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SOME OBSERVATIONS ON THAT “FELONY MURDER” THEY’RE TRYING TO STICK ON THE PROTESTERS:  If you look at this video from the totally non-partisan Lincoln Project. (Truly. Severe Conservatives, they say.)

And follow along with their outrage, you might miss some facts illustrated in a comment from one of my regular commenters:

If there is one thing you always have to remember, it is to read or watch things that purport to contradict your view of what happened.

There is another thing – whether it is contradictory or supporting, look at it with a critical eye, and verify it.

This is no exception.

This video shows people trying to enter the Capitol Building, against opposition from people (reasonably assumed to be officers, either DC Metro or Capitol Police). That is a truth.

What it also shows is that mace was being sprayed from inside. Reasonable. It also shows batons being wielded from inside. It shows what appears to be an officer down (there is a typical arm patch, although not completely identifiable). It shows him on his face, pointed OUT of the building entrance – which says he was struck from BEHIND. Ah. Who was behind him that might have struck him? Only other officers. Slightly later, as the batons were still being frantically wielded, it shows a protestor standing over the fallen officer, holding up his crutch as a makeshift SHIELD over the officer.

Doesn’t look at all like the claim that this was a beating BY the PROTESTORS, does it?

Then look at the source of the video. You have to go to the Twitter account of Hull, where he attributes it to one Ron Filipkowski. Hmm. Look up that name, and his posts elsewhere. Ah. This person is a rabid TRUMP HATER from Florida. Registered as a Republican, true – but that is meaningless in this day and age. What is he doing in DC, among the protestors, when he wants nothing more than to demonize and destroy Trump? No, he’s not a “journalist” either official or citizen – he’s a lawyer that had a political appointment to a judicial selection committee (which he resigned from when one of the CoViD panic scammers in his State was raided). There is also one INDIVIDUAL voice that comes clearly in the video – one that had to be very close to the camera, and most likely Filipkowski himself. That voice utters one phrase – “Get that son of a b**** out of there!” That was undeniably an incitement to further violence – but by WHOM?

REALITY OBSERVER

Honestly, I think I need to do a post on “reading news when your press is not truthful.” Trust me, you can still extract information, but it’s not the one the government and the press (BIRM) are trying to feed you.

And please, guys, very seriously, don’t fall for this crap and don’t go silent. Because without us, the republic truly is dead forever. And you don’t know how horrible things will get. I do.

THERE MUST BE A LEGAL PHRASE FOR 100% BULLSHIT: As Ed Driscoll first raised here, Democratic Mayor of Chicago’s Lori Lightfoot actually directed her personally-appointed city lawyers to block CBS’ Chicago TV station from airing police body cam footage of them arresting and cuffing the wrong woman.

FFS, how can this woman say she believes “Black Lives Matter” when she tries to suppress footage showing potential police misconduct or incompetence? How can any Democrat say they support her and the idea of BLM? She was rightly laughed out of court. Worth noting:

“This isn’t the first time CPD attempted to shield body camera video from public view. Last year, police denied CBS 2’s FOIA request for video that would show how officers handcuffed 8-year-old Royal Wilson during a bad raid. The department said it would be “unduly burdensome” for police to collect, review and redact 16 hours of video.”

Next time some simpleton tells you all Democrats are good and all conservatives are evil, show them this and ask them to explain it. Then ask them if there should be a federal law denying federal funding to any department who does not release body cam footage to the public within, say 3 or 5 hours.

A MESSAGE FROM A FORMER STUDENT:

I was appointed to three DUI cases involving the same arresting officer earlier this year and noticed several alarming patterns. The officer tended to move the defendants just off camera for the allegedly damning bits and he tended to provoke the defendants into blind rages by the time they were arrested, which got them to refuse a blood draw. Anyways, I got together with some local attorneys and they checked their videos and saw the same issues. The local bar decided to fight all his stops. We lost the first two, but put the judge and the DA on notice about these patterns and we won the next four in a row. Last week, my remaining cases with this officer were all quietly dismissed. So were all his cases. I’ve been asking with attorneys in surrounding counties who are now noticing the same issues and setting all his cases for trial. Looks like we may have successfully blackballed him.

I’m counting that my good deed for the year.

Notwithstanding the jokes, lawyers do a lot of good. I mean, it’s not as if the police will police the police.

CHICAGO CITY ATTORNEYS ATTEMPT TO BLOCK LOCAL CBS AFFILIATE FROM AIRING BODYCAM FOOTAGE OF POLICE RAID ON WRONG HOME. ‘You Have the Wrong Place:’ Body Camera Video Shows Moments Police Handcuff Innocent, Naked Woman During Wrong Raid.

Last year, Anjanette Young filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request for the video to show the public what happened to her that day. CBS 2 also filed a request for the video. But the Chicago Police Department denied the requests.

Young recently obtained the footage after a court forced CPD to turn it over as part of her lawsuit against police.

“I feel like they didn’t want us to have this video because they knew how bad it was,” Young said. “They knew they had done something wrong. They knew that the way they treated me was not right.”

Hours before the TV version of this report broadcast, the city’s lawyers attempted to stop CBS 2 from airing the video by filing an emergency motion in federal court.

* * * * * * * *

CBS 2 quickly found, through police and court records, the informant gave police the wrong address. The 23-year-old suspect police were looking for actually lived in the unit next door to Young at the time of the raid and had no connection to her. CBS 2 also found police could have easily tracked the suspect’s location and where he really lived because at the time of the raid, he was wearing an electronic monitoring device.

Twitchy notes that “If Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot were a Republican, every Dem in America would be calling for her resignation right now.” Particularly given that as ZeroHedge spotted in June, “As BLM Protests Raged, Chicago Saw Highest Black-On-Black Murder Rate In 60 Years.” Just think of the media as Democratic Party operatives with bylines, to understand why Mayor Corona Destroyer will likely have no pushback from old media.


Chicago’s last Republican mayor left office in 1931.

GET WOKE, GO BROKE: How Toxic Leftism Killed The Vibrant Bon Appetit YouTube Channel.

With its gleaming marble countertops and massive 35th-floor view from One World Trade Center in downtown Manhattan, the “Test Kitchen” set was exactly the visual tonic America needed. Bon Appetit became the fastest-growing food-related channel on YouTube, enjoying 40 million monthly views, more than 5 million subscribers, and more than 5 billion minutes watched.

Bon Appetit’s cooking channel should have been one of the bright spots during the pandemic. It should have been a common, nonpolitical intersection where we could all just laugh about yet again ruining our attempt at latkes. At first, it was just that. The Bon Appetit crew adapted almost seamlessly from the high-rise to their home kitchens across the tri-state area. Gleaming stainless cooking surfaces were replaced with cramped quarters, but the stars still shone just as bright.

But in a flash, the “Friends” vibe was dead, and so was the Bon Appetit cooking channel.

The Woke Mob Comes for All

It was murdered in June 2020 by a furious spasm of wokism aimed at Bon Appetit and its publisher, Conde Nast. Both magazine and publisher were accused of insensitivity to employees of any color but peach. There were also accusations of “cultural insensitivity,” disparities in compensation, ill-treatment in the workplace, and tokenism.

The unraveling began just after the May 25 killing of George Floyd in police custody. The once-lionized editor of Bon Appetit, Adam Rapoport, resigned June 8 following the release of a photo taken 16 years ago, reportedly showing him in “brownface” at a costume party. He denied he had altered his face color, but continued internal denunciation made his continued leadership impossible. Weeks after the initial controversy, eight Bon Appetit “Test Kitchen” star chefs, the heart and soul of the show’s success, announced they would no longer appear on the program.

Like many other companies, Bon Appetit felt compelled to declare “solidarity” with the rapidly emerging Black Lives Matter movement, publishing, “Here at BA, we’re often talking about recipes, cooking techniques, and emerging restaurants … but we also understand that food is inherently political.”

The 5o-year old “the personal is political” argument of the would-be totalitarian left sounds much better in the original Italian: “Tutto all’interno dello stato, niente fuori dallo stato, nulla contro lo stato.” Meanwhile, back at Bon Appetit:

The second most popular video from the new era was the first Bon Appetit pushed out: “Test Kitchen” director Chris Morocco making “weeknight meatballs.” Between the simplistic cooking instructions and complaints about his missing blender, Morocco managed to create one of the saddest cooking videos ever committed to the internet.

From his new home in Pennsylvania, he looked sadly into the camera and gave some vague pledge of having feelings for what happened at Bon Appetit — then, on to boring meatballs. That video has 792,000 views. With rare exceptions — videos featuring Leone — everything since then has been a fraction of that.

