Saturday, August 30, 2008

Just doing their jobs.

An ABC News producer busted by the po-po in Moscow on the South Platte for... well, felony politeness and misdemeanor loitering with intent to gawk, as best I can tell.

I'd like to say that I hope the meathead that shoved him into the street gets busted back to meter maid, but from what I can gather, this is pretty much the norm for the corporate culture of the Denver Police Department. Good work boys. I'm sure your Chamber of Commerce is thrilled with the little "Come to Denver!" commercial you just starred in.

More here.


OrangeNeckInNY said...

Yeah, the Only Ones have some gall, don't they?

This is not a good way to start my Saturday.

og said...

It's not public property when the DNC is there, dontcha know. They are entitled to their privacy- after all, the proles would NEVER understand the weightiness of their actions, and must be shielded lest they po little heads get all confusticated.

J.R.Shirley said...

I hope the cop loses his job, at the least. I'd really like to see him jailed for at least the same amount of time that the man in the video received.

Cossack in a Kilt said...

Longer. 1983 deprivation of civil rights under color of law, anyone?

Hang on, I'm gonna go listen to Kris Kristofferson's version of "The Law is for Protection of the People."

B&N said...

It's now just a matter of waiting for the whole tinder box to light.

Can't wait.

TBeck said...

Aren't they supposed to put a palm over the camera lens when they do stuff like that?

Dr. StrangeGun said...

The only way that could have been worse for the Denver PD is if the new guy was struck by a vehicle when he was shoved into the street. You know, like he was REALLY LIKELY TO HAVE BEEN since he was backwards and the cop sure as hell didn't look.

José Giganté said...

I'd like to see the video leading up to this before I decry that this cop acted unlawfully. Of course to make the point, the lead-up isn't shown. This could be as it appears, it could, and I suspect, be more.

I've had the opportunity to help train our local PD by acting as a protester or rioter and just in training, ended up sore with bruises, but then I got to yell and throw things at cops, so its all good. I like the snatch in the video on the linked-to page, nice to see the tactic done properly. Looks like it freaked the hippies out.

Anonymous said...

First, that's not a Denver officer - I can't read his shoulder patch, but Denver DOESN'T HAVE SHOULDER PATCHES.

Also, Jose has a very good point - we don't see what this guy was doing that precipitated the jackassery.

Zendo Deb said...

What could he have been doing that enabled, permitted or justified the police officer to jeopardize his safety by pushing him backwards into traffic?

If he was "guilty" of doing something prior to the start of the video, why wasn't he being arrested on the sidewalk?

As for the "snatch" move, why are you happy about it? What justifies it. If they needed to arrest her, why didn't they pick her up off the ground and arrest her? Why wait until they realize she is giving an interview to snatch her?

Jack-booted thuggery is jack-booted thuggery. You didn't like what happened after Katrina because you value gun rights, but you don't care about this because you don't like Code Pink. The point is, when the police step on anybody's rights, they step on everybody's rights. You may not like Code Pink, but do you like the First Amendment? Or do you think that police should be able to harass any protester you don't like. (When she was shoved, she really wasn't acting in a threatening way, unless you think photographing police doing their work is threatening to police. The police seem to think so.)

Zendo Deb said...

Whenever some video like this reaches the high-level public consciousness, a whole raft of people will spring the "single cop" "bad day" "we don't know the whole story" lines.

But the simple fact is, that if you look at all, you can find stuff like this every week. It is too easy to find stories of cops behaving badly. And they are not all "video out of context." A fair amount (Chicago, Boston, LA, other big cities) are stories of FBI arrests or convictions in federal court.

Now most cops are decent enough, but not all of them are. Were all of the cops sent - from all over the country - to help in Louisiana after Katrina - the dregs of their departments? A whole lot of cops decided that the Constitution didn't apply, that they could be jack booted thugs - they weren't acting - because they decided it was best.

Aside from the 'Cops versus "little people"' dynamic, there are the cops that aren't decent people. If you follow that link I provided, you find tales of fraud, theft, rape, ... all done by cops mostly because that sizable minority doesn't think the rules apply to them.

Personally I have met some of those "less than decent" officers of the law. I have seen them come to the site of a gay-bashing and arrest the guy bleeding on the sidewalk for disturbing the peace. I have seen them drive by the site - even though 911 had been called, and by-standers were trying to flag them down - because as far as they were concerned, beating up fags isn't a crime.

If the LEOs of the world want to regain respect, they have a lot of work to do.

staghounds said...

