Granted I actually do ask questions.
I saw this last week and it did interest me. After that waste of sperm Michael Brown robbed a store owner and attempted to kill a police officer, then was deservedly shot, the usual suspect screamed about police oppression, the need for video cameras and various forms of police oversight. Now this is one that wasn't covered much, people video taping cops on the street.
Now personally I have no issue with this. If I'm on the street I have no expectation of privacy. However, you will not go up to a few feet from me, you can video tape me taking your friend into custody or conducting a DWI test all you want. From across the street. If you insist on coming close, I will insist you make a choice. Either stand on the other side of the street videotaping me, or sit in the back of my patrol vehicle handcuffed. And yes, I'm on solid legal ground there.
But this is an article on a friend of Freddie Gray who seems to have found a reasons for his life. Good to know that.
After Freddie Gray death, cop-watchers film police to prevent misconduct
When filming police is about more than the camera.
On a sultry West Baltimore night, six police officers walked down a concrete courtyard of Gilmor Homes — while self-styled "cop-watcher" David Whitt held up his camera and pushed the record button.
One officer confronted him, asking, "Do you have I.D.?"
"Am I being detained?" Whitt shot back.
As the heated confrontation continued, the officer took out a cellphone camera, held it up to Whitt and repeated, "Do you have I.D.? Do you live here? Because if not, you're trespassing."
After Whitt responded, saying he had a right to film police, the officer walked away, telling him, "Thank you for putting my safety at risk. I appreciate it. You're also putting your safety at risk by following me."
The scene illustrates the tension-filled encounters playing out in Baltimore and across the nation, as camera-toting residents seek to document examples of police brutality or other misconduct. Activists like Whitt, who is from Ferguson, Mo., the scene of unrest last year, are linking with residents in Baltimore, Charleston, S.C., and other cities to create a network that can expose problems with lightning speed through social media.....
Actually the film showed a bit more than what Whitt says here. He was more aggressive than this article says. Watch the video yourself.
Among those who have signed on is Kevin Moore, who gained nationwide attention in April for capturing the arrest of Freddie Gray on a cellphone video. In the aftermath of Gray's death, Moore created WeCopwatch Baltimore and has accumulated dozens of hours of police footage and begun "Know your Rights" discussions with fellow residents of West Baltimore.
Similar groups around the nation go by various names, including Cop Block, Peaceful Streets Project and Communities United Against Police Brutality. But they have a common weapon: candid video that can capture police violating regulations.
The power of such video clips is clear, even when they do not originate from cop-watching groups. In North Charleston, S.C., an officer was charged with murder after he was filmed shooting a fleeing suspect in the back. In McKinney, Texas, an officer resigned after he was filmed slamming a bikini-wearing teenager to the ground. In Baltimore, at least two officers have been suspended in the past year after surveillance video raised questions about brutality...And as I recall there was nothing wrong with what the officer did in McKinney. Also I would not take Baltimore's actions against it's cops as something real. If you question that, why are there are 6 officers indicted right now for Freddy Gray.
...But policing experts say such cop-watchers sometimes go too far. "I think law enforcement by and large understands and respects the bounds of the First Amendment," said Ron Hosko, a former assistant FBI director and president of the Law Enforcement Legal Defense Fund. "The friction develops when those folks step beyond simply being passive observers to encouraging action criticizing police. To me, that is where the line is between observing and interference."
The movement, which dates as far back as the 1991 police beating of Rodney King in Los Angeles, has accelerated in recent years thanks to social media tools such as Facebook and cheap, unobtrusive video recording devices. Even Anonymous, an informal association of activists and hackers, has posted an "Operation Copwatch" video on YouTube that asks its more than 4.5 million online followers to record police interactions.
And now groups such as the American Civil Liberties Union are promoting technologies that will allow video to be posted online instantly — innovations that could further intensify the tug of war between police and residents, and the legal battles that follow.Mr Batts, it doesn't matter. If the shooter is black and the DOA is dead, "Nobody saw nothing..." remember.
Baltimore Police Commissioner Anthony Batts has criticized local cop-watchers for mobbing officers and sticking cameras "inches" from their faces. "When you have 50-60 people, it makes it difficult to get eyewitnesses, it makes it difficult to get information," he told a group of reporters last month...
...Meanwhile, Moore keeps filming. He and other activists want to expose incidents of misconduct and stop police from disproportionately arresting African-Americans for petty offenses. He said of the problems that lead him and others to point cameras at police, "It's deep. It's much bigger than Freddie Gray."
'I instantly started recording'
On April 12, Moore was sleeping in his apartment in the red-brick Gilmor Homes complex when his uncle yelled up the stairwell, "They're tasing Freddie." Moore grabbed his cellphone, threw on a black hoodie and jeans, and rushed outside.
Officers had dragged his friend Gray from a courtyard to a spot on a sidewalk a few yards away.
"Once I got around to see where Freddie was, I instantly started recording," Moore said. "I just noticed the way they had him folded up. They had him folded like a crab or a piece of origami."
The video — later broadcast by CNN and other networks — shows officers restraining Gray on the ground with his feet and arms folded back. Gray screams as he is dragged to a police van, and Moore shouts, "Don't worry, Shorty, we recording this."
An officer tells Moore and others to get off the street. "I sure will," Moore responds, "but that ain't gonna stop me from using this phone."
Within an hour, Gray sustained a severe spinal injury in the van; he died a week later. Six officers involved in his arrest and transport have been charged with offenses ranging from misconduct to second-degree murder....
...As protests over Gray's death spread across Baltimore — and turned into rioting — Moore linked up with cop-watchers from Ferguson and became part of a broader movement.
Chad Jackson and Whitt had driven to Baltimore in the wake of Gray's death to help Moore set up his own group. The two men had worked in Ferguson amid the furor over the police shooting of an unarmed teen, recording police and handing out cameras. They were among the cop-watchers and other protesters who traveled to Baltimore; some donned the white, full-face masks that were a symbol of the group Anonymous.
They were frequently on West Baltimore's streets — and their sometimes antagonistic attitude toward police brought trouble.
On April 30, members of the National Guard and police lined the streets while helicopters hovered above. The area was still seething, three days after riots tore up pharmacies and other businesses, and officials had declared a state of emergency....You can read the rest if you will but it's a love fest of this guy. Forgive me if I take it with a grain of salt. Again, I have no issue with being video taped by the public in the public, but stay back. Tape the investigation, fine. Try and become part of the investigation, we will have issues.