As Iowahawk tweeted when Starbucks’ CEO Howard Schultz had the ill-conceived (and quickly discarded) notion that his clerks could lecture their customers on whatever racism they perceived that day:

THE DEMAND FOR RACIAL HATE CRIMES EXCEEDS THE SUPPLY: Police, federal law enforcement find no evidence biracial Madison woman was attacked. “There had been questions about the veracity of the woman’s report because, unlike in other crimes that occur Downtown, police never released video stills of the incident or possible suspects in attempt to find the perpetrators. Very little of the public parts of Downtown are hidden from dozens of city-owned cameras and other private surveillance cameras police have access to.”

Also, the woman, Althea Bernstein, looks about as black as Rachel Dolezal. Not saying that she isn’t really biracial, but she doesn’t seem like someone who’d be targeted by someone out to get a black person.

Plus: “Bernstein said the attack happened at around 1 a.m., or about 20 minutes after a group of people threw a Molotov cocktail through a window of the City-County Building in the Downtown, starting a small fire. The firebombing was part of a larger Black Lives Matter protest in which protesters tore down two statues on the Capitol Square, including one of a Union Civil War soldier and abolitionist.”

But when she showed up at the hospital with burns, she blamed four white men in “floral shirts.”

DENVER POLICE OFFICER FILES ETHICS COMPLAINT AGAINST ANTI-COP CITY COUNCILWOMAN:

In the EEO Complaint, Officer Mallory Lutkin outlines an incident from Aug. 19, 2020.

“I responded to the area of 2900 Glenarm on a disturbance while District 2 officers were arresting an armed party and officers had been assaulted. Upon my arrival I was advised to hold a perimeter post to secure the scene as a large crowd was gathering. While on this line I had my body worn camera activated,” said Officer Lutkin in the complaint.

Before getting to the details, this video from the local KDVR News outlet has video of the Councilwoman in action, tearing into the police and then encouraging the “protesters” to get the police to get into a physical confrontation with them and then sue them.

This is pretty amazing. A sitting member of the City Council was not only joining in with the protests (which is perfectly her right) but publicly launching verbal attacks on the police. For the record, the cops were there cleaning up and relocating a homeless encampment to connect the residents with public resources available to the needy. But Councilwoman Candi CdeBaca immediately began berating the police, telling a Black officer that she should be “ashamed of herself” for performing her duty. A second (White) officer with her was told that she “expected that” from the White guy. She referred to her own police department as the “attack dogs” of the Mayor.

Read the whole thing, and watch the video of the mini-de Blasio hurling insults at someone who is effectively another government official.

At the end of the video, the newsreader notes that “the board of ethics will take this up tomorrow morning at its monthly meeting; the five member board will make a decision if it has jurisdiction, and if so, they’ll decide if they need a hearing and further investigation, or if the complaint should be dismissed.” And of course, it’s the latter: Denver’s Board of Ethics dismissed the complaint, citing a lack of jurisdiction.

However, a lack of jurisdiction is not a ruling on the merits. Hopefully this isn’t the end of the line for Lutkin’s complaint against CdeBaca. At a minimum he’s created a strong campaign video for the opponent of the self-described “democratic socialist” in the next election.

POLICE BODY CAMERA FOOTAGE PROVES GEORGE FLOYD’S DEATH IS NOT AS SIMPLE AS THE MEDIA SAY IT IS.

Related: Floyd bodycam footage leaked — what next?

However, sustaining a murder charge against Chauvin is going to be tough, unless the other two videos show something significantly different. A manslaughter charge would have made more sense, but that would have made it very difficult if not impossible to charge the other three officers. Two of them had made several attempts to get Floyd into the car without success, and it’s clear that Floyd was resisting almost from the first point of contact. This won’t acquit Chauvin, but it’s very possible that the other three could walk if a jury considers the full context of the video.

The resulting riots will be even more disastrous for Minneapolis than the first go-around. No word yet on whether state Attorney General Keith Ellison would approve of them, but perhaps this since-deleted tweet offers a clue:

A RACIST NOTE HOAX IN AGGIELAND?

Investigators say they have found the perp and ripped off the mask.

COLLEGE STATION, Texas (KBTX) – In a report released to KBTX on Thursday, police at Texas A&M University said a student who reported finding racist notes on his car’s windshield last month may have placed the papers there himself. However, the 21-year-old at the center of the case strongly denies those claims.

Isaih Martin, a senior at A&M, called police on the afternoon of Wednesday, June 24, to report finding three handwritten notes on his car that said “All lives matter” and “You don’t belong here.” The third note contained the N-word.

They got him via video from a security camera at a swimming pool in the area.

As Roger Kimball wrote when Jussie Smollett’s story broke last year, “The less hate there is in the United States, the more hate crimes must be manufactured in order to keep the Fraternal Order of Victims afloat.”

BODY CAMERAS HELP: Police video of fatal shooting shows victim fired on cops.

Detroit police released the body camera video, along with another video from a squad car’s dashboard camera which showed officers fatally shooting 20-year-old Hakim Littleton after he pulled a pistol from his left pocket and opened fire.

Detroit police chief James Craig said he released the video hours after the incident to quell “a false narrative” that the shooting was unjustified. The “erroneous information that was put out has incited violence,” Craig said during a press conference at Public Safety Headquarters.

It’s as if inciting violence is a goal.

PHOTOGRAPHY IS NOT A CRIME: Video vigilante said he was ‘rude,’ but not breaking the law recording at MGH.

A video vigilante charged with trespassing at Massachusetts General Hospital said he agrees he may have been “rude,” but he doesn’t want to be tossed in jail where fears of coronavirus are running rampant.

John L. McCullough told the Herald Tuesday evening he is a First Amendment crusader who takes videos of police and posts them to YouTube. That’s what got him a June 2 arraignment date.

“I understand how people may feel, but that doesn’t mean I should be locked up,” McCullough said, adding he posts his work to “The Resistance” channel on the video platform.

“Did I break the law? No. I may have been rude,” he added. “I understand people may feel jittery, but where peoples’ feelings start my rights don’t stop.”

McCullough, 41, was charged with trespassing, disturbing the peace and threats to do bodily harm after police say he refused to stop recording Sunday evening, as the Herald reported.

He’s accused of recording video at MGH of a ramp where “hundreds of nurses, doctors, physician assistants, and other medical staff arriving and leaving the hospital after a 12 hour shift during the COVID-19 Pandemic” could be seen leaving, according to a police report. . . .

McCullough said “20 other cameras” were probably rolling at the same time as he was — alluding to security cameras in the area.

Yes, but those are approved by Authority. Plus:

Cambridge civil-rights attorney Harvey Silverglate said McCullough will probably have his case tossed, even if what he was doing is seen as crass.

“There’s no amendment in the Constitution called the humanity amendment,” said Silverglate. “It’s a free country and you have a right to be a jerk.”

But taking video outside a hospital during a pandemic and as people try to social distance — and first responders, including the police, face all-too-real health risks — is “pretty distasteful,” Silverglate added.

Still, he added the judge will “have to throw it out.” He added it’s “punishement itself” to go to court in this climate.

McCullough, records state, does not have an attorney yet. He did say he’s ready to plead his case.

“Don’t be brainwashed,” he added, “and it shouldn’t be a problem when a black man has a camera.”

The First Circuit has held that taking photos and video in public is a right that is sufficiently “clearly established” that those who violated it can’t claim qualified immunity.

EVERGREEN HEADLINE: Blame Bill de Blasio.

New York City’s population density is off the charts compared with the rest of the U.S., as is its usage of mass transit. A map of COVID-19’s lethality maps fairly neatly onto the subway map, with infections increasing for the lengthiest commutes. The metropolis is especially vulnerable to infectious disease, as its epidemiologists are well aware.

Yet on March 2, de Blasio urged New Yorkers in a tweet to go out on the town. On March 10, de Blasio said on MSNBC, “If you’re under 50 and you’re healthy, which is most New Yorkers, there’s very little threat here. This disease, even if you were to get it, basically acts like a common cold or flu. And transmission is not that easy.” On March 11, the day Seattle closed its schools, de Blasio said in a press conference, “If you are not sick, if you are not in the vulnerable category, you should be going about your life.” De Blasio didn’t acknowledge until April 3 that asymptomatic transmission was taking place, claiming he had learned this in the last two days. It had been 63 days since Anthony Fauci declared that asymptomatic transmission was certainly happening. Meanwhile, governor Andrew Cuomo, who often makes a point of publicly opposing de Blasio, this time joined the mayor in lethal obliviousness. “We should relax, because that is what is dictated by the reality of the situation,” Cuomo said on March 2, promising that most of the afflicted would recover easily and that “we don’t even think it’s going to be as bad as it was in other countries.”

