Cameras Bring Out the Best in Police Officers

From Carlos Miller's ever-valuable Photography Is Not a Crime comes news of a police officer whose surly personality underwent a This Old House-style renovation once a lens was pointed in his direction. The big surprise, of course, is that more public officials don't undergo such magical transformations when being recorded for posterity, but it's still impressive to see in action.

From Photography Is Not a Crime:

In a three-minute Youtube video, San Rafael police Sergeant Scott Eberle proves why we should never hesitate to record our interactions with police officers.

It started when a photographer, who asked not to be identified out of fear of police retaliation, stepped out of a restaurant July 24 and spotted an ambulance and some type of emergency situation.

Thinking a car had struck a bicyclist, he walked up and started snapping photos with his cell phone from a respectable distance.

He was immediately accosted by Eberle. ...

That was when the man switched his phone to video mode and lifted it to the cop’s face.

Eberle was suddenly all smiles.

“Are you video-ing or you’re taking a picture?” he asks twice.

To which, I should say, the only appropriate answer is: "Whichever one will bring out the brightest, shiniest smile!"

It seems pretty obvious that official behavior is likely to improve dramatically when it's clearly being monitored (and when the folks being monitored don't believe they can do anything about it). And, also, that it's about time we all got ourselves wired for video and audio for when we interact with the thin, blue line.

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  • ||

    I wonder how much time your average cop watches videos of other cops on youtube each week?

  • ||

    Probably a lot, since they have an Alliance issued laptop in their cruiser, conveniently mounted for access while driving. They're also exempt from those pesky texting while driving laws us little people can be popped for.

  • ||

    alliance issued? my laptop is not alliance issued. it's dell manufactured, and dept issued

  • ||

    distinction without a difference

    hth

  • Coeus||

    Did you know that cops on laptops are far more dangerous than drinking and driving?

  • Cdr Lytton||

    Make sure to put down your drink before reading this.

    http://boiseguardian.com/2012/.....xting-law/

  • ||

    *yawn*

  • ||

    Here's a much more interesting video: http://youtu.be/Z6jtLAnqiiA

  • Heroic Mulatto||

  • ||

    I find this very difficult to masturbate to.

  • ||

    Why don't I believe you?

  • Coeus||

    He did say "difficult", not impossible. Maybe he just has dry hands today.

  • mr simple||

    It's a good thing there was someone there to film it.

    "You've got to get me out of here! It's horrible! Eating scraps; letting my waste drop wherever it falls, like an animal in a zoo!"

    "Animals go in the corner."

    "The corner! Why didn't I think of that?"

  • General Butt Naked||

    Mary's 'libertarian women' video is in the related vids side bar.

    Weird

  • Randian||

    I noticed that too. VERY interesting.

  • General Butt Naked||

    Good, I was worried that I was the only one that got that suggestion. I wouldn't want the google to think I was into such things. Seriously.

  • Randian||

    The implications are indeed terrifying.

    What this 'Mary' thing is all about is one of the great mysteries of the universe. There has to be more to it than one woman off of her meds.

  • General Butt Naked||

    Dude, she was commenting on here for years. For a long time she would vacillate between being insulting then trying to join in the conversation. But, gradually, the crazy started coming on stronger and stronger until bitch was just out of it. I don't think there is any other deeper, more nuanced, or sinister explanation behind such behavior. Just plain ol' obsessed crazy.

  • Coeus||

    Many people's medications lose effectiveness over time. It seems to have been the case here.

  • General Butt Naked||

    That makes sense, or it could be that an already fragile person experienced an outside trauma which fueled an obsession with this here outpost of crackpots.

  • Randian||

    Insanity is one of those things I doubt I'll ever truly understand.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    Well, it has to do with a membrane, from what I understand.

  • Archduke PantsFan||

    I was so worried you would be referring to a different membrane.

  • General Butt Naked||

    ...cops, commin try to take my crops
    these pigs wanna blow my house down take my celphone cam

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    I think one could make a forum game out of replacing various phrases from gangsta rap lyrics with "cellphone cam".

