War on Cameras

Dallas Police Union: Recording Cops 'Creating a Major Officer Safety Issue'


don't point that thing at me

The Dallas Police Department (DPD) is warning its officers about encountering citizens recording them while on duty, according to CBS Dallas-Fort Worth, which also reports:

Dallas Police Association President Ron Pinkston wants citizens to stop taping because he worries someone will get hurt. "It's creating a major officer safety issue," he said. "We don't know who it is pulling behind us. We don't know they're there to videotape, they might be part of…if that guy has has just done a kidnapping they could be part of the kidnapping. You don't know."

The warning from the DPD referenced one officer's encounter with a woman, affiliated with Cop Block, who followed him with a video camera and—gasp—refused to give him information. What information did the cop need? He ought to be at least as well versed as she is in whether recording police officers in public is legal. It is, and to the DPD's credit their warning did include the reminder that residents have that right.

The Dallas Police Association, meanwhile, insists that dashboard cameras and planned body cameras are sufficient monitoring for cops and, according to the CBS affiliate, "are asking citizens to put their cameras away."

Citizens, who may be aware of police not interested in being monitored, should consider asking the union to fuck off.

Related: While the police union in Dallas appears to be trying to demonize Cop Block, an alt-weekly in Cleveland appeared to try to do the same for different reasons.

UPDATE: Lt. Max Geron responded to a tweet of this article by Radley Balko that the DPD "respects the rights of citizens to record in public and encourages them to do so safely." In another tweet, he highlighted that "the statements against citizens recording police are those of union bosses & NOT from the Dallas Police Department". That distinction was made in this post, although without the exact term "union bosses."

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  1. Hey, if you’ve go nothing to hide, right ?

    1. First, but with a typo…dammit !

      1. I read right past it, and I used to proofread for a living!

    2. I’ve a coworker from Belfast, Maine. What part are you from? Everyone knows everyone else in Maine, right?

      1. Everyone knows everyone else in Maine, right?

        Everyone knows everyone else in a state with 1.3 million people. Sure. Whatevs.

        1. I think people also fail to understand how big Maine is. They think “New England, so tiny states”. Well, not Maine.

          1. Land area is between that of Indiana and South Carolina, with a quarter the population density.

          2. Nope, I’m well aware of how large Maine is, and how shitty of a city (according to the aforementioned coworker) Augusta is.

            1. Calling Augusta a city is kind of a stretch, and yes, it is pretty shitty. But at least it has a huge Hannaford’s where you can stock up on groceries and booze before heading out to your camp.

            2. We don’t call it Disgusta without reason.

              1. HA! She actually calls it that very name.

          3. You’ll forgive those of us who have lived in Texas for thinking that.

        2. The old sarcasmic doesn’t need a recalibration, right? Because, at you’re age, you’ll just get the old yeller treatment.

          1. There are some people who really think that.

          2. Shit, your*, I needz moar grammer calibrayshun.

      2. I thought everyone in Maine is RELATED to everyone else in Maine. Get your stereotypes correct, man.

        1. That’s Mississippi.

  2. Yeah,. you don’t know what people are going to do. It is called being in public. Maybe the Dallas cops should just stay in their homes and not patrol at all.

    1. That might make the streets safer.

    2. Perhaps they should consider hiring people other than goons and pants wetting pussies.

  3. I like the way they jump from “You just don’t know [if that person poses a danger]” to “Its creating a major officer safety issue.”

    Which is it? You don’t even know if there is a risk, or there is in fact a major safety problem?

    1. Anything that is good for cops is a good idea. Anything that could potentially harm a cop’s career is bad. Don’t you see, citizen? It’s all about us.

    2. The jump is easy RC. You just have to assume that every person is by default a danger.

      1. And that’s why every shooting is justified.

    3. Well increased video recording by citizens carries the possibility of sending some of these thugs to prison, where former police officers are not typically treated very well so I suppose, indirectly, he may have a point.

      1. Translation: We have a right to go home at night.

      2. Based on the Kelly Thomas trial I think the possibility of jail for these idiots is pretty slim.

        1. That’s if it even gets to a trial, let alone a grand jury.

        2. I admit I wasn’t able to type my comment with a totally straight face.

        3. That’s bullshit, WTF. Why Johannes Mehserle spent almost a year in jail for executing Oscar Grant. Almost a whole year!

          1. You’re right! He lost his job, too! A fate worse than death for cops!

    4. They don’t know if something is a wallet or a gun, but they’ll shoot anyway.

      1. If he didn’t have a gun, he will, after they Swiss-cheese him. They just won’t find it until later. Cameras make it more inconvenient to put it in his pocket in plain sight.

  4. Citizens, who may be aware of police not interested in being monitored, should consider asking the union to fuck off.

    Oh, Ed. You sounded like Dirty Harry just then.

    1. I thought that was classic Tucille until I checked the byline.

      1. I’ll take that as high praise

  5. Wait until the DPA and the DPD find out we don’t use videotape, but video uploaded to a remote site.

    1. What exactly do you need in order to be able to do that?

      1. Any smartphone ought to be able to do it. There are plenty of apps available for instant upload of video.

    2. I’m still waiting for a successful implementation of that. Where the cops confiscate a phone and try and ‘lose’ the footage that’s been streamed remotely.

      1. IIRC, there was a story I read on PoliceOne where a person had done that and the cops returned her iPhone the next morning when she was released from jail and there had been so many attempts to unlock the phone that it was locked for several weeks.

        Needless to say the commentariat over there thought it was pretty funny that they had tried to tamper with an arrestee’s phone to the point of rendering it useless.

        1. Found it. It was a man and they locked it for 42 years.


          1. How many fucking times do you have to attempt to unlock it to disable it for 42 years? Holy shitballs.

            1. Well, when you’re getting time and a half and shift differential at the same time, you ought to stay busy.

  6. From one Dallasite to another: Fuck off DPA.

    1. Big D reppin’!!!!

        1. Fort Worth fires its bad apples. (I think) Dallas gives me every reason to be glad that I live in boring Tarrant County instead of that craziness that is Dallas.

  7. “We don’t know who it is pulling behind us. We don’t know they’re there to videotape, they might be part of?if that guy has has just done a kidnapping they could be part of the kidnapping. You don’t know.”

    Aside from his argument proving too much, it’s best to just kill them all, Ron. God will know His own.

    1. “…it’s best to just kill them all…”

      You’re talking about the cops right?

      1. Yes. The safety of our brave public heroes is 1000x more important than the lives of the peasants they oversee.

    2. What’s the difference between God and a police officer?

      God doesn’t think he’s a police officer.

    3. If they run, they’re VC. If they don’t run, they’re well-disciplined VC.

  8. When Krayewski starts swearin, you better start payin attention.

  9. There’s a safety issue alright, but not for the police. Rather for the person doing the recording who may be killed for failure to obey when the cop issues an unlawful command to stop recording.

    1. If a cop commands it, it’s not illegal.

  10. Meanwhile, Fox News (and others, no doubt) reports the guy killed by the LA sheriffs [see earlier post] was killed “accidentally”.


    He was killed intentionally.

    1. I’m sure he’s relieved to know he’s only accidentally dead. Somebody call Miracle Max!

      1. “Bye bye boys! Have fun storming the hostage situation!”

  11. Passed by the new In-N-Out Burger place here near Austin, and there were an assload of employees of that place directing traffic and waving at potential customers — and one cop just standing there doing nothing at all.

    My GF started bitching about the cop wasting taxpayer’s money, until I pointed out that, if you have cops out there, that was the best case scenario, him doing nothing at all, that he should be congratulated on a job well done, or at least on a job Not As Harmful As Usual.

    1. Why is it that added scrutiny puts the chill on police activity, but police presence doesn’t chill the free expression or commerce of ordinary citizens?

    2. And how was it? I grew up on in out, so if your response is anything short of “out of this world good”, you’ll be taken out behind the barn and shot.

      1. In n out blows compared to Whataburger. Just FYI.

        1. In n out blows compared to Whataburger. Just FYI.

          You are fucking tripping. Tried a Whataburger once. Terrible. Never again.

          Next you’re gonna be telling me White Castle is better too.

          The fries at In-N-Out blow unless you Animal Style them, because they don’t double fry them like at MickeyDs. Healthier, sure, but the point of fast food ain’t healthy.

          1. Nah, you’re tripping. In N Out is flavorless mush with that nasty crapsauce drizzled on it. Also, what’s with the cheese? I swear we got that stuff in the middle school cafeteria.

            Whataburger’s Monterey Melt, OTOH, is pure heaven.

            I’ve never had White Castle.

            1. We finally got one because so many Kalifornia escapies started occupying DFW in the 1990’s. I tried them and even ordered a burger and fries animal style, but I wasn’t impressed. A1 Thick and Hearty from Whataburger for me. The hype killed it I guess.

            2. In college (late 70’s), we called White Castle burgers “belly bombers”.The next day, you never wanted to sit next to someone who had “belly bombers”

      2. I didn’t stop by today because I was full of free samples by the Costco nearby and had a Costco pizza in the back seat, and the lines there were crazy long.

        I am, however, a huge fan of their Animal Style burger and fries (yes, you can get their fries A S too.) Stopped by the In-N-Out near Bountiful Utah a butt-ton when I lived there.

  12. That guy worked on that shitty Tosh show, so I might be be as outraged as I originally thought.

    1. Tosh.O is the funniest thing on the tube right now. You should “be as outraged as [you] originally thought.”

      1. Meh, his humor is okay, but I prefer darker comedy, like Louis C.K.

        1. I’ll check him out, though I fear that once I go black…

      2. Tosh and zero tenths is funny?

        It’s AFV with dumb snark added.

        1. Check your sarcasm meter and P Brooks’ typo and call me in the morning.

    2. Sorry, Brooks, but I missed it-Wwo is “that guy” you’re referring to?

      1. *who

  13. Well, if an officer’s life may possibly be put in danger, then we must scrap all efforts to document their performance in the name of officer safety. Hell, we shouldn’t even let them go outside the HQ at all; it’s not like we pay them or anything.

  14. “We don’t know who it is pulling behind us. We don’t know they’re there to videotape, they might be part of?if that guy has has just done a kidnapping they could be part of the kidnapping. You don’t know.”

    What are the Dallas bakeries putting in doughnuts these days?

  15. If the cops are worried about being recorded, that to me is a de facto admission that they’re doing things that are illegal/wrong/immoral/whatever. Since they’re the ones that say “if you’ve done nothing wrong, you have nothing to fear”, I’m going to take them at their word and apply that right back to them.

    A large part of the power of being a cop comes from the fact that they’re out of the station, on the street, with no supervisor, bureaucrat, or politician looking over their shoulder. They’re the highest immediate authority in the vicinity (which is what they love about it). Being recorded saps the shit out of that power. Of course they don’t want it.

  16. There is an excellent site on recording cops:


    This simple issue, more than anything else, has exposed the soft underbelly of police they never wanted you to know: They engage in criminal activity constantly and don’t want it recorded.

  17. The comments on the CBS post are heartening (mostly).

  18. It’s hard to get upset because these DPD excuses are so weak they’re just laughable. I think they know they’re losing.

  19. Of course it is a major officer safety issue, I mean if there is video of their actions which cannot be convienently erased or lost when needed then the officers might find themselves in the very dangerous state of having to face consequences for their actions.

    1. Right off the top of my head I can think of two obviously unjust uses of deadly force by police that were caught on camera, and nothing else happened. Of course both of the victims were homeless people. But still.

    2. If they lose the War on Recording, they will have to fall back on union contract loopholes, forgiving internal investigation bureaus, jury intimidation, and authority-loving judges!

      1. Not to mention the inevitable juror who feels that everything police do is justified because they are the police.

  20. it does pose an officer safety issue. those Dallas cops who shot the guy in a chair a few months ago would have gotten away with it if it wasn’t recorded by a citizen. now those officers face the danger of consequences.