This was mayor-from-Jaws-level happy talk, times a thousand. The two leaders’ science experts were horrified by what de Blasio and Cuomo were saying, according to the New Yorker piece. A former head of the city’s Department of Health told the magazine that there’s always a divide between political appointees and public-health professionals, “who sometimes have to make unpopular recommendations. But, with the de Blasio people, that antagonism is ten times worse. They are so much more impossible to work with than other administrations.”

Read the whole thing.

Of course, there’s plenty of blame to go around: Cuomo orders NYC subway trains sanitized every night.

That’s a headline The Hill ran today; not a month ago. It comes in the wake of Cuomo’s presser on Tuesday: NY Gov. Cuomo Calls Homeless Situation In Subways ‘Disgusting.’ Imagine If A Republican Said That.

At his daily coronavirus briefing, Cuomo was discussing the homeless people in the subways and brandishing a copy of the New York Daily News that showed pictures of the homeless, then stated, “That is disgusting, what is happening on those subway cars. It’s disrespectful to the essential workers who need to ride the subway system,” as The Gothamist reported.

Cuomo added, “We have to do better than that, and we will.”

The Gothamist noted that Transport Workers Union Local 100 President Tony Utano stated, “Mayor de Blasio has to direct the police to escort the mentally ill and the homeless out of the system. This is a life-and-death situation, not a quality of life issue.”

And then there’s Fredo: CNN host Chris Cuomo’s coronavirus quarantine timeline scrutinized.

The “Cuomo Prime Time” namesake said he was “past quarantine” on April 12, the day of the encounter with the bicyclist, but that same day his wife had blogged that he had a “100 fever in afternoon and evening.” The encounter also occurred at an unfinished construction site that Cuomo owns, miles from his posh Hamptons residence where he was quarantined.

Cuomo even told CNN viewers on April 13 that he couldn’t shake his fever.

Unfortunately, other members of Cuomo’s immediate family have said they tested positive for coronavirus following the April 12 incident.

Meanwhile, Cuomo now claims he was “past quarantine” on April 12, but over one week later he staged a dramatic “official reentry” into society after recovering from coronavirus. The video was labeled his “Brian Williams Iraq moment” after critics claimed he wasn’t being truthful because he had already admitted that the Easter Sunday altercation took place outside his second property.

Cuomo’s so-called “emergence” was extensively mocked on social media and continued to raise eyebrows when his colleague, CNN’s in-house media critic Brian Stelter, included the controversial video in his nightly media industry newsletter.

Exit question: “So when you ‘left your basement for the first time’ CNN was lying?”

Perhaps this article in Hollywood Reporter headlined “‘It’s Good TV:’ CNN’s High-Drama Coverage of the Pandemic Hits Close to Home” provides the answer: “But another current CNN employee who spoke with THR criticized Cuomo’s appearances, particularly the dramatic moment last Monday when he was filmed leaving the basement where he was quarantined to reunite with his family, as ‘reality TV.’ ‘Him coming out of the quarantine with the cameras there, that’s all Jeff Zucker reality TV, and that screams Zucker,’ the person says, referring to the network president who brought The Apprentice to NBC and helped make Trump a star.”

EVERY LEFTIST’S GOAL: Criminalizing Dissent.

Louis Shenker, a 21-year-old junior at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, just wanted his MAGA hat back from the graduate student who ripped it off his head on campus. He wore the hat to a December 6, 2018 protest organized by the university’s graduate student union against Trump and local police. Video shows that when Louis, who is 5’6’’ and 140 pounds, arrived wearing the MAGA hat and holding a large sign, he was immediately surrounded by a hostile mob of older grad students cursing at him and calling him a white supremacist. A woman lunged from the mob and snatched Louis’s MAGA hat. Careful not to get caught on camera hitting Louis with their hands, they instead mobbed him like a colony of enraged penguins, using their bodies to push him from all sides, occasionally pecking at his head with their cardboard signs, and chanting in unison: “THE PEOPLE, UNITED, WILL NEVER BE DEFEATED.”

“Get the f**k out of here, you shouldn’t be in an anti-racist march!” screamed the hat thief. A soft-spoken professor in the crowd warned Louis: “It’s actually dangerous for you to come by yourself like that.” As the protesters began to march and Louis tried to keep up while pleading for his hat, many of them, including several graduate student union members dressed in United Auto Workers gear, elbowed Louis into walls, lampposts, and other obstacles. “You act like a Nazi, you’re going to get treated like a Nazi,” a female protester yelled at the Jewish grandson of Holocaust victims. Louis left without his hat.

A month later, Louis was horrified to recognize the woman who stole his MAGA hat as Beth Peller, a 36-year-old grad student who would be teaching his mandatory freshman writing class.

Read the whole thing.

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE: Student at Center of ‘Napping While Black’ Furor Lashes Out at Yale Officials and ‘Woke Intersectional Feminists.’

The student whose complaint to the Yale Police Department ignited the 2018 “napping while black” controversy tore into administrators, the campus police, and fellow graduate students in an essay published late last month on the social-media website Medium. Sarah Braasch wrote that she had been “vilified on a global scale as something akin to a genocidal villain” as a result of the incident.

In the early hours of May 8, 2018, Braasch, a philosophy graduate student, called the campus police after finding Lolade Siyonbola, a black graduate student in African studies, asleep in a dormitory common room. The incident, which received national media attention after the black student posted viral videos of the women’s encounters, prompted the university to hold listening sessions and reaffirm its commitment to inclusivity.

Backlash from the episode has essentially ruined Braasch’s career prospects, she writes in the Medium essay. Her lawyers filed a legal brief on Friday asking the police department to release body-camera footage of the incident, which, she writes, “exposes them as liars.”

Braasch filed a request for the release of the footage last summer. The police department initially denied her request, claiming that the video includes uncorroborated allegations. Braasch then filed a Freedom of Information Act request, which led to a review by Connecticut’s Freedom of Information Commission. That body plans to decide by July whether the police must release the footage, the Yale Daily News reported.

Braasch wrote the essay in response to a widely read Medium piece by James Hatch, 52-year-old Yale freshman and U.S. Navy veteran. While he arrived at the university expecting to find liberal “snowflakes,” Hatch wrote in the December 21 essay, he instead discovered curious, tolerant classmates.

In contrast, Braasch refers her Yale peers as “woke intersectional feminists” who “tried to destroy me.”

I’m sure there are both kinds of students, but I know which variety feels safe in attacking others, knowing it will be supported by Yale’s terrible administration.

PRIVACY: Police can keep Ring camera video forever, and share with whomever they’d like, Amazon tells senator.

WaPo link if you’d rather not click, and anyway the headline tells the story.

NOT AGAIN: Woman killed in own home when Fort Worth officer shoots her, police and witness say.

Atatiana Jefferson, 28, died in a bedroom, according to the Tarrant County Medical Examiner’s Office.

Officers responded at 2:25 a.m. to the house in the 1200 block of East Allen Avenue. James Smith, who called a non-emergency police number, said he saw the doors were open and the lights were on, which struck him as unusual. He knew Jefferson, his neighbor, was home with her 8-year-old nephew.

Police parked around the corner, and the woman could not see them, according to Smith, 62. About 15 minutes later, he said, he heard a loud bang and saw several more officers rush inside.

Body-worn camera video police released shows two officers using flashlights to check the perimeter of the house, inspecting two doors that are open with closed screen doors. At the back of house, one officer appears to see a figure through a dark window, and he quickly twists his body to the left.

“Put your hands up! Show me your hands!” he shouts through the window, his gun drawn. He then fires a single shot through the window.

In the video, he does not identify himself as an officer.

Good lord.

POLICING: The body cam revolution: What it has, and hasn’t, accomplished.

The cameras have put a lens on a job that’s already fraught, difficult, and often thankless. And some say it is all for naught. Indeed, studies show the body camera revolution hasn’t curbed police shootings of unarmed Americans, nor has it led to more prosecutions of police officers for misconduct.

Yet the cameras, veteran police monitors say, have nevertheless had profound and often positive impacts on policing, if in subtle ways. For officers, they have become important backup in a video era when controversial arrests go viral. And for a public demanding answers about police shootings of Americans, particularly people of color, they provide fact-studded narratives that, while rarely complete, offer a way forward.

And they have provided crucial evidence in a few egregious cases of law enforcement misconduct.

They’re sources of evidence. And evidence is not always determinative in and of itself.

