Sunday, June 24, 2007

Smile For The Camera

It is not often that I have praise for the ACLU, which spends considerably more time and resources trying to push leftist politics than actually standing up for civil rights. However, they do occasionally fight the good fight. Such is the case in St Louis where they are arming the citizenry with video cameras for the express purpose of recording police interaction with said citizenry.

The move by the police to video stops has long been underway and is one that I endorse. This not only helps protect the officers, but also those they interact with. I think all patrol cars should be equipped with these systems.

In the same vein, I think citizens should be taping the actions of the police. Such tapes proved critical in bringing the rogue officers in the Rodney King incident to justice and I am sure there are many more cases where police malfeasance was caught by citizen with a video camera. Unfortunately, there have been a rash of incidents in places such as Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and elsewhere where police either threatened or arrested people for taping their actions.

Police exist for the sole purpose of protecting the rights of the citizens. They are not our overseers or masters. They are our servants and it is always good to keep them acutely aware of that distinction.

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