Honest question: do Rochester Police Department cruisers have dash cams like we see on COPS, or not? Because the question of whether or not Emily Good made threatening, “anti-cop” statements to the police or not could easily be answered, if that’s the case. The question of whether she stated that she was a friend of the people in the car or not could be answered. Lots of questions could be answered. I was actually under the impression that dash cams had become standard for this reason, but perhaps I’m mistaken?
The president of the Rochester Police Locust Club asks, “Let’s see the unedited version of the video,” why should that even be necessary?
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Its probably easier to assume that anybody you come into contact with has a camera on them than to wonder. Every phone takes photos and videos these days, and your entire world is potentially being video taped.
Which makes privacy laws concerning video pretty impossible to enforce. This is important in the context of the Emily Good incident because it may well be the “secret” taping of the officer that comes into question once this goes to court. Its not supposed to be legal to film people without their consent, but in the context of our modern era, its commonplace.
Its also commonplace for police cruisers to have cameras mounted in their dashes and stop lights to have cameras monitoring them. But there’s no sign that says “this light is being video recorded,” nor am I allowed to ask a video tape of me getting pulled over be erased. Why not? Isn’t that illegal?
Officer approaches Emily Good, demanding that she stop taping.
Growing up in Wayne County with a lot of bored cops who harrassed kids with long hair, I’m disinclined by nature to side with cops in circumstances such as the big Emily Good news. The video clearly shows the cop arresting a woman who insists that she’s done nothing wrong and is on her own property. And I can’t help noticing the flashlight that is pointed directly at the camera, which seems at first blush to be intentionally blinding the camera.
But while we’re waiting on context, here’s a few things to consider:
- Someone took the camera phone off Emily after she was arrested, and there were certainly plenty of people watching. How many? One person on her own property is one thing, but a crowd milling around the cops might be provocative. In fairness, though, he should expect a crowd in a neighborhood, regardless.
- What happened before the camera rolled? How did her friend end up getting in trouble in the first place? And where?
- Cop says she said something to him *before* she started taping. What?
- Cop is not in a position to give “orders” on her own property.
- Cop says he’s, “Not going to explain myself.” That’s sorta his job, isn’t it?
Late Update: @rachbarnhart just posted video of Emily Good protesting in another context to her Twitter feed. And Johnathan Turley, Constitutional law professor and MSNBC contributor, also picks up the story.