POLICE IN HONG KONG FIRE TEAR GAS AS DEMONSTRATORS RALLY IN RESPONSE TO ATTACK:

Protesters in Hong Kong defied orders to not demonstrate on Saturday, gathering to denounce the police and government in an area where pro-democracy activists were attacked last weekend.

Protesters swarmed a major road in the district of Yuen Long clutching umbrellas to shield themselves from police cameras and tear gas that was later used against them at various sites along the route of their march.

The rally stemmed from an attack last Sunday at a train station in Yuen Long that left dozens of locals and pro-democracy activists wounded. The masked assailants, who wore white shirts and carried clubs, are suspected of having ties to organized crime groups known as triads.

Michael Yon, who is in Hong Kong and has been all over this story, emailed us the following videos. Check his Facebook page for updates.

 

HONG KONG DEMONSTRATIONS INTENTIONALLY INVOKE TIANANMEN SQUARE MASSACRE:

Despite drastic efforts to literally erase the event’s historical reality, for three decades, Tiananmen’s dark “tiger” has haunted the regime, seeding distrust of regime motives and encouraging quiet resistance to the party dictators.

The Politburo knows it’s distrusted. It spends massive amounts of money attempting to control information (e.g. digitally erasing internet mention of Tiananmen) and police Chinese citizens. Its Social Credit Rating system collects data on a particular person from cellphones, public video cameras, internet activity, travel logs and the opinion of neighbors. Security operatives analyze the individual’s behavior, looking for criminal patterns or — get ready — signs of anti-government behavior.

Hong Kong’s citizens reject Beijing’s “socialist system.” That’s why they’re demonstrating in the streets.

I THINK PRESIDENT TRUMP MAY NEED TO APPLY THE INSURRECTION ACT TO LAWLESS PORTLAND: Antifa Mob Viciously Assaults Journalist Andy Ngo at Portland Rally.

According to Ngo, his attacker stole his camera equipment. But video footage recorded by another journalist, The Oregonian’s Jim Ryan, clearly shows an antifa activist punching Ngo in the face. Others throw milkshakes at him:

Throwing milkshakes at right-wing politicians is a tactic of British progressive activists that recently traveled to this side of the Atlantic. Rep. Matt Gaetz (R–Fla.) was hit with one earlier in June. The tactic has its defenders in mainstream left-of-center media as well: Vox’s Carlos Maza tweeted “milkshake them all” after a British activist hurled a milkshake at Nigel Farage.

Portland police have claimed that some of the milkshakes thrown by the antifa activists on Saturday contained quick-dry cement. That may or may not be true. What is true is that an antifa mob beat up a journalist—one who is harshly critical of them, to be sure, but who posed no physical threat to them and was only there to document their activities—on a public street. This is indefensible, and yet there are tons of progressive-leaning people currently defending it, or at the very least rationalizing and making light of it.

These people are trash, and will come to regret the opening of this door.

UPDATE: Michelle Malkin has set up a fundraiser for Andy Ngo. I donated a hundred bucks.

ANOTHER UPDATE:

Related: Andy Ngo Says Portland Police Did Nothing. Cause for invoking the Insurrection Act.

SKYNET SMILES: Crime fighting robot deployed in southern California.

Police in Southern California are turning to technology in order to fight crime by deploying a robot out on to the streets to keep a watchful eye over public area.

The robot, dubbed “HP Robocop,” is described as an “autonomous data machine” and is expected to be officially unveiled by the Huntington Park police department on Tuesday.

Equipped with 36-degree video cameras, Huntington Park police will deploy “HP RoboCop” to monitor and surveil areas such as parks and city buildings. The robot will then be able to relay video footage from its cameras to police headquarters in order to facilitate fast and safe responses from police officers.

“HP RoboCop” will also be able to roll down sidewalks and recite phrases to members of the public, such as “excuse me” and “good day to you.”

Based on the video atop the article, I don’t believe that ED-209 will be losing much sleep over this iteration of Robocop.

NOT STORMY DANIELS: Trump-Hating Former Porn Star Engages In Shootout With Cops.

Jonathan Oddi, 42 can be seen in the footage dragging a large American flag with him and holding a gun. He unfurls the flag on the resort’s concierge desk and angrily shoves a cannister off the end of the desk.

The footage then shows him leaning against that desk and putting on socks before spreading out the flag and attempting to reach the security camera. Oddi unfurls the flag some more and smashes the resort’s front desk computers before police arrive outside.

At first, Oddi puts the gun down and puts his arms in the air, but then picks the gun up and begins shooting at the officers, using the desk as cover. After some back-and-forth shooting, Oddi takes off into the hotel, still firing. He briefly slips on the hotel’s floors as officers pursue. He then runs up a flight of stairs and knocks over some furniture before an officer is able to arrest him.

Video at the link, but Ashe Schow’s description of it is somehow more fun.

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE, CRAZY YEARS EDITION: Professor notes men are taller than women on average, SJWs storm out angrily.

The speaker you’ll see here is biology professor Heather Heying, wife of professor Bret Weinstein. Both Heying and Weinstein left Evergreen State College as part of a settlement deal last year. Heying was making a point about physiological differences between men and women. “Are men taller than women on average?” Heying asked rhetorically. She added, “Does anyone take offense at that fact?”

It seems someone in the audience did because Dr. Peter Boghossian (seated on the right) turned toward the back of the room and Professor Heying chuckled.

“So I would say you could be irritated by it,” Heying said. She continued, “You could be irritated by the fact that women have to be the ones that gestate and lactate. You could be irritated by a lot of truths but taking offense is a response that is a rejection of reality.”

But before she had even finished her statement, a group of students got up and walked out of the room. As Heying continued to talk about physiological differences between men and women, there was a loud commotion in the back of the room. One of the protesters apparently damaged the sound system on the way out.

At this point, a camera out in the lobby area shows a small group of protesters, one of whom (the girl with purple hair) is led to a seat by a police officer. There are some cuts in the video but she is clearly agitated and says at one point, “Even the women in there have been brainwashed.” She shouts “F**k the police” as she exits a few moments later.

Another protester in the lobby says, “You should not listen to fascism. It should not be tolerated in civil society. Nazis are not welcome in civil society.” I guess that explains the urge to wreck the sound system.

I predict that it will be harder and harder to argue that higher education adds value, either for individuals or for society.

BRITISH COPS THREATEN HOSPITAL’S SOCIAL MEDIA CRITICS AS ALFIE EVANS LOSES NEW APPEAL.

Earlier: British man jailed after giving middle finger to speed camera.

As British ex-pat Charles C.W. Cooke tweets, “Michael Brendan Dougherty pointed out to me that police in the U.K. spend all their time on Twitter threatening people with jail time for frivolous things, and now I can’t stop seeing it.”

And so does their state-run media.

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Click to watch video at site.

WHY POLICE CAMERAS ARE AWESOME: Port Authority official tries to bully a cop. Doesn’t go so well. The extra-delicious part:

“Flashing her commissioner’s gold badge and boasting of her influence during a routine traffic stop involving her daughter, Caren Z. Turner demanded to know why police had pulled the car over and why it was being impounded […] Turner, 60, a Democratic lobbyist who served as the ethics chair of the powerful bi-state agency.”

Ethics chair. Let that sink in.

OH TO BE IN ENGLAND: London pensioner, 78, is arrested on suspicion of murder after ‘stabbing armed burglar, 38, to death in a struggle in his kitchen’ when two intruders woke him as he slept next to his wife.

Shades of the vignettes Mark Steyn described in his June 2000 American Spectator column, “In the Absence of Guns:”

No wonder, even as they’re being pounded senseless, many British crime victims are worrying about potential liability. A few months ago, Shirley Best, owner of the Rolander Fashion boutique whose clients include the daughter of the Princess Royal, was ironing some garments when two youths broke in. They pressed the hot iron into her side and stole her watch, leaving her badly burnt. “I was frightened to defend myself,” said Miss Best. “I thought if I did anything I would be arrested.”

And who can blame her? Shortly before the attack, she’d been reading about Tony Martin, a Norfolk farmer whose home had been broken into and who had responded by shooting and killing the teenage burglar. He was charged with murder. In April, he was found guilty and sentenced to life imprisonment–for defending himself against a career criminal in an area where the police are far away and reluctant to have their sleep disturbed. In the British Commonwealth, the approach to policing is summed up by the motto of Her Majesty’s most glamorous constabulary: The Mounties always get their man–i.e., leave it to us. But these days in the British police, when they can’t get their man, they’ll get you instead: Frankly, that’s a lot easier, as poor Mr. Martin discovered.

