Photographers and police

“One of the problems photographers do face is the vulnerability to being charged with things that they didn’t do, and where, absent images or independent witnesses, it then comes down to a citizen’s word against a police officer’s word.”

This touches on the real issue.  It doesn’t quite get there.  This is closer:

“You can buy a digital camera the size of a stick of gum for 20 bucks,” says Radley Balko, a senior editor at Reason magazine and frequent critic of police power in the US. “As a result, we’re seeing all these videos popping up that show not only misconduct, but contradict what shows up in police reports after the fact.”

That’s what it really comes down to.  It is shattering the myth.  The myth is:

  • Cops are good witnesses
  • A cop’s recollection is reliable
  • Cops are generally honest

All three are untrue, and the more videos come out, the more obvious it becomes.  Cops generally aren’t good witnesses and their recollection isn’t reliable; they see so many similar situations, they just fill in all the gaps in their memory.  That is human nature.  Do you really remember what you did filling out that TPS report from two months ago in your job?

But the real issue is that cops generally aren’t honest.  Even when they know they don’t have a recollection, they tell you that they do anyways, and fill in whatever details they think will win the case.  And that won’t stop until juries stop believing cops.

One Comment

  1. mexigogue says:

    It’s kind of instructive (and sick) to note that many of the same people who have no objections to US agencies eavesdropping in on telephone conversations of ordinary citizens without a warrant are the same people who object to people being able to video tape police officers in action. Regardless of what they would have you believe, it’s not the Truth they support so much as a police state. I think it may have been Benjamin Franklin who said “He who is willing to give up freedom for security deserves neither.” I think it was also he who said “It’s all about the Benjamins.”