put a video of their wrongdoing on the net.

In contrast (4, Informative)

TubeSteak (669689) | about 2 years ago | (#40301799)

Police Unions are resistant to reviews of dash cam footage
http://www.dallasnews.com/news/community-news/dallas/headlines/20120422-officers-complaints-prompt-dallas-police-to-suspend-units-reviews-of-squad-car-video.ece [dallasnews.com]
http://www.q13fox.com/news/kcpq-police-union-opposes-random-reviews-of-officers-dash-cam-videos-20120105,0,451142.story [q13fox.com]

/And don't get me started on retention policies for dash cam footage.
//Without any specific laws in place, most police departments more or less do what they want.

Shenanigans (1)

tobiah (308208) | about 2 years ago | (#40301815)

The linked article (yahoo) doesn't link to the youtube channel, which I can't find. All it has is a couple stills distributed by the police and posted in similar articles on other news sites. I call shenanigans.

Re:Shenanigans (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40301979)

The linked article (yahoo) doesn't link to the youtube channel, which I can't find. All it has is a couple stills distributed by the police and posted in similar articles on other news sites. I call shenanigans.

Took me all of 3 seconds to locate from the stills on the Yahoo news story. Just search "MinneapolisPolice" on youtube.

We had occupy protesters in San Antonio too... (1)

6ULDV8 (226100) | about 2 years ago | (#40301829)

Just a bunch of dirty hippies trashing up the park. Most did leave when told to move on. Other than the litter it was peaceful. Nobody got beat up or abused by police and none of the protesters caused a major fuss, but several were arrested when they refused to go. Cartman could have handled them.

People here generally clean up after themselves, but it only takes a few to make a mess.

Blue Code of Silence (5, Informative)

saibot834 (1061528) | about 2 years ago | (#40301837)

This is fine, they should present their own point of view. The evidence suggests however, that police brutality exists and that often there is no persecution of the perpetrators – sometimes they even drop investigations against police and instead charge the victims with resisting arrest.

There is a Blue Code of Silence [wikipedia.org] in the police that will protect a violent minority of policemen. In Germany there was a famous case of police brutality [youtube.com] at a demonstration "freedom not fear", where the CCC released a video of the incident. First of all the policemen had to be identified, which was only possible because it was a HD video, since despite Amnesty's [amnestypolizei.de] calls for a identification tags for policemen, there is none. When the accused police officers were questioned, they were provably lying, because the CCC had another unpublished video disproving the statements by the police. They were later convicted, but only had to pay a few thousand bucks.

Pepper-spraying sitting protesters (-1, Flamebait)

kenh (9056) | about 2 years ago | (#40301855)

The police should absolutely do this - the perfect example of this was when the Occupy protesters in one city were sittig across a walkway, arms interlocked (as I recall), and te first video was of a policeman casually pepper-sprayig the protesters where they sat. The horror! The shock! The brutality of it all!

Ten the un-edited video came out, and it showed the police office walking up to each protester, telling them that if they didn't move they would be pepper-sprayed, and to a person they all sat ad waited for the officer to do what he said he would do.

They were warned and they made a choice - and the narrative quickly went from "police brutality" to "protester choice".

Re:Pepper-spraying sitting protesters (3, Interesting)

Dan667 (564390) | about 2 years ago | (#40301919)

police officers should have to wear personal recorders that stream their actions to the police station. This video should be available to the public on request.

Re:Pepper-spraying sitting protesters (2, Insightful)

geekoid (135745) | about 2 years ago | (#40302147)

No..not available on request. That can turn someone from having a really bad day, to destroying them. Ye,s they need to be available, but you should need to go through the courts to get them.

Re:Pepper-spraying sitting protesters (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40302297)

A really bad day with a gun, pepper spray, and blanket immunity from most prosecution is grounds for destroying them.

If they aren't doing anything wrong, they have nothing to hide.

Re:Pepper-spraying sitting protesters (4, Insightful)

MrBigInThePants (624986) | about 2 years ago | (#40301949)

Errr....

And so you think spraying large amounts of pepper spray into people's face because they are protesting is ok then?

riiiigghhhtt....

Is democracy completely dead in your country or what?