More here:

Between the introduction of pistol permits in 1903 and the banning of handguns after the Dunblane massacre in 1996, Britain has had a century of incremental gun control–“sensible measures that all reasonable people can agree on.” And what’s the result? Even when you factor in America’s nutcake jurisdictions with the crackhead mayors, the overall crime rate in England and Wales is higher than in all 50 states, even though over there they have more policemen per capita than in the U.S., on vastly higher rates of pay installing more video surveillance cameras than anywhere else in the Western world.

Steyn’s column is a pretty good sneak preview where America could be headed if the Parkland kids have their way.

(Found via Dana Loesch.)

BRAVE NEW MIDDLE KINGDOM: China’s New Frontiers in Dystopian Tech. “Facial-recognition technologies are proliferating, from airports to bathrooms.”

Don’t even think about jaywalking in Jinan, the capital of Shandong province. Last year, traffic-management authorities there started using facial recognition to crack down. When a camera mounted above one of 50 of the city’s busiest intersections detects a jaywalker, it snaps several photos and records a video of the violation. The photos appear on an overhead screen so the offender can see that he or she has been busted, then are cross-checked with the images in a regional police database. Within 20 minutes, snippets of the perp’s ID number and home address are displayed on the crosswalk screen. The offender can choose among three options: a 20-yuan fine (about $3), a half-hour course in traffic rules, or 20 minutes spent assisting police in controlling traffic. Police have also been known to post names and photos of jaywalkers on social media.

The system seems to be working: Since last May, the number of jaywalking violations at one of Jinan’s major intersections has plummeted from 200 a day to 20. Cities in the provinces of Fujian, Jiangsu, and Guangdong are also using facial-recognition software to catch and shame jaywalkers.

Once AI lipreading becomes semi-reliable, Chinese will be afraid to even talk about jaywalking — or anything else.

As usual, Arthur C. Clarke was way ahead of the curve.

GOOD LORD: Police shot at a man 20 times in his own yard, thinking he had a gun. It was an iPhone.

Video released by the Sacramento Police Department depicts a frantic foot pursuit through darkened streets pierced by white slivers of police flashlight.

The officers spot Clark approaching a house and shout: “Show me your hands! Stop! Stop!”

Clark is seen running, and the two officers round the corner of the house and find him under a covered patio.

An infrared camera on an overhead helicopter briefly loses sight of Clark at this moment.

“Show me your hands! Gun!” an officer shouts and ducks behind the wall in a fraction of a second.

The helicopter footage shows one of the officers appearing to grab his partner to pull him to cover.

Clark steps toward the officers. Behind the wall, one of the officers issues another command. “Show me your hands!” And then: “Gun, gun, gun!”

Both officers open fire. Sparks from the bullets light up the helicopter’s infrared camera in sharp white pops.

The sequence, from the first glimpse of Clark on the patio to the first gunshot, unfolds in about six seconds.

The officers are never heard identifying themselves as police before fatally shooting Clark.

What a mess.

THAT’S A NICE DELI YOU GOT HERE. WOULD BE A SHAME IF SOMETHING HAPPENED TO IT.

Businesses pay between $4,000 and $6,000 to join Project Green Light, a program that allows police to monitor businesses’ video surveillance feeds in real time. The cost covers installation of high-definition cameras and lighting. There also is a monthly fee of up to $150 for cloud-based video storage.

They should just elect Fat Tony as Mayor and be done with it.

SICK: After “swatting” death in Kansas, 25-year old arrested in Los Angeles.

Tyler Barriss, a 25-year old from South Los Angeles, was taken into custody Friday night, according to the local ABC News affiliate. (ABC also notes that “Glendale police arrested a 22-year-old man with the same name for making bomb threats to KABC-TV” back in 2015.) NBC News, speaking to unnamed local “sources” in LA, says that Barriss “had been living at a transitional recovery center.”

Barriss is alleged to have a called in a lengthy threat to Wichita police on Thursday night after a Call of Duty game in which two teammates got into an altercation over a $1.50 wager. Screenshots posted to various Twitter accounts show the dispute escalating. Shortly thereafter, the Wichita police received a call alleging that someone at that address had killed his father, taken his family hostage, poured gasoline around the home, and was ready to light it on fire. Cops descended on the area and cordoned it off. When 28-year old Andrew Fitch opened the front door of his home to see why all the lights were flashing outside, he was shot and killed.

More:

What happened next was broken down on Friday by the Wichita police in a press conference, which you can watch online. According to the officer giving the briefing, a threatening call came in to City Hall at around 6:15pm local time. The caller said he had shot his dad in the head and was holding his mother and brother in the closet. He had a black handgun and wanted to kill himself. The call apparently continued for a full 20 minutes, even as police dispatch was looped in and officers headed to the scene.

Once there, police surrounded the Fitch residence. Andrew Fitch opened the door, saw police cars all over the place, and heard a police officer with a drawn weapon begin to shout at him: “Walk this way!” (You can see the whole ghastly incident, as captured on police cameras at the scene, along with the 911 call that began it, on the Wichita Police Facebook page. The camera footage comes at the end.)

Fitch appears confused and drops his hands, then a police spotlight shines on him, and he appears to raise his hands again. In the middle of a police officer shouting, “Walk this way!” a second time, a single shot rings out, killing Fitch.

The call and the video are on Facebook here.

This is next-level doxxing, gaming America’s militarized police departments to try and settle private disputes with deadly effect. Fitch was not even involved in the dispute, and as one Facebook commenter noted, “No one was in any actual danger before the police arrived.”

GOOD LORD: Arizona Cop Acquitted for Killing Man Crawling Down Hotel Hallway While Begging for His Life.

The incident occurred in January 2016. Daniel Shaver apparently was showing off a pellet gun, and it was visible through the hotel room window. This promped somebody to call to the hotel front desk, which prompted a call to the police.

So it wasn’t unreasonable for police to approach the hotel room thinking the encounter might be dangerous. They knew there was a gun there, and they didn’t know it was a pellet gun. But that video shows some truly baffling decisions by Brailsford that escalated the situation to make it even scarier, not the least of which was that Brailsford’s bluster and open threats of violence made him appear as terrified as Shaver.

The contents of the body camera footage had been described to the public before, when Brailsford was first charged, but the video itself was withheld until this morning.

Forcing Shaver to crawl toward the police like this increased the likelihood that Shaver would lose balance and make wild movements, and Brailsford’s bizarre orders were probably confusing even to a sober person.

Read the whole thing. And the video, I must warn you, is disturbing.

‘I WORK AT A F**KING NEWS STATION, MOTHERF**KER’: YOUNG REPORTER ARRESTED AFTER UNLOADING ON COP:

A young reporter went on an obscenity-peppered tirade Sunday night outside a Philadelphia entertainment venue before getting arrested by local police officer.

Employees at the Helium Comedy Club asked Colleen Campbell, a 28-year-old recent graduate of Temple University, if she could be more quiet during actor and comic Craig Robinson’s standup performance, according to Philadelphia Magazine.

Even though management personally declined to comment, the broadcaster reportedly refused to lower her voice during Robinson’s show.

“About last night: this very obnoxious lady, who wasn’t drunk (nor high I think) was disturbing the show with her ‘loud whispering,’” comic Wil Sylvince wrote in a Facebook post. “After 3 warnings and other customers were complaining she was asked to leave.”

But as Campbell is escorted out of the building, she allegedly became extremely unruly to the point where a police officer felt compelled to get involved.

Sylvince notes that when she was initially kicked out of the comedy club, she kicked, punched, and even poked the eyes of three different employees.

“You guys are fucking dickeaters, that’s what you fucking are. You going to record that on tape?” Campbell says directly in the face of a well-mannered officer. “You are fucking cocksuckers, ” she continued emphatically, making sure to enunciate the “S” sounds.

And not surprisingly, the New York Post reports that Philadelphia’s PHL-17 quickly offloaded the young would-be television journalist and airbrushed her from their Website. Or as the New York Post adds, “Fired TV reporter says she’s ‘ruined’ after ugly rant:”

A television reporter who was fired for berating a cop during an expletive-filled tirade outside of a Philadelphia comedy club says she feels “ruined” and wants to apologize to the officer after getting threats.

Colleen Campbell, 28, of Philadelphia, said she only learned that her cringe-worthy rant outside of the Helium on Sunday was caught on camera and posted to Facebook after she was busted on charges of resisting arrest, criminal mischief and disorderly conduct.

“When I came home, I called my producer to talk about why I was absent,” Campbell told Philadelphia Magazine. “I didn’t realize a video was out. I found out about it later because HR called me and said I was being terminated. They said there’s a video. I said, ‘What video?’”