I can think of several things. The man might have been blocking EMTs trying to get to an injured person, he might have refused to leave some secured area, or been spitting on passers by- FOR ALL THE VIDEO SHOWS he was throwing molotov cocktails.

Mr. Gigante's point was that it's no more reasonable to assume one thing happened than another.

I do agree that the officer seems like a jackass, and that he appears to have been reckless in pushing the man backwards, but again for all we know the street was blocked off and the bus and car were the only vehicles on the block.

There are bad police officers, in lots of different ways- I've tried some of them. Good law enforcement people hate bad ones.

But it's been my experience that when someone with a videotape of a 5 or 10 minute incident only shows me the last two, the first part tells a very different story!

staghounds said...

And, Cossack, SS. 1983 creates a civil action, and in the United States we don't imprison for debt.

Tam said...

Regardless of culpability (and I indeed don't know the whole story) these tapes are just bad, bad P.R.

We are only now feeling our way into a world where everybody has a camera and any incident can be transmitted to the world instantly.

We've talked about this before, but this situation will wind up changing the dynamics of L.E., just like it will effect everything else.

José Giganté said...

I absolutely agree that everyone having a VC and being able to edit it to tell "their" story will eventually change the dynamics of L.E., IF the cops aren't allowed their day in court and we simply convict them in public court on the heavily edited evidence presented online when we know zero about context. A proper court wouldn't allow the edited piece as evidence, rather the whole video and probably police video as well.

Just remember, those VC's can be pointed back at us as well. Ask any Londoner.

BTW, I'm not happy that the woman had to be snatched and spent at least some time in jail, that's never a good thing. I'm simply remarking on the technique that has been executed properly. She was most likely arrested because she was identified by command officers as a person who was directing the crowd to do unlawful things and essentially causing trouble. Tactics to deal with this are to ID the troublemakers and get them out of the situation and the crowd becomes less of a threat.

Zendo Deb said...

OK suppose the ABC News producer threw a Molotov Cocktail, and then was standing in the middle of the sidewalk talking on his cellphone. (I'm just sayin')

When they arrest him, one officer is heard continually telling the camera man to turn off the camera. Why? Why, if it is a good arrest, do they not want to be taped? In Florida, I know that it is my constitutional right to video tape law enforcement as they do their job, provided I stand back far enough that I don't interfere. What I don't know if that court case was decided on the Florida constitution or the US constitution.

My position is that everything a LEO does - including going to the bathroom - while on duty should be taped. If they are ever accused of a misdeed, the video will be there to acquit them. If the video every turns up missing (the K-9 unit ate my video recorder) that would be prima facia evidence of intent to commit a crime - with reasonable allowance if they were shot, etc.

Good cops should not be afraid of cameras. Bad cops are - and with reason.

Tam said...

Jose Gigante,

"I absolutely agree that everyone having a VC and being able to edit it to tell "their" story will eventually change the dynamics of L.E., IF the cops aren't allowed..."

You're thinking small, Jose. I said "EVERYONE", and everyone includes cops. I foresee a day in the not-too-distant future when LE (and some other public servants, too) wear cameras the whole time they're on the clock. When the Smallville P.D. gets their story onto the web as fast as the W.T.O. protesters do.

Like I said, the ubiquity of video and the speed of transmission is not just going to change the rules, it's going to change the game in ways we probably can't guess, any more than our g-grans could have guessed that Model T's presaged 18-wheel reefer trucks whisking fresh produce from the Sacramento Valley to Chicago.

rickn8or said...

"I foresee a day in the not-too-distant future when LE (and some other public servants, too) wear cameras the whole time they're on the clock."

Tam, sooner than you think. GF's nephew is working in an engineering firm right now, developing such devices. Implanting VCs in cruiser inside rearview mirrors, the flashlight the cop is pointing at you, etc.

My only suggestion to him consisted of the words "triple-redundant" and "tamper-evident"

staghounds said...

I tell my academies that long before they re eligible for a pension, everything they do or say will be recorded so they'd better start doing it now themselves.

Charles Pergiel said...

I am sorry but I was glad to see the newscaster pushed around and hauled away. What an idiot. Cop tells you to do something and you want to stand there and argue with him? Okay, maybe he was arguing for his rights, well now he'll get to argue them in court. If you don't want to go to jail you don't argue with the police. Even better, don't put yourself in a position where you are talking to them. My opinion probably reflects my watching too many episodes of "Law & Order" which pretty consistantly portrays the reporters as a bunch slavering vultures. (I'm pretty sure vultures don't slaver, but you get the idea.)