Re:Pepper-spraying sitting protesters (3, Interesting)

Zakabog (603757) | about 2 years ago | (#40302229)

From just his comment it sounds like they were sitting in the middle of a street blocking the crosswalk, which is not only illegal it's also dangerous (especially in NYC.) Most of the OWS people I've seen who are the "victims" of police brutality put themselves into situations where they know they will be forcibly removed just so they can claim brutality. They're not protesting they're being douchebags enticing violence so they have something to point to and say "Look we're victims!" And yes pepper spray is probably the best option considering the second option is beating them with a nightstick till they unlock their arms so you can physically move them one at a time.

Unless of course you have a much more effective method to use in that sort of situation that doesn't put the officer in harms way...

Re:Pepper-spraying sitting protesters (2, Informative)

PeanutButterBreath (1224570) | about 2 years ago | (#40302339)

From just his comment it sounds like they were sitting in the middle of a street blocking the crosswalk, which is not only illegal it's also dangerous. . .

They were sitting across a paved foot path that crossed a larger grassy area on a college campus. Just see for yourself how scary and threatening these protesters were: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6AdDLhPwpp4 [youtube.com]

Re:Pepper-spraying sitting protesters (4, Insightful)

PeanutButterBreath (1224570) | about 2 years ago | (#40301991)

They were warned and they made a choice - and the narrative quickly went from "police brutality" to "protester choice".

The narrative remained "non-violent protesters, undeterred by threat of violence from police, ultimately met with violence by police".

Re:Pepper-spraying sitting protesters (2)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40302055)

Yes, because a warning that a police officer is about to use a chemical agent on peaceful protestors certainly removes all hints of brutality, and dismisses our outrage at seeing a policemen casually strolling around spraying a chemical agent at peaceful protestors.

Re:Pepper-spraying sitting protesters (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40302361)

I'm genuinely curious, what should they have done?

Re:Pepper-spraying sitting protesters (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40302417)

I'm genuinely curious, what should they have done?

Go solve a crime?

Re:Pepper-spraying sitting protesters (5, Insightful)

realisticradical (969181) | about 2 years ago | (#40302089)

They were warned and they made a choice - and the narrative quickly went from "police brutality" to "protester choice".

Just because they were given fair warning doesn't make it even close to a proper use of force. The police could have arrested everyone for trespassing or illegally blocking a walkway (if that's illegal). Any protester who didn't simply allow himself to be arrested could then be charged with resisting arrest. Only if the protesters fought back would the use of force be reasonable.

How far does "they were warned" let an officer go? Get out of my way or I'll hit you with a club? Get out of my way or I'll shoot you with a gun?

Re:Pepper-spraying sitting protesters (0)

Xaedalus (1192463) | about 2 years ago | (#40302213)

That's fine. These people get arrested. Then what? They stay put? Until what, their goals are met? They defecate in their pants? No, at some point force will be used. The protesters are deciding when that force gets used in the hopes of garnering sympathy with the public. It's a gamble.

Re:Pepper-spraying sitting protesters (3, Interesting)

PeanutButterBreath (1224570) | about 2 years ago | (#40302259)

How far does "they were warned" let an officer go? Get out of my way or I'll hit you with a club? Get out of my way or I'll shoot you with a gun?

Well, "stop making me feel threatened regardless of how reasonable that perception of threat might be or I will shoot you with a gun" is fair play in some states.

Re:Pepper-spraying sitting protesters (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40302487)

Eh, I used to agree, but I head from relatives that go to UC Davis, what actually happened:

1) After receiving a 1 night variance, the protesters refused to remove their tents.
2) Police were called to enforce the law.
3) Some protesters were arrested in violation of the law.
4) Second (larger) group of protesters encircled the police officers, chanting "we won't let you leave with the prisoners".
5) Police warned second group of protesters to let them remove their prisoners.
6) Protesters sat down and linked arms
7) Police then warned that they would use pepper spray if they didn't let them leave.
8) Protesters refused to move
9) Pepper spray applied to protesters.

10) Story about police brutality hits news -- real issue of insane increase of college tuition ignored.