Oh there’s video all right; click on the link above to watch it at the Post. After the video ended, according to Philadelphia magazine, “Police: Colleen Campbell Later Assaulted the World’s Most Patient Cop.”

According to a police statement about the incident, shortly after the calm, cool, and collected cop who responded to the scene led her away in cuffs and the video stopped, Campbell, a recent Temple University graduate, allegedly assaulted him. Police say that she kicked him repeatedly and also kicked the doors and windows of a police car.

If those last allegations are true, Iowahawk really needs to update his 2008 blog post titled, “Bylines of Brutality: As Casualties Mount, Some Question The Emotional Stability of Media Vets.”

JOHN KASS, IN THE CHICAGO TRIBUNE: In Facebook torture, victim’s eyes terrify most.

There’s a lot to unpack from Chicago’s latest racial outrage, the Facebook Torture Case, and it’s ugly, so let’s get to it.

You know the news. Four African-Americans were charged Thursday with hate crimes in the alleged kidnapping and torture of a bound, white and mentally disabled young man.

Police said they beat him, forced him to drink toilet water, jabbed at him with a knife and cut his scalp, shouting “F—white people!” and “F— [Donald] Trump!” and laughing while smoking blunts and streaming it all live on Facebook.

I watched some, not all of that video, the way they brutalized that young man, the terror in his eyes, hearing their laughter. And I realized these were human beings, amusing themselves with the pain of a mentally disabled man. There are many words for this, but irredeemable is the one that comes to mind.

Ridiculous. As Hillary made clear, it’s Trump supporters who are irredeemable, and these people clearly opposed Trump.

Plus:

There are other elements of this heater case that should be acknowledged, like the politics of this thing. It’s crawling with politics now.

It’s partly a racial thing so let’s talk race. If the races were reversed, and a mentally disabled black kid were tortured by white barbarians, the political left would be screaming that over-the-top political rhetoric from the right had trickled down and encouraged the brutes. You can argue with me about this, but that won’t change it.

Yet it’s the other way now, isn’t it? And the political right is arguing that anti-Trump rants from the left — including casting white males as the political enemy — have given license to this kind of thing. The two sides will slap-fight each other over this on social media, in anonymous and hateful comments under online news stories, and they’ll slap each other in the journals.

And this is how we craft political weapons from human misery.

But there is another kind of politics at work here, as well, the politics of Chicago musical chairs. From the moment the torture video went viral, picked up by the cable news networks and replayed, over and over, and as talking heads debated whether “evil” was the appropriate word, Chicago politicians hunkered down.

You weren’t in the meetings and neither was I, but you can envision them huddling in three distinct groups: One group with Mayor Rahm Emanuel and his people; another with new Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx and hers; and a third with Eddie Johnson with his white shirt supervisors and detectives. And in each one, there must have been some staffers, staring at their phones, wondering if this heater case would burn their boss when the music stopped.

Foxx seemed to never miss a camera during the Laquan McDonald controversy. When that video finally surfaced after the mayoral election, showing the white cop shooting a black kid 16 times, Foxx won her election.

She was all over the news then, but for this case, she was rather reserved, though her office pressed the charges.

And Emanuel, hoping to rehabilitate himself with black voters after the way he handled the McDonald fiasco, waited until the water was warm.

Most of it was left to Johnson, and he made sure to hit his main political talking point early in his Thursday news conference, as the charges were read and national news was made.

Why are Democrat-run cities such cesspits of political violence and political incompetence?

THIS DOESN’T LOOK GOOD: Charlotte police refuse to release shooting video.

Other officers at the scene were wearing body cameras at the time, though the officer who shot Scott — Brentley Vinson, who was placed on paid administrative leave — was not wearing any recording device.

Kerr Putney, the Charlotte-Mecklenburg police chief, said that video footage of the encounter did not give “absolute definitive visual evidence that would confirm that a person is pointing a gun,” but he said that the footage and other evidence “supports what we’ve heard” about what happened.

Putney later told CNN that the video was not from an angle that would show a gun in Scott’s hand, but he said witnesses saw a gun and one was found nearby. However, he said the department has no imminent plans to let the public view this footage and make a determination.

Conclusive or not, it’s probably past time to let the public see the video.

ANGELA MERKEL’S VIRTUE-SIGNALLING WAS A TERRIBLE BASIS FOR POLICY: Tensions Rising in Germany: Citizens clash with Syrian refugees–and each other.

Germany is blowing up again over migration. The Saxon town of Bautzen has, like dozens of similar places across Germany, a barracks for some of the million or two Middle Eastern migrants who have been streaming across the Mediterranean for the past year-and-a-half. People in Bautzen aren’t used to foreigners, and now groups of young men have taken to congregating in city’s central square, the Kornmarkt. The migrants say they come there for the free internet. This upsets the locals, 80 of whom waged a pitched battle against 20 teenage migrants on Wednesday evening. Alcohol was involved on both sides. To judge from the video at FAZ.com, accounts differ on who is to blame. The Germans say that the young migrants (whom they refer to as UMAs, the German acronym for unaccompanied minors seeking asylum) are harassing women and smashing things. The UMAs, in turn, say the locals (whom they refer to as “Nazis”) accost them every day with shouts of “Foreigners out!”

The confrontations take place against the background of a more general society-wide anger in Germany. Last Saturday, Bautzen’s right-wingers and left-wingers confronted each other on the streets, rather as they did a century ago in the aftermath of the Russian Revolution and Germany’s defeat in World War I. On Thursday night, following the fights, 350 people, most of them natives, were on the streets again. A cordon of police was required to separate the pro-immigrant and anti-immigrant sides—again, much as they once tried to separate the Communists and anti-Communists. More protests are planned for this weekend.

The anger overflows in all directions. Here is a picture of a kid kicking a TV cameraman. At a European Union summit in Bratislava, German chancellor Angela Merkel, who issued the invitation to the Middle Eastern migrants in the summer of 2015, said the EU was now in a “critical situation.” Jean-Claude Juncker, the Luxembourg politician who serves as the EU president, blamed forty years of British “lies” for the union’s problems. Someone tweeted that the summit looked like a funeral from the old Soviet politburo.

“What all the wise men promised has not happened, and what all the damned fools said would happen has come to pass.”

FUNDAMENTALLY TRANSFORMED: In the War on Cops, the Lawless Have Won, Jack Dunphy writes.

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FLORIDA WOMAN: Caught on camera! Half naked woman tries to bribe her way out of a speeding ticket in Miami.

JACK DUNPHY: The Ferguson Effect Strikes the Chicago PD:

No, the cops aren’t afraid of getting shot or stabbed or otherwise injured in an altercation, they’re afraid of becoming the next YouTube sensation when an arrest goes wrong and fails to unfold in a manner approved by cowardly department brass, unprincipled politicians, and ignorant “community leaders,” all of whom exhort the cops to go out in the streets and stop the madness, but to do so without hurting anyone.

Well, it’s not like the Chicago PD has to do much crime fighting, so it’s probably nothing.

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I THINK A LOT OF THESE “SPONTANEOUS” PROTESTS ARE GINNED UP BY ADMINISTRATORS WHO STAND TO BENEFIT: Clemson admin offers recusal after students questions relation to protest leader.

Members of another informal student group called WeRoar, which advocates for the elimination of unconstitutional speech policies at Clemson, became concerned early in the protest that the “banana banner” incident would be used as justification for further speech restrictions, and began seeking out information regarding the identity and motivations of the two individuals who confessed to placing the bananas on the banner. . . .

The students encountered Smith again several hours later when they showed up at Sikes Hall to hear Clements announce his response to the protesters’ demands, in the process discovering a surprising personal connection between Smith and the student protesters.

“During this announcement, one of the #Clemson5 approached a man who he identified as his father in an emotional moment,” Hall told Campus Reform. “This student was named DJ Smith, and the man he identified as his father was standing next to none other than Alesia Smith.”

The man, Bryant Smith, has been a vocal defender of the protesters according to WYFF, and recently called on the university to drop trespassing charges against his son and four other students who were arrested last week after refusing to vacate the building as ordered by university officials.

Inferring that Mrs. Smith might be related to Mr. Smith and his son, the students begin asking her whether DJ is her son, to which she would only reply that “he is a student.” After the students repeat the question several times, Mr. Smith interposes himself between the two sides and announces that he is DJ’s father, but refuses to say whether Mrs. Smith is related to either of them.

Video at the link. Plus:

Mr. Smith continued to insist on the illegality of recording him, despite South Carolina laws requiring the consent of only party.