  • Heroic Mulatto||

  • General Butt Naked||

    But, uh, back to the lecture at hand
    Perfection is perfected, so I'm 'a let 'em understand
    From a young G's perspective
    And before me dig out a bitch I have ta' find a cellphone cam
    You never know she could be earnin' her man,
    And learnin' her man, and at the same time burnin' her man

  • General Butt Naked||

    It's ironic, I had the brew, she had the chronic
    The lakers beat the Supersonics
    I felt on the big fat fanny
    Pulled out the jammy and killed the punanny
    posted that shit on youtube with my cellphone cammy

  • Heroic Mulatto||

  • Heroic Mulatto||

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    And before me dig out a bitch I have ta' find a cellphone cam

    That shit got Joe Francis in trouble.

  • ||

    Heroic Mulatto,

    Are you Mary?

  • NebulousFocus||

    I once witnessed something similar in line at Walgreens.
    True story.

  • ||

    agree 100%. cops videoing people puts them on better behavior (well, sometimes... i had some pretty unique encounters with people while filming with COPS), and vice versa

    it's a win/win.

    i would LOVE, if at least in every critical incident, i had multiple cameras filming me. it only means that if a false complaint comes down, i got my back covered by video evidence, and it may also help the criminal case, since the suspect's bad acts are caught on video.

    as gillespie said back in the day, most cops do a good job and most support videotaping.

    i believe he is correct.

  • Jordan||

    Despite all the abuse you take here, this libertarian believes you're an okay guy, Dunphy.

  • ||

    spanx, man.

  • Auric Demonocles||

    I'll go as far as saying that you could be worse.

  • ||

    maybe i'm like mae west

    when i'm good, i'm good, but when i'm bad i'm better

    (i'm actually very good. at least by any statistical or commendation metric)

  • Coeus||

    as gillespie said back in the day, most cops do a good job and most support videotaping.

    Standard Goodwin applies.

  • Randian||

    I really want to know how this particular video is a good example of police abuse.

  • Coeus||

    Will you let me tell you loudly less than a foot from your face?

  • ||

    people think it proves something to provide a video or example of police abuse.

    nobody denies some cops do and have done misconduct and bad shit.

    it's like a liberal, who is convinced of the evil of corporations, pointing out some example of corporate shenanigans to PROVE how awful corporations are

    for fuck's sake, im the last to deny that cops have done some bad shit. i give examples from my own agency all the time, including today.

    cops are human and fallible.

  • Coeus||

    people think it proves something to provide a video or example of police abuse that goes unpunished

    You need that addition. They think that because it does. It proves that we need fundamental changes in the way we handle policing.

  • ||

    and as i have repeatedly explained, in most cases, police misconduct, given due process, is adequately punished.

    we most likely disagree with

    1) what is or isn't misconduct
    2) whether that misconduct is admin or actually rises to criminal levels
    3) etc.

    i generally think that , for example, arbitrators are the best "deciders" when it comes to police misconduct, since they are unbiased (they don't work for management, labor, or anybody else except for the public trust), highly trained, and very knowledgeable of relevant laws, etc.

    you haven't PROVED anything. there are most definitely DEPARTMENTS that do not properly handle discipline well.

    fwiw, many don't handle it well in that they underpunish/investigate

    some OVERpunish officers, otoh, to the extent they get slapped down by arbitrators, etc.

    but it's clear we will continue to disagree on this

    i provide metric assloads of examples of cops routinely getting punished, AS WELL AS showing how common it is for good cops to turn in bad cops. the wall of silence is far less prevalent than you believe

  • Coeus||

    2) whether that misconduct is admin or actually rises to criminal levels

    If you didn't support a double standard for cops, we wouldn't have that disagreement.

  • Archduke PantsFan||

    I try to limit my interactions with police to mocking them at the donut shop drivethru or turning on their sirens to get through a red light.

  • Coeus||

    You know it's totally legal for them to do that if they're responding to a call? In fact, they're supposed to leave them on the whole time. So why don't they? Are they not really responding to a call, or are they afraid of the camera which turns on when they do?

  • Archduke PantsFan||

    They do it here to get through one light that is red very long, then at the very next light which is shorter, they will wait.