Re:Pepper-spraying sitting protesters (2)

geekoid (135745) | about 2 years ago | (#40302113)

They were warned and they made a choice - and the narrative quickly went from "police brutality" to "protester choice"."
False choice. Do what we say, are you will be in immense pain.

Re:Pepper-spraying sitting protesters (4, Insightful)

Hatta (162192) | about 2 years ago | (#40302179)

Ten the un-edited video came out, and it showed the police office walking up to each protester, telling them that if they didn't move they would be pepper-sprayed, and to a person they all sat ad waited for the officer to do what he said he would do.

Yes, he said he would violently repress their right to peaceably assemble, and then he did. Who could find fault with that?

Re:Pepper-spraying sitting protesters (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40302447)

No. That doesn't work. It doesn't matter whether or not he told them he was about to spray them with pepper spray. If he had told them he was about to hit them with his club, that wouldn't have made it acceptable to hit them with his club. Anyone who has been properly trained in the use of pepper spray fully understands that what that officer did was gratuitous and grossly excessive. Pepper spray served no necessary or useful purpose in that situation. Telling them he was about to violate law and protocol did not make it okay to do so.
That having been said, it is a step in the right direction to have police putting more video online. Yes, it might (will) sometimes be selected and edited in unethical ways. Protesters sometimes do the same things. Still, the best response to bad information is good information, not reactionary legislation (designed for anyone's benefit) of physical force.

I hope this is adopted by the entire free world (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40301867)

Here in Portugal the portuguese communist party controls and manipulates a group of social movements which are, in name, anti-fascist but their only purpose is to provoce and incite police reactions so that their little agents armed with video cameras can strategically record and edit their videos to use in their pro-communist, anti-establishent propaganda. These criminals employ tactics such as vandalizing everything that they cross, random attacks on people who happened to be in the street where they pass, pelt the police with rocks and paint bombs, and even form gangs to assault police agents doing the rounds. Yet, mysteriously they may get everything on film but they only manage to publish the part where the police reinforcements arrive and start to disperse these criminals. Sometimes they do such a bad job at it that they unintentionally upload videos that include their own agents attacking the police and civilians, but they either subsequently edit that out or deny what happened.

I hope the portuguese police also adopts this method, to show the world their side of the story instead of only being exposed to what the criminals want us to see.

Online journalism is hard (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40301873)

A story about two youtube videos, posted online, and instead of linking either video, it comes with screencaps of the video page... I'm not sure AP "gets" the internet.

Re:Online journalism is hard (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40302453)

Exactly. I just scanned this entire thread for videos. Not slashdot nor the AP can do the research so we can see what is actually in these videos.

Good (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40302285)

There's lots of bullshit Occupy DC Police Brutality! videos out there. Stuff where people resist arrest and SURPRISE get pepper sprayed, but of course the people uploading try to make it look like the protestor didn't do anything wrong.

Predictions (3, Interesting)

realisticradical (969181) | about 2 years ago | (#40302313)

I think this is an entirely reasonable response. Instead of trying to shutdown speech the police are offering another side of the story. Good.

Of course some of the broader implications are pretty interesting. An individual can basically edit a video to show the part where the police are beating the crap out of him and ignore the earlier part where he's spitting and throwing rocks. The police, on the other hand, don't get the luxury of using video simply as a PR mouthpiece. If this sort of response to protesters becomes commonplace it will be interesting to see what happens the first time an edited video comes out from the police. More interesting will be the cases where people start requesting these videos as evidence against the police at their trials.

What good does lying do? (1)

noitalever (150546) | about 2 years ago | (#40302581)

I don't think I'll ever understand when people post misleading videos on things like this. Why would we as a society WANT people to hate the system we put in place to maintain law and order? I completely understand if they are actually being abusive... but what purpose is served by making people think the police are MORE abusive than they really are? It just breeds more mistrust, more hatred, more problems. No one would ever want that to happen to them, but it seems so commonplace anymore for people to do it to others.

Open Source Prosecution and Defense (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40302623)

The idea of posting evidence to the world could make court cases a lot more interesting (ignoring the awful privacy implications). It'd be fascinating to see the public find things that the prosecutors or defense attorney's may have missed.

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