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Cops Beware; Your being Watched!


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  • fair witness
    If nobody's doing wrong, there's nothing so bad about being watched. Interfered with is another story. But c'mon. Cops watch people. People watch back. Problems only arise when either side does wrong. Misunderstandings can certainly arise without that, but should be possible to resolve those if everybody sticks to innocent until proven guilty.

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  • cc_chiller
    Cop Watch jerks are pretty active in the Denver and Aurora Colorado area. As far as I know, I have never been filmed by one. A little while ago, one of our campus officers was filmed by a guy during a traffic stop, after the stop the cop watch dude comes over to the officer and starts asking him a bunch of stupid questions about why he pulled the person over, whether or not he wrote a ticket, etc…

    You pretty much have to let them film you, as long as they are on public property and not physically interfering with your police action. After a stop or arrest, it is very common for them to come over and “question” you and request your business card. Based on other stories I have heard, the cop watch dudes like to try and aggravate the officer as much as possible without actually breaking the law (questionable in some cases). I think that they WANT to be arrested, because they want to be able to sue and it probably gives them “street cred” or something.

    A local cop watch guy recently got an $8,500 settlement from Denver PD because he was arrested for harassing an Officer!!!


    This story leaves out a lot of the details (of course! another example of why cops hate the media).
    Last edited by cc_chiller; 05-31-2007, 03:35 PM.

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    Guest replied
    If they got in the way, I would arrest them for obstructing, seize their recording devices, and use them as evidence in their own arrest.

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  • MykesCrazy
    started a topic Cops Beware; Your being Watched!

    Cops Beware; Your being Watched!

    There is also a video you can watch!!!

    People of the WebSomebody's Watching You
    A convicted felon turns cameras on the cops, putting a balance of power, he says, back in the hands of the people.


    "I raise my fist because I want that justice; don't get my freedom, gonna have to take my freedom." — Sherman Austin, from his song "Raise the Fist"

    LOS ANGELES - On May Day, 2007, the Los Angeles police made front page news after clashing with protesters in a public park. Images of baton-wielding officers and cowering protesters, journalists among them, renewed an angry debate over police brutality in a city still scarred by the memory of the Rodney King beating.
    Sherman Austin says his own run-ins with the police led him to start Cop Watch.
    Citizen video has left an indelible mark on Los Angeles. The King video is the best-known example, but far from the only one. In 2002, a tourist filmed 16-year-old Donovan Jackson being punched and slammed against a police cruiser in Inglewood. Last year, a UCLA student taped an incident in which another student was hit by a stun gun at a school library. The video spread quickly across the Internet.

    "This type of stuff happens every day in L.A.," says Sherman Austin, founder of Cop Watch LA, an activist group that was quick to post images and clips of the May Day incident. "It's just a coincidence sometimes there's a video camera around to videotape."

    The LAPD disagrees, contending that the average person doesn't always consider the situation that led to the police confrontation in the first place. A spokesperson for the department says the LAPD averages 1.2 uses of force per 100 arrests, which he claims is one of the lowest in the country.

    Tools of the trade
    Cop Watch LA received wide attention last year when it posted a video of an alleged gang member being punched in the face by one LAPD officer while another officer knelt on his throat. The disturbing video has been viewed more than 100,000 times on YouTube and Cop Watch LA's site.

    Ironically, Austin's tool of choice, the Internet, is the same one that landed him in jail several years ago. He was convicted of distributing information about explosives — he argues that all he did was link to a page that included text copied from Abbie Hoffman's anarchist manifesto, "Steal This Book" — and now, as part of his probation, he isn't allowed to touch a computer until August 2007.

    He maintains the Cop Watch LA website through instructions to other members, writing out computer code on paper and napkins.

    'We want justice'
    Norma and Norbieto Martinez are supporters and frequent visitors to the Cop Watch LA office. They feel they have a personal stake in the work.

    Their son Gonzalo was killed by Downey, Calif., police after a low-speed chase in 2002. Police fired over 30 rounds at him. The incident was captured on videotape by a freelance news photographer.

    "My life has been a nightmare since they killed my son," says Norma Martinez. "The only thing we try to do now is help other people. You know, we felt so sorry for the people who go through this like we are going through. We don't have a life anymore. Even though I have two more sons, it's not the same."

    She says they've been offered compensation by the city, but she wants the officers in jail.

    "Justice," she says, "that's all we want. Justice."

    Cop Watch LA members are often out at dawn to monitor police activity in downtown Los Angeles.
    A presence on the street
    Cop Watch LA is no longer relying on mere coincidence to capture images of police misbehavior. Dressed in black and red Cop Watch T shirts, the young members are motivated and vigilant — telling their own stories of victimization at the hands of police. When many young adults are often sleeping in during the weekends, they are often getting up before 7 a.m. to patrol downtown LA in an effort, Austin says, to keep police from harassing the homeless population.

    I asked him if the police know about Cop Watch LA and who he is. Austin said they do, and that police told him recently, "'We know who you guys are. We know about you. We know you're out here. We're not scared of you guys.'"

    But Austin said he thinks police do feel threatened when the cameras come out. The exchange, he said, "came off as kind of defensive: 'We're not [scared] of you guys.'"

    "OK," he added, "we're not afraid of you either. That's why we're here."

    -Producer: Robert Padavick
    -Video editors: Tommy Morquecho and Jon Brick
    Wow! This is ridiculous!! I can't believe that Yahoo is praising this guy! What would you guys do if someone just came out wearing a Police Watch Dog shirt on and started filming you?

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