  • ||

    ah. coeus. yet again with the lack of knowledge

    yet again, SHIT VARIES.

    when we are running code, it is perfectly ok to turn that shit off during the response AS LONG as we are not going through a red light etc. at the time

    iow, there is no requirement to "leave them on the whole time"

    depending on traffic conditions, at times it's smarter to turn it off as depending on the above, it can actually slow up response time to go lights and siren through certain areas (depending on bottlenecks, road width etc.)

    what camera?

    many of us, myself included don't have patrol car cameras

  • Coeus||

    depending on traffic conditions, at times it's smarter to turn it off as depending on the above, it can actually slow up response time to go lights and siren through certain areas (depending on bottlenecks, road width etc.)

    How?

  • ||

    because it can literally freeze up cars who have nowhere TO yield to and/or in areas where there is ped traffic on the side of the road such that head up ass drivers might yield into peds, etc. etc.

    in some cases, it can substantially slow response. in other areas, it doesn't

    a good officer responds code like playing chess or surfing a wave. he is looking several moves ahead and anticipating this stuff

    again, you never consider experience, but i have been running code for 20+ yrs and out of literally thousands of code runs, my safety record speaks for itself.

    i might know just a weeeeeee bit more about how it actually works vs. somebody who is an eternal critic and sideline observer at best

    proper code runs are an art form, and like most stuff (see earlier discussion), it's a balancing between the advantage of getting there quicker and the relative dangers of running code

    fwiw, one of the easiest ways to get fired from my dept, especially while on probation is poor driving.

    we have a very good evoc program, the best i've ever seen, REALLY good trainers, and we arm our officers with great training AND give them broader discretion than many other agencies.

    the only stats i've seen were from the FBI LEJ that claimed that officer involved collision rates are slightly less than "half" of civilians, to include code runs, which is pretty awesome considering we also have to multitask CAD, looking out for perps as we arrive, etc. etc.

  • Archduke PantsFan||

    How do you ID a perp driving 35mph?

  • Coeus||

    because it can literally freeze up cars who have nowhere TO yield to

    What does that mean? You telling me that people come to a stop while driving if they see lights?

    i might know just a weeeeeee bit more about how it actually works vs. somebody who is an eternal critic and sideline observer at best

    You think that might be the reason I asked?

  • ||

    "What does that mean? You telling me that people come to a stop while driving if they see lights?"

    sure. sometimes. especially if they are thinking "i need to yield right. but it's gridlock. there's nowhere to go. WHAT DO I DO?"

    seriously. ask anybody who has driven code.

    lights and siren are PER POLICY a "request to yield" and people will do some bizarre ass shit

    if you want to drive code for 20+ yrs with no collisions, you develop your skillz way beyond a layman, you expect the unexpected, you drive defensively, and you keep your heart rate down and your adrenaline tempered.

    again, it's an art form and a science so to speak and it's not worth getting all crashed up.

    i've seen people do almost anything. i've seen people doing 50 when they see the lights slam their brakes so hard their tires lock up and they are skidding to halt when there is literally nobody around them but you coming up from behind.

    seriously. people can do some amazing shit

  • DegFooo||

    lol, gotta jsut love those corrupt cops lol.

    www.Anon-Got.tk

  • Law Firm in San Diego||

    Making sure your legs are covered is just the first step on Gucci Outlet.

  • Bam!||

    There was a Justin.TV channel streaming police radios during the NATO event a few months ago, along with live local TV helicopter shots. Constantly, dispatch reminded the officers that they were on TV and should be on their best behavior.

    It was nice to see media act as a check on police power.

  • LTC(ret) John||

    There were several feeds we were watching at our sooper sekret HQ in the 'burbs. Was kind of funny most of the time. Chicago cops do not bait very well - they have heard FAR worse than any out of town Occupy or anrachist types could yell at 'em. Of course, having a bunch of cameras on them sure did its part!

  • ||

    i've heard it all. my favorite was the frothing at the mouth libtard during n30 who was jumping up and down in front of my partner calling him a "fucking n**ger"for about 3 or 4 minutes until some pretty buff looking guy walks up and tells him he better shut the fuck up and that was all she wrote.

    my favorite is when gangbanger wannabes AFTER they are handcuffed start in with the "i'll fucking kill you bla bla bla" "if didn't have these handcuffs on i'd kick your ass. it's the only thing that's saving you" etc.

    :l

    when i was in hawaii, somebody tried that with one of my beat partners. he walked back to his police car, took off his shirt, badge, gunbelt, the whole nine yards, walked back over to the guy, unhandcuffed him and said "ok, take your best shot"

    lol

    guy just apologized and asked to be rehandcuffed.

    any streetwise cop, let alone one who works with shitbags in a busy district will have heard this shit a million times.

    and any cop who gets upset about it needs to learn to get a thicker skin.

  • General Butt Naked||

    guy just apologized and asked to be rehandcuffed.

    So, what happens if the guy takes your partner up on the offer and starts beating the shit out of him?

    I'm sure it'd be all cool, and you'd just let the guy go, right?

  • ||

    consider my partner's golden glove background.. i doubt it.

    here's a quick hint. when you see cauliflower ears and/or nose breaks, it's a hint the guy might have some fight experience. i also look at stances, balance, etc.

    that aside. i have complete confidence that my partner was a man of honor. if he would have gotten his ass kicked, he would have been fine with it. certainly wouldn't have charged the guy

    hawaii is a very different culture, especially when it comes to fistfights. ask anybody who grew up there.

    it's simply very accepted. i saw on a couple of occasions, guys go into the dept. parking lot and duke it out before roll call to settle a grievance.

    and be best buds afterwards. that's just how hawaii IS

    here (WA), it would be a major IA investigation and a huge deal

    in hawaii, the sgt. looks at my buddy nelson with the black eye (and nelson was dark skinned black. you could still see it clear as day) and says "hey wha'ppen bra? you get one false crack?"

    nelson goes "sarge. i wen fall down"

    which is true. he DID fall down. after taking a fucking killer right from a very tough tongan.

  • ||

    its just a different culture. it's literally like the wild west when it comes to fistfighting and shit like that

    we'd have guys wanna get in minor kine scrap before they get arrested, just to save face with their family. it's accepted. you tussle with the guy a little bit, he looks like a hero in front of his family, goes to jail proud with a smile on his face and you write it off as no big deal

    you have to live there to understand

  • General Butt Naked||

    Jesus.

    Dude, are you on fucking coke?

    You're rambling like an arrogant fratboy with his first teener.

  • Night Elf Mohawk||

    consider my partner's golden glove background.. i doubt it.

    Being able to box means almost exactly shit when it comes to an actual fight outside a ring. Now, someone with wrestling experience is to be left alone in all but the most extreme of circumstances.

  • Agile Cyborg||

    Partially true. I've been involved in many unwanted fights whilst a young man on the tough streets and a fellow with heavy fast fists can finish off even a seasoned wrestler one second too slow. This is from a youngster trained in a back alley karate shop which covered sparring and jiu-jitsu.

    I've fought it all and won and lost many and I hated every minute of it. Never a cop in sight- I wasn't gifted with a taser and a side arm with a lifeline to aggressive backup.

    As a side note: the one thing I preferred to avoid at all costs was a muscled-up black motherfucker who could swing (not every muscled-up black buck can swing). I've been there more than once and it wasn't pleasant. I'd prefer two white bikers (been there, won) over one black buck with a nasty right hand who was quick enough to take me down before I got my arms around his neck in which case he'd have exactly 15 seconds.

  • ||

    Testing my ability to post comments ...

  • ||

    Who left a blank comment here?

  • General Butt Naked||

    Why are you talking to white space again, sage? Have you gone Stack on us again?

  • Randian||

    well, prote, I would recommend you go out on top.

  • General Butt Naked||

    Is anyone using Reasonable right now?

    Last night I was having some trouble with it and was wondering if anybody else did as well.

    I could not see embedded videos nor use incif/troll-ignore, but everybody could see the youtube video under my name when I posted. Got many complaints.

  • mr simple||

    I was having trouble with it yesterday, but it seemed to work fine today. On my phone right now, so I'm not positive.

  • General Butt Naked||

    Okay, this is a test. I have more functionality than yesterday, let's see if the vid pulls up. Tell me if you can see it.

  • General Butt Naked||

    I don't see it and have full-on reasonable running right now.

    Testing embed:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QKQ1O_HMvHs

  • General Butt Naked||

    Embed works for me. Do y'all see me once or twice?

  • nipplemancer||

    it's working now. only see the embed once.

  • General Butt Naked||

    WOOHOO! Free at last! Free at last...

    ...to post without a video following me around.

  • Archduke PantsFan||

    Yes it looks like it is fixed

  • mr simple||

    Wow, reason called it quits early tonight; pm links at 4:30 and last post at 5:48. Was there a big event in DC or are we all celebrating Phelps 3peat. Olympics fever: catch it!

    Why yes I have been drinking. Why do you ask?

  • General Butt Naked||

    I'm trying to down this skunky Beck's right now, but had some Dave's Pale Ale earlier. I just found the Dave's and I really like it; it's good but not trying too hard.

  • mr simple||

    It's a wheat whiskey night for me. Not my usual drink, I prefer a bourbon or nice scotch when drinking liquor, by I got a bottle of Bernheim for m birthday. It's pretty smooth and tasty. Not overbearing on a hot summer night.

  • General Butt Naked||

    I don't do well with hard liquor, though I do love some good whiskey. I tend to chug it and get way too fucked up way too fast.

  • mr simple||

    I have a friend like that; he drinks all alcohol at the same pace and volume. He will literally drink a six-pack worth of liquor in the same amount of time if you let him. I like to sip and savor the flavor, anymore, though I still can put back a lot of beer on a night out.

  • Archduke PantsFan||

    It's a long weekend in most of Canada. I bet most of you guys have to work Monday.
    Suckers.

  • Randian||

    Yeah but on Tuesday you have to go to work and you'll still be in Canada, so I fail to see the advantage.

  • General Butt Naked||

    Ahh yes, I can still remember the kraft dinner BBQs of my childhood on Wayne Gretzky Day. Nuthin' better than hot poutine fresh of the barby!

  • Randian||

    Oh my god I looked it up and it's called "Provincial Day". They actually have a holiday to celebrate it! Can you believe that?

  • General Butt Naked||

    Those proles actually celebrate Provincial Day, how...ummm..provincial?

    *monocle pops out*

  • Archduke PantsFan||

    We just call it Civic Holiday, or "August Long".

  • Archduke PantsFan||

    There's also Islendingadagurinn

  • Randian||

    Is it just me, or is video guy an obvious douchebag? I have no problem with what the police were saying to him before hand, and it's obvious he was being a PITA.

  • Coeus||

    I have no problem with what the police were saying to him before hand,

    And what other conditions do you put on public photography?

  • Randian||

    you are right, it is not illegal. That does not mean that the police cannot inform Senior Douchebag that it is, in fact, disrespectful to act like a vulturous paparazzi around accident victims.

  • Coeus||

    Loudly and less than a foot from his face? Cause if you did that to me, I'd push you away. Unless you had a gun and it was illegal to assert my personal space around you, as was the case here.

  • General Butt Naked||

    I'll be a punkass and take the middle-ground.

    I think the dude was being a jackass, as is his right, to photograph the accident victim...

    ...BUT, a cop should always move towards de-escalation of tense and potentially violent situations. Getting all alpha on someone is a good way to incite violence from an easily defusable situation.

  • Randian||

    If you pushed me away for talking loudly and 11" from your face, you would rightly be arrested for battery.

    People, even police officers, are allowed to talk to you loudly and 11" from your face here in America. Sorry that upsets you, but it is not illegal.

    The guy ran across the street to act like an ambulance-chasing hound. the police officer did nothing illegal. So what's the story here?

  • Coeus||

    People, even police officers, are allowed to talk to you loudly and 11" from your face here in America. Sorry that upsets you, but it is not illegal.

    Not if I can articulate why I reasonably considered it a threat. And I'm very articulate.

  • ||

    how about this, coeus. don't be an asshole. treat others with respect.

    if somebody is being an assmunch, i say with metric assloads of defusing a situation experience, TURNING IT AROUND and being respectful very often works

    it's like when talking to a loud drunk, lowering your voice tends to make them quiet down and come to your level

    lead by example and treat others with some respect

    yes, god forbid. some cops can be a prick.

  • Coeus||

    how about this, coeus. don't be an asshole. treat others with respect.

    How the fuck am I the asshole in this situation? For not wanting you to yell at me less than a foot from my face?

  • Randian||

    Just because you can talk yourself into a threat does not mean that you were objectively threatened. It isn't all ruled by your whim, you know.

  • Coeus||

    If you don't feel that someone hollering at you less than a foot from your face for no damn reason isn't a threat, you have very poor survival instincts. Can you think of another reason someone would do that other than to convey a sense of imminent harm? Even if they're bluffing, that is still the impression they want to convey. Were you that kid who walked around violently swinging their arms while walking towards the smaller kids and saying "I'm just swinging my arms, it's your fault if you get in the way"?

    For the record, I always take a step back and give an calm, even warning when that happens. If the person advances, then yes that is a threat. And a pretty obvious one at that. But even though I do that, I don't feel that it is necessary to do so in order to define that situation as threatening.

  • ||

    ah yes, coeus, the eternal internet tuff gai

    jesus fucking christ.

    btw, do you carry concealed? if so, i would suggest you have a duty (imo a moral duty we all have, but when you are carrying concealed, it's imperative) that you not act like a dick and when confronted by a dick you walk away.

    but again, i think we all have a moral duty to treat others with respect. spread some love.

    ime, so many of the people who have all these anecdotes about awful cops are the same type of people who feel they are shirking their cosmic duty if they are not a prick to cops at any convenience

    one should be respectful towards all, not just cops. it's called "manners"

    i think one reason why i have such great use of force stats and such high compliance rates is simply because i truly believe in respecting others, and using common courtesy

    the reality is that if you come off like an asshole to people , you will get less than favorable results than a person who is respectful, kind, etc.

    the ONE time i was treated poorly by a cop was when i chose to be an asshole. i then said "wow. cause and effect"

    lesson learned

    just because you have a right to be a fucking asshole does not mean you should be one

    grow the fuck up and be nice

  • Coeus||

    btw, do you carry concealed? if so, i would suggest you have a duty (imo a moral duty we all have, but when you are carrying concealed, it's imperative) that you not act like a dick and when confronted by a dick you walk away.

    Not at bars, which is usually where somebody trying to show his girlfriend that his dick is longer than it appears starts shouting in your face.

    ime, so many of the people who have all these anecdotes about awful cops are the same type of people who feel they are shirking their cosmic duty if they are not a prick to cops at any convenience

    If you think I'm dumb enough to act like an ass to someone who can get away with shooting me if he says I put my hands by my waist, it doesn't say much about you and the multiple arguments you've lost to me.

    one should be respectful towards all, not just cops. it's called "manners"

    I agree. That's one of the reasons I dislike cops so much. The one time I got anything less than contempt from a cop was when I stopped that guy from committing suicide. And I was very surprised by that.

    just because you have a right to be a fucking asshole does not mean you should be one

    I'm not the one demanding the right to yell at someone less than a foot from their face.

  • Coeus||

    I have no problem with what the police were saying to him before hand,

    And what other conditions do you put on public photography?

  • Archduke PantsFan||

    I have never ever ever had a civil conversation with an on-duty police officer. It is always a power trip for the Cop.
    Even politely asking for directions, they have asked me why I needed them.

    Tell me this:
    If you are walking down the street, see a strange dog, then turn and run, what will happen?
    If you are walking down the street, see a police officer, then turn and run, what will happen?

  • Coeus||

    I have never ever ever had a civil conversation with an on-duty police officer. It is always a power trip for the Cop.
    Even politely asking for directions, they have asked me why I needed them.

    I had one, see above. I even had one act like a dick when I was trying to report that I found a wallet on the ground near a crime scene.

  • Archduke PantsFan||

    Sick of Dunphy. Listen to this instead.

  • General Butt Naked||

    Been hearing this lately on the radio, and I like it (for some reason).

  • mr simple||

    I, too, have been listening to Canadians tonight.

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