“Oh, ok. I tell you what. I understand what this is. You can take your sunglasses and your camera and film the fact that I don’t care about you but you don’t have my permission to use my likeness,” Mr. Smith said.

The students told Campus Reform that they declined to press charges after reporting the altercation to campus police, but remain troubled by the implications.

“It is disturbing that a woman who is charged with the protection of Clemson students refused to do her duty as her husband assaulted a group of them, and that the incident which prompted this confrontation was the exposing of her own denial of a conflict of interest,” Hall remarked. “It is also disturbing that there is a possibility of her own involvement in preventing the investigation of the arrested #Clemson5 under the student code of conduct, which is her job, particularly since she was aware of the violations committed by her own son.”

“It is disgusting to see that the OCES director has clearly overlooked code of conduct violations of her own son, and has not opened up an investigation,” Brady concurred. “As a University official it is imperative that she investigate all students on violations that she is aware of, and not selectively bring charges up against student groups.”

Campus Reform reached out to Smith for comment after verifying her relationship to DJ and Bryant through social media, but she referred further inquiries to Dr. Miller, stating, “I have recused myself and am not involved in these matters.”

Sounds like a mess.

DISPATCHES FROM THE HIGHER EDUCATION APOCALYPSE: Mizzou’s Melissa Click screams at officer: “Get your f*cking hands off me!”

University of Missouri Interim Chancellor Hank Foley responds to the video:

“Last night, like many in our community, I watched newly released footage of Dr. Melissa Click directing a verbal assault against members of the Columbia Police Department during the homecoming parade in October 2015.  Her conduct and behavior are appalling, and I am not only disappointed, I am angry, that a member of our faculty acted this way. Her actions caught on camera last October, are just another example of a pattern of misconduct by Dr. Click—most notably, her assault on one of our students while seeking  ‘muscle’ during a highly volatile situation on Carnahan Quadrangle in November. We must have high expectations of members of our community, and I will address these new revelations with the Board of Curators as they work to complete their own review of the matter.”

Earlier: Click Agrees to Community Service for Siccing ‘Muscle’ on Journalist.

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JIM GERAGHTY: So How Much of this ‘Hybrid’ Attack Was Jihadism?

Yesterday the country got the perfect Rorschach test of violence. People who want to downplay violent Islamist jiahdism and self-radicalization among American-born Muslims will see “workplace violence” or an excuse for another gun control push. Others will contend this is an Islamist sleeper cell, even if it isn’t formally set up by ISIS or al-Qaeda.

CNN summarizes what is known about Syed Rizwan Farook and Tashfeen Malik:

Police say Farook, 28, and Malik, 27, are either married or in a relationship. The Council on American Islamic Relations, a Muslim advocacy group, said Farook has been married for two years — but wouldn’t confirm whether Malik was the wife’s name.

Farook and his wife left their 6-month-old girl with Farook’s grandmother Wednesday and said they had a doctor’s appointment.

They abandoned their child? Okay, stop. This was not driven by a workplace dispute. To leave your infant child and then commit horrific violence that is likely to lead to your death from police action requires an almost otherworldly devotion to . . . some other cause, something you consider more important than life, death, and the inherent biological urge to protect your offspring. “Larry from accounting keeps taking the last doughnut at staff meetings” or “they took my red Swingline stapler” isn’t the sort of motive at work here.

What motivation have we seen that would make seemingly ordinary people go on mass-murdering attacks? What ideology or twisted religious fervor have we seen people willing to sacrifice their children for, willing to die for?

Plus, Jim quotes a report nothing the presence amidst the IEDs, and the “tactical clothing, including vests stuffed with ammunition magazines,” “the couple also had GoPro cameras strapped to their body armor.” As Jim adds, “That’s the sort of thing you bring if you want to make videos to terrorize other people, and rally others to their cause or ideology . . . it also would explain why they left the scene instead of staying to shoot it out with police at the social services facility. They intended to live to tell the tale, at least for a while.”

Read the whole thing.

RAHM EMANUEL’S GANGSTER GOVERNMENT: Cover-up In Chicago. “The city’s leaders have now brought charges against a police officer, Jason Van Dyke, for the first-degree murder of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald. But for more than a year, Chicago officials delayed the criminal process, and might well have postponed prosecution indefinitely, had it not been for a state court forcing their hand. They prevented the public from viewing crucial incriminating evidence — first one police car’s dashboard camera video; now, we learn, five such videos in total. And these senior officials turned a blind eye to the fact that 86 minutes of other video surveillance footage of the crime scene was unaccountably missing.”

TEACH WOMEN NOT TO LIE ABOUT RAPE! (CONT’D): Body camera helps discredit accusation against Knox deputy. “This allegation was said to have taken place at the side of the vehicle. Prior to body cameras, we would have had no video at the side of the vehicle. We are very pleased with what we have right now.”

I’ve praised Knox County Sheriff Jimmie Jones for adopting body cameras before, but I’m sure his deputies are glad he did it now.

NEO-NEOCON: More on Missouri—and more and more and more:

I also spent many hours—many, many hours—searching in vain for more details about the actual charges of racism at the campus, those charges to which Wolfe and Loftin were accused of paying insufficient attention. They amount to (a) two reports of black students being called the n-word, once by an unspecified group of men in a pickup truck who may or may not have been students themselves, and once by another man who is sometimes described as having been a drunken student, and (b) one report of a swastika smeared in feces on a bathroom wall in a dorm, by an unknown person for an unknown reason. That seems to be it.

So, as Amy Miller points out, a lot of people are puzzled about what Wolfe and Loftin did or did not do that deserve canning as punishment. I can answer that question quite simply: they didn’t deserve it, the social justice warrior mob demanded it, and what the social justice warrior mob wants on college campuses the social justice warrior mob gets. Enlisting the football team in the fight was the icing on the cake, because football is very powerful on the college campus as well.

As I wrote yesterday, for the most part the American university died quite some time ago.

As a consequence, Jonah Goldberg writes in the L.A. Times today, “this is the generation the mandarins of political correctness have been waiting for.”

Which brings us back to the astonishing efforts at Mizzou to “muscle” student journalist Tim Tai out of photographing and videotaping the protests yesterday. “Some of the media are even wondering how this kind of disrespect from the First Amendment could happen. Well, Media, do you really want to know why she and the kids acted that way? THEY LEARNED IT FROM YOU, MEDIA! …They learned it from you,” as Moe Lane quips at Red State, paraphrasing the ubiquitous anti-drug PSA from the ’80s.

Scroll down to the conclusion of his post for the photo that squares the circle.

Update: Speaking of squaring the circle, “Mark my words: Before this is over, despite inciting a mob of SJWs to deny a reporter’s rights and then all but laughing about it on camera, safe-space enforcer Melissa Click will pose as every inch the persecuted free-speech martyr herself,” Allahpundit predicts.

HILLARY, LIKEABILITY AND THE LENS: At City Journal, Matthew Hennessey writes, “even with a quarter-century of ‘public service’ under her belt, Hillary can’t seem to connect with the average American:”

All politics is performance, but presidential politics is performance art. The successful candidate adjusts each appearance—whether on stage or on camera—in order to come across as knowledgeable, sincere, reasonable, diplomatic, and, above all, presidential. An actor used to working on stage alters his performance when he appears before a camera. Auditoriums are big; they need big voices and oversize personalities to fill them. Like stage actors, politicians working a live audience need to play to the last row. When a politician speaks from a podium, hosts a town hall meeting, or presses the flesh, the goal is to have each member of the audience leave thinking the performance was delivered directly to him.

Television screens, by contrast, are smaller, and demand a different type of performance. You don’t have to work so hard to get someone watching you on television to think that you’re talking directly to him. Close-ups reward subtlety, honesty, and true emotion. A camera is like an X-Ray machine. “[T]he camera looks into your mind, and the audience sees what the camera sees,” writes the actor Michael Caine in his book, Acting in Film. You can’t lie to a camera; it will expose you. Ronald Reagan understood this better than anyone.

The good news for Hillary is that coming across as genuine on camera is a skill that can be taught. Of course, it helps if you have talent. It’s even better if you take the job seriously, which, according to Klein, she did not. “I decided I had enough with the camera and the recordings and the coaches,” Hillary allegedly said. “I got so angry I knocked the f- -king camera off its tripod. That was the end of my Stanislavski period.” (It’s perhaps worth pointing out that Constantin Stanislavski, the Russian actor and director credited with pioneering an approach to acting eventually known as “the Method,” worked in live theater, not in film.)

