Monday, August 8, 2011

Videoing police, is that harassment or exercise of the First Amendment?

The Dallas Morning News in their editorial reprinted a column written by Leonard Pitts of the Miami Herald titled, “Police vs. cameras.”

The body of the column was mainly concerned with police departments around the nation prohibiting citizens from videotaping police activity. Mr. Pitts wrote about a few insentiences where people were arrested for videoing police. Questioning if the police are trampling on the rights of citizens who want to document police activity.

The theme of the column is rather compelling because many of use firmly believe in free speech and a free press both protected by the First Amendment to the Constitution of these here United States of America – USA. Why is it members of the so-called media are free to video police activity in public, while ordinary citizens are being prohibited from doing the same? Are the police affording the media extra constitutional rights while denying the rest of the populace basic protection under that same document?

Should the police enjoy an expectation of privacy while performing their duties in public? The answer on the service is no, anyone activity by anyone in public does not have a reasonable expectation of privacy which becomes negated by the one word “public.”

Now for the other side of the discussion Mr. Pitts did not mention the reason why the police are attempting to prohibit videoing them while on the job. The police do not have an expectation of privacy while in public; they are attempting to prevent police harassment.

The year: 1990, the place: Berkeley, California (the epicenter of liberalism, not only in the United States or this planet earth, but the entire universe (galaxy Milky Way): An organization was born called: “CopWatch.”

Their mission to stop police miss conduct resulting in this new organization spreading thought communities in the USA noted for being high-crime areas. Free video cameras handed out for the purpose of monitoring the police high crime areas with no focus on documenting the crime by the criminals but only the police who are trying to reduce crime in those crime ridden areas. This is an attempt to minimize “the thin blue line” resulting in the breakdown of civilization to cross into anarchy.

Below is a link to CopWatch in Berkeley their manual, a PDF file. Please look at PDF page 7, item number 3. Where they are seeking alternatives to involving the police. The alternative to police handling crime is vigilantism. Is that what CopWatch is advocating? Do people in high crime areas prefer vigilantism as oppose to the police enforcing the laws?

The people who video police activity and their advocates claim the police need to operate transparently and in an open society. Really?

Below is the link to CopWatch’s website. Once accessed click on the “members” button and you will get the following message:

“The administrator has disabled the list of members. “

They want transparency of our police while refusing the same for themselves.

Below is the link to CopWatch in their birthplace Berkeley, California. That site does not even allow you the opportunity to discover who supports them or who their members are. Further proof of liberal hypocrisy.

Freedom of Speech and press should remain paramount in these here United States of America; however police harassment needs to be compromised to maintain our thin blue line of civilizations protection. These CopWatch drones are abusing our protected freedoms as with anything, you abuse it, and you lose it. We do not want to lose our freedoms however no problem with losing CopWatch.

Mr. Leonard Pitts, in your next column please attempt a little balance.

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