How About Getting the Truth From the Cops and the Citizens, Too?
We are pleased that you have stopped by to view the next CopBlue video article. They are published regularly and address a variety of issues which are important to American Street Cops.
The issue at hand is: Body Cameras. They have the distinct capability of telling the truth while being totally misleading, at the same time.
These technical marvels capture the sights and sounds of almost any event with crystal clarity. The story they can never tell is one that provides the context or perspective of that story.
In recent times, there have been programs on TV that claim to show police officers working on the street. Some of those shows do a reasonably good job of letting Americans see what their cops are doing, in great detail.
If you have ever watched an episode, chances are good that you have seen a vehicle pursuit. Imagine watching an officer trying to stop someone because of a minor traffic infraction – like disregarding a STOP sign.
Instead of stopping, the driver escalates and takes off, trying to elude the cop. I’ve seen drivers run through red lights, drive at very high speeds over 100mph which endangers other drivers and pedestrians. They have even hit other vehicles as they try to escape. To the average citizen, watching a pursuit like this can be jaw-dropping – even frightening to view.
Ultimately, the wayward driver is stopped – often by a group of cops. I have seen the idiot driver resist as the officers try to pull them from their car. They even get physical and start swinging at the cops involved.
Finally, an officer grabs the guy, jerks him to stand up and forces his hands into handcuffs behind his back.
Will it be on the nightly news, you ask? Chances are good that the only video which will appear on the nightly news starts with the officer grabbing the driver and cuffing him up. Maybe ten seconds out of ten minute chase is seen by the public.
The average citizen might think the cop has used too much force, if that’s all he saw.
Understandable, but wrong.
TURNING THE TABLES
A citizen marches into the local police station, demanding to file a complaint against an officer.
She tells the sergeant that an officer from the agency stopped her for speeding. During the course of the stop, the officer asked if she would have sex with him. The request was followed by the cop inappropriately fondling her breasts.
When the female driver was in the process of getting back into her vehicle, the officer patted her on the ass with his hand.
The female provided all requested information and then hand-wrote a witness statement to coincide with her verbal complaint.
Later, when the sergeant views the body camera footage from the stop, he learns that the officer was polite and professional throughout the encounter. The cop did none of the things of which he was accused.
If the cop screwed-up and it was caught on video, he would be disciplined.
If a citizen lies about an office’s behavior, what then?
“Above all, it’s about going home at the end of the shift … “
We couldn’t agree more.
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