Things You See on YouTube: Cops

After watching hours of video about various law enforcement activities, I’ve noticed some consistent themes:

  • Cops have a double standard.
  • They assume the worst.
  • They often lie when there is no law being broken to try to get you to capitulate.
  • They very often are ignorant of the laws they are sworn to uphold.

Cops & Cameras
The double standard when cops see a camera is obvious. They have no problem filming you, but try to film them and all hell breaks loose. When a cop pulls your car over, they often ask if they can search it. If you assert your 4th Amendment rights and say, “No. I don’t consent to any searches.” They cop instinctively responds with, “Why. You don’t have anything to hide, do you?”

Now put a camera on a cop doing his or her job and they get really nervous. They’ll demand you turn the camera off. They’ll threaten you with all sorts of fake laws. They may even arrest you. In all my video watching, I’ve never seen, but would just once love to hear the camera operator say, “Why, officer, you don’t have anything to hide or be ashamed of, do you?”

For the last time, it is not illegal to film police or anyone else in public. Courts have upheld this basic, 1st Amendment right time and time again. If you are in public, you have no expectation of privacy. Personally, I like to video people who think their car makes them invisible and we can’t see them picking their nose.

Speed Traps & Whistle Blowers
There have been incidents of some whistle blowers being arrested. There have been as many charges dismissed. The speed trap whistle blower usually makes a hand-made sign, goes up the road from the speed trap, and warns on-coming traffic to slow down. Inevitably, the cops get mad.

If the cops were really there to ensure safe driving, you know, protect and serve like is painted on their cruiser, they’d thank these citizen volunteers for helping slow people down. The only reason I can think of that the cops get mad is because this interferes with their revenue collection. It’s not about safety. It’s about money and ticket quotas.

Open Gun Carry
Here’s where my jaw hits the ground the hardest. Openly carrying a firearm is legal in most of the U.S. Laws vary from state to state and sometimes from county to county. If you’re in a state where open carry is legal, the cops still go nuts. The double standard is glaring here. They openly carry their guns, but don’t like you exercising the same right. Many cops are ignorant of the law surrounding open carry. I even saw one cop so convinced he argued for 15 minutes that the conceal carry permit only allowed the bearer to carry concealed. Derp! The reason they don’t issue open carry permits is because it’s a basic, 2nd Amendment right. You don’t need a permit of any kind to open carry.

First they say they’re responding to calls from concerned citizens. The response I’d like to hear more often is, “Officer, you need to go to these concerned citizens and explain the law to them and not hassle me for exercising my legal right.”

Then they insist on seeing your identification. If you refuse, they often pull out this old chestnut. “We need to know you’re not a felon and can legally carry that weapon.” Derp! Felons don’t open carry. Criminals don’t want to draw attention so they conceal their guns. Law-abiding citizens who have the legal right to bear arms have no worries about strapping some iron to their hip. No, officer, your Jedi mind tricks don’t work.

YouTube is a wondrous and scary place. I love it.


4 thoughts on “Things You See on YouTube: Cops

  1. Lest we forget that the police force was not really established to ‘serve and protect’ anybody but the State and their interests, the double standard about the henchmen of the State not wanting to be filmed publicly makes a lot more sense.

    A few months ago, Reason magazine (the only political mag worth reading anymore), reported a movement among law enforcement nationwide to pass laws incarcerating anyone caught filming them. Several charges have been pressed against individuals posting videos of police harassment and brutality on YouTube, but most have been thrown out; likewise, there have been several cases where YouTube meekly complied with requests to pull several such videos down from the web.

    Ostensibly, the officers and their organizations cite as reasons to punish those who record them bullying, deceiving, and harassing citizens in such an irrefutable way is concern for their personal safety and the safety of their families. Quite cowardly, if you consider the fact that if these officers didn’t like throwing their weight around so much in the first place (especially in the era of the Flip Camera), there’d be no legitimate concern for their safety. No one can take revenge on someone who did nothing wrong in the first place, right?

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