Of course, when it’s focused on politicians, the TV camera lies all the time — just explore how made-for-television Barack Obama was in 2008; his on-air skills will serve him well when he leaves office at the end of next year, but meant nothing in terms of allowing voters to predict that the global disaster of his presidency. The same could be said to a lesser extent with Hillary’s own husband, who was remarkably telegenic in 1992, and then preceded, at least for the first two years of his presidency until a Republican Congress could prop him up, to forget virtually all of his campaign promises.

But there’s no doubt that Hillary, like Al Gore in 1999, comes across stiff, robotic and elitist when on TV – even to the most sympathetic of interviewers. But then, maybe that’s the problem – Ronald Reagan knew he was in a hostile media environment virtually every time he walked into a TV studio, and yet had the skill to project his charisma past the interviewer, to the viewers at home. In contrast, as Nick Gillespie writes at Reason on Hillary’s interview with Time-Warner-CNN-HBO spokeswoman Lena Dunham:

The interview is worth reading in its entirety, especially against the backdrop of Hillary Clinton’s falling poll numbers and her obvious interest in mounting something like a charm offensive. Dunham is clearly a willing co-conspirator in humanizing the candidate, as when she brings up a favorite “cold shoulder” dress of Clinton’s:

It was a design of my friend Donna Karan. And like everything I do, it turned out to be controversial. I’m hardly a fashion icon.

In moments such as these, Dunham’s (and Clinton’s) starfucking side undercut any pretension to reaching the average man or woman. Beyond the utterly unconvincing humblebrag declaration that she’s not a fashion icon but only a beleaguered gal trying to make it in a heartless world, Clinton can’t not place herself in the world of New York couture and high fashion. These are precisely the sorts of moments when Clinton loses the little people.

That’s a far cry from how her (now vegan!) husband chose to present himself to the world when running for the White House against the patrician George H.W. Bush — as a sort of cigar smoking, pot-smoking (but not inhaling!) Big Mac chomping new age good ol’ boy in 1992.

But then it could be worse — Hillary could be crying poverty again.

WHEN LAW ENFORCEMENT VALUES PRIVACY: Suspended Cops Say Video of Them Eating Marijuana Edibles During a Raid Violated Their Privacy: Santa Ana officers want to stop their department from using the footage to investigate them.

Remember the Santa Ana, California, cops who were caught on video munching on what seem to be cannabis-infused chocolate bars after raiding an unlicensed medical marijuana dispensary in May? The Orange County Register reports that three officers who were suspended after the incident are trying to stop the Santa Ana Police Department from using the footage in its internal investigation. Among other things, their lawsuit argues that the officers thought they had disabled all of the security cameras at Sky High Holistic and therefore had a reasonable expectation of privacy. The cops complain that the dispensary never got their permission to record them as they searched the premises.

“All police personnel present had a reasonable expectation that their conversations were no longer being recorded and the undercover officers, feeling that they were safe to do so, removed their masks,” says the complaint, which was filed in Orange County Superior Court. “Without the illegal recordings, there would have been no internal investigation of any officer.” Under California law, “all parties to a confidential communication” must consent to being recorded, but that rule does not apply when “the parties to the communication may reasonably expect that the communication may be overheard or recorded.”

For their gall in making this argument, they should be tarred and feathered a second time.

CHANGE: Glare Of Video Is Changing Public’s View Of Police. “Recent studies showed that when officers in Rialto, Calif., and in Mesa, Ariz., wore body cameras, complaints against the police fell sharply. But body camera advocates and skeptics alike say they do not know how much that reflects a real decline in police misconduct, and how much was a drop in spurious civilian complaints; it may be that both groups behave better when they are on camera. . . . The proliferation of video has coincided with a paradox: Public views of the police have grown worse, yet experts say police use of force has probably been lower in the last few years than in generations.”

TEACH WOMEN NOT TO ABUSE MEN: Kennesaw State adviser placed on leave after confrontation with student.

A Kennesaw State University has placed an academic adviser on administrative leave while the school investigates a student’s viral 30-second video of his interaction with her.

In the video, Abby Dawson, the school’s director of advising and internships in the Department of Exercise Science and Sport Management, accused the student of “harassment” for apparently sitting in the room and waiting to speak with his academic adviser. . . .

Dawson threatened to call security and told Bruce that he could fill out a form “just like everyone else does.”

Bruce responded that he was just waiting to talk to someone.

“Sitting here until someone is available is harassing them,” Dawson said.

In his tweet, Bruce called the adviser “rude.”

In a statement, the University said that Dawson was placed on administrative leave pending “comprehensive” investigation into the matter, which could take two weeks.

“Kennesaw State is dedicated to providing a positive academic experience for all students,” said Ken Harmon, KSU’s provost and vice president for academic affairs said in a statement. “We also have a responsibility to provide all students, faculty and staff with a fair and thorough review process.”

In an interview with Atlanta’s Fox affiliate WAGA, Bruce explained that he was trying to ask his exercise science department adviser a question and was told to come back in an hour when she would be available.

Women and police seem to be hurt the most by the spread of pervasive video cameras.

TEACH WOMEN NOT TO LIE ABOUT RAPE! (CONT’D): Video: New Mexico Officer Cleared of Sexual Assault by Body Camera. “Arrested for drunk driving, an Albuquerque woman tried to flip the script on an Albuquerque Police officer, accusing him of sexual assault. Cops say when 23-year-old Deanna Griego was placed under arrest for DWI she tried to hatch a false sexual assault accusation against the cop who arrested her. The officer was wearing a lapel cam and the video contradicted her claims.”

Plus: “Albuquerque Police Department spokesman Tanner Tixier told TheBlaze on Monday evening that police were not pursuing additional charges against Griego because, despite the apparent falsehood of her sexual assault claim, police did not want to set a precedent that could discourage other potential victims of sexual assault from coming forward.”

Don’t we want to discourage liars from lying?

SCIENCE: In Interrogations, Teenagers Are Too Young to Know Better.

Even when police interrogators left the room, cameras kept recording the teenage suspects. Some paced. Several curled up and slept. One sobbed loudly, hitting his head against the wall, berating himself. Two boys, left alone together, discussed their offense, joking.

What none did, however, was exercise his constitutional rights. It was not clear whether the youths even understood them.

Therefore none had a lawyer at his side. None left, though all were free to do so, and none remained silent. Some 37 percent made full confessions, and 31 percent made incriminating statements.

These were among the observations in a recent study of 57 videotaped interrogations of teenagers, ages 13 to 17, from 17 police departments around the country. The research, published in Law and Human Behavior, adds to accumulating evidence that teenagers are psychologically vulnerable at the gateway to the criminal justice system. Youths, some researchers say, merit special protections.

Hmm.

WHY POLICE SHOULD WEAR BODY CAMERAS: Oakland Firefighter Plays Victim Card Until Police Release Video.

POLICE IMMUNITY IS A JUDICIAL INVENTION WITHOUT WARRANT IN THE CONSTITUTION: Mike Brown death, Ferguson riots raise questions about police immunity. “The shooting death of Mike Brown, a black teenager, by a police officer in Ferguson. Mo., comes as the public, courts, and lawmakers have started debating limits to immunity and arguing about policies to recalibrate the role of police.”

Also, why all police should wear cameras: “The validity of the differing accounts, especially in the absence of video, is now the point of two investigations: one by St. Louis County police, the other by the Department of Justice.”

CANDID CAMERA: 5 Times Video Footage Showed Police Misconduct.

That’s why you have a due process right to record the police. Of course, many police favor having their activities recorded, as it also guards against false accusations of misconduct.

#WARONMEN: Shocking video shows how members of the public intervene when they see man attacking his girlfriend… but stand by and LAUGH when the roles are reversed.

A hard-hitting experiment has revealed how strangers react differently when seeing domestic abuse depending on the gender of the aggressor.

A video filmed with hidden cameras at a London park shows a male actor attacking his ‘girlfriend’ in front of onlookers who immediately rush to help, with one shouting: ‘Oi mate, what’s wrong with you?’

The man is told ‘someone will call the police if you carry on doing that to someone’, before a passer-by says to the woman: ‘You don’t have to put up with that honey, he’s not worth it’.

The experiment is then conducted with the same actors – but this time, the woman is the aggressor, attacking him and saying: ‘Don’t try to walk away – listen to me when I’m talking to you.’

However, instead of reacting with shock, nobody watching even attempts to help the man. They actually seem rather entertained by the incident, stopping to stare and laughing about it.

If it weren’t for double standards, nowadays, we’d have no standards at all. Video at the link.

A SMALL VICTORY IN THE WAR ON PHOTOGRAPHY: Landmark