Many people believe that police departments have only recently become corrupt cesspools. Others believe police departments have always been violent cesspools but pervasive cameras have allowed individuals to raise awareness of the problem. Either way it’s apparently that recording police interactions is absolutely necessary. To this end many departments have started mandating officers to wear body cameras when on duty. Although this could be a nice step in the right direction the two major problems with body cameras is that the officer wearing them can turn them off (and claim it malfunctioned) and the recorded footage remains under the control of the department. Even if every officer in the country wears a body camera I will still advocate what I’m going to advocate in this post: everybody should record every police interaction they come across.
It doesn’t matter if the police are interacting with you or you just happen to come across police interacting with other individuals; if you see cops interacting with people pull out your camera phone and start recording because that’s the only way shit like this gets noticed:
A Minneapolis police officer has been relieved of duty while his department investigates a profanity-laced video in which he apparently threatens to break the legs of a suspect if he attempts to escape.
The March incident was recorded on a camera phone by one of the young men being arrested in south Minneapolis. In the video, the unidentified officer can be heard telling the suspect: “Plain and simple, if you [expletive] with me, I’m gonna break your legs before you get a chance to run.”
Had the young man not recorded the interaction this claim would be nothing more than his word against the officer’s and we know courts tend to side with officers in such cases. The officer may not receive any punishment for his threat of violence, since officers usually get off scot-free, but the public now knows how this officer chooses to interact with people and that can help them better defend themselves against him. Videos like this are also important to raise awareness of the violence inherent in modern policing. Unless there is public outrage the problem will never be fixed and there won’t be public outrage so long as the public can keep lying to itself about the nature of modern policing.
If you come across a police interaction or are being threatened by police yourself make sure you record everything.