I don’t know about you, but I have had it with police abuse. It continues at a rampant pace. Every day you can find a new deluge of audio and video evidence of criminal conduct by police. And nothing changes.
The fact that it is so prevalent speaks to the failure – perhaps the unwillingness – of the police command structure to address the problem in the firm, perhaps even harsh, terms that are now necessary to rein in this ugly, dangerous, and at times deadly, misconduct.
Since the police commanders who are supposed to be putting an end to this type of conduct are, in the vast majority of cases, merely sitting on their hands, it is time for the citizens to act through their elected officials. It is time to enact laws that allow the citizens to fight back. When cops break the law, the time has now come – actually it’s far overdue – for Americans to put the hurt on bad cops, not the other way around. Like all first steps, we cannot expect to complete the journey of a thousand miles with the first step. But a first step must surely be taken if the journey is to begin.
One area that is crystal clear is that citizens are free to record audio or video police in the public conduct of their job as long as the act of recording does not interfere with the commission of his lawful duties.
While there are still a few arcane laws being intentionally misused by police (and even a few reprobate prosecutors) to make the false claim that citizens cannot record officers without their consent, the courts have routinely held otherwise. The weight of these court cases is so overwhelming that despite the occasional archaic statute on the books, it is now a well-settled point of law in America that citizens may freely record cops – and that the act of doing so is not a criminal act.
In other words, there is ZERO legal justification that permits a cop to harass, threaten, assault, or arrest a citizen for recording his actions or the actions of other cops.
Despite this, we see cops physically attacking citizens nearly every day for recording. Recently cops beat a man to death in effort to seize his phone with which he was legally filming them. Citizens who have committed no crime are arrested and held for hours in cold concrete cells because…well…they committed no crime – except angering an asshole thug in a police costume.
Since there is ZERO legal justification for a cop to do ANYTHING to you – even speak to you, no less murder you – for recoding him, why should society put up with it for another second?
I can’t find one single reason why we should.
Since police commanders aren’t correcting it, citizens – with the assistance of your elected officials – should now take the lead in ending this noxious abuse.
To that end I offer this proposed legislation:
1) Any person who, having recorded any peace officer or other law enforcement officer/agent, without obstructing him in his duties, who is physically assaulted by any peace officer or other law enforcement officer/agent within this state, the officer or agent attempting to seize the recording device or detain or arrest the person for the act of recording, may use any degree of force deemed necessary, up to and including deadly force, to end the assault.
a) Because officers and agents are trained in physical control techniques, use of chemical weapons, impact weapons, Tasers, and firearms, any person defending himself under the provisions of section 1 is authorized to use that level of force he deems necessary without regard to any judgment by a prosecutor or court later as to the appropriateness of the level of force employed. If the person defending himself states that he was in fear for his safety, that statement justifies the level of force he employed against the attacking officer/agent, without further inquiry into the appropriateness of the level of force used.
b) No person defending himself from an attack as described in section 1 may be prosecuted criminally for the violence done to the attacking officer/agent.
c) No person defending himself from an attack as described in section 1 may be prosecuted civilly the violence done to the attacking officer/agent.
d) Injuries received by an officer/agent engaged in an attack as described in section 1 are not eligible for Worker’s Compensation benefits.
e) Injuries received by an officer/agent engaged in an attack as described in section 1 may not be considered by the officer’s or agent’s employer, any outside arbitrator, or any court, in reference to disability retirement.
There is no excuse whatsoever for an officer to attempt to seize by threat or force a recording device from a person because that person was recording police in the public commission of their duties. If police wish to continue this illegal violent conduct against innocent citizens, I think it is imminently reasonable that the officer gets face-shot and the citizens goes free.
Do you know what that’s called? It’s called “Problem fucking solved!”
Copyright 2014 Dave Champion