  21. We don’t call it Disgusta without reason.

    OK, what’s the best disparaging nickname given to an American city?

    I’ve always appreciated Fayetteville, NC being referred to as “FayetteNam”.

    1. It’s not a nickname, but the phrase “the aroma in Tacoma” is pretty disparaging. Because it’s true.

      Also, Rochester doesn’t need a nickname. It’s bad enough in its own right.

      1. Ain’t that the truth. Same with Merrimac.

      2. The people from Chesterfield and Petersburg used to (accurately) refer to Colonial Heights as “Colonial Whites”.

        1. Thanks to the charitable efforts of Catholic Charities, Lewiston is often referred to as Somaliville.

    2. We used to refer to Louisville, CO as “Loserville,” not that that is very original.

    3. Biddeford is often referred to as “Shittiford.”

    4. West Ashley (part of Charleston, SC) is called both “West Trashley” and “West Ashtray”. I always thought those were pretty good.

    5. Seattle: “at least Epi’s mom doesn’t live there”

    6. Pasadena, TX aka Stinkadena. Its downwind from most of the refineries in the area.

    7. OK, what’s the best disparaging nickname given to an American city?


      1. Ha, I was just thinking the same thing and figured I should scroll down and see if someone beat me to it.

    8. Filthadelphia!

      1. Also, I grew up near Spring Grove PA, also know as Stink Grove because of the paper plant.

    9. Bal’mer. Harm City.

      Both are accurate.

    10. Rolling Meadows, IL: “Rolling Ghettos”

    11. I don’t think it’s unique, but I always liked “the People’s Republic of Boulder”

    12. Whitefish Bay, WI

      White Folks Bay…it’s a snooty North Shore suburb of Milwaukee.

      Also, Madistan to refer to Madison, WI. Or 76 square miles surrounded by reality. After working in Madison, both nicknames are fitting.

  22. “It’s creating a major officer safety issue,” he said. “We don’t know who it is pulling behind us. We don’t know they’re there to videotape, they might be part of?if that guy has has just done a kidnapping they could be part of the kidnapping. You don’t know.”

    How does this sound: “It’s creating a major civilian safety issue. We don’t know who it is pulling in behind us in that cruiser. We don’t know of they’re there to pull us over for a traffic infraction, they might be part of…if the guy has just carjacked a cop they could be part of the carjacking. You don’t know.”

    1. It’s not like people impersonating police so they can pull people over and do bad things to them never happens. There is much more reason for people to be worried about that than for cops to be worried about people with cameras. Are they worried that they might capture their souls or something?

      1. Cops have souls?

  23. “We don’t know who it is pulling behind us. We don’t know they’re there to videotape, they might be part of?if that guy has has just done a kidnapping they could be part of the kidnapping. You don’t know.”

    Oh, roger that, Ron.

    They might be space aliens. They could even be *time-traveling* space aliens. You. Just. Don’t. Know.

  24. I might be be as outraged as I originally thought. was supposed to be snarkish, “I might NOT be as outraged….” I think Plisade read it as intended.

    Sorry (!), but Tosh impressed me as an obnoxious idiot, in the small doses of the show I saw. I put up with enough of those in real life.

    In P Brooks -topia, the cop who shot the fleeing victim(s) would already be an EX cop awaiting trial for manslaughter, compounded by depraved indifference.

  25. As long as these brave police officers go home safely every day whatever they ask for is worth it, right?

  26. “the statements against citizens recording police are those of union bosses & NOT from the Dallas Police Department”.

    So we should be expecting a mass exodus from the union by DPD officers?

    I didn’t think so.

  27. Yet another union that is too big for its britches.

    Bust em up!

  28. How many employees of Dallas Police Department are also members of the Dallas Police Association? Almost all of them?

  29. Citizens, who may be aware of police not interested in being monitored, should consider asking the union to fuck off.

  30. what do they have to fear if they are doing nothing wrong, at least thats what they keep telling us about thier surveilance of us

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