The people from Peaceful Streets Project [“Peaceful Streets Founder Arrested
,” News, Aug. 31] don't seem to understand that the motto of the police is to control and maintain (serve and protect is just a PR campaign). Control the population, maintain the status quo. So anytime citizens do something that a cop believes runs counter to that motto, it means they are likely to become victims of police aggression themselves. Oftentimes this happens because the officer has a strong, macho attitude and is upset that someone would have the audacity to stand up to him. Because of this, using biting sarcasm (Oh, does this minicamera seem dangerous to you?, etc.) will prove pointless. Remember, "resisting arrest" is one of the most common arrests in the police blotter and is just your word vs. his. Therefore the best defense is to keep filming, but step far enough away so that it is very clear to an outside viewer that you really did not interfere. That’s what telephoto lenses are for after all. Oh, it won't save you from police aggression, but might help in court later. Of course, reflecting back on the Rodney King tape – in which the cops brutally attacked an unarmed citizen and got away with it – makes me think that chance may only be 50/50.
p.s. Think police violence is new? Here’s an excerpt
from a book I was working on in the '90s about police killing citizens, published by Michael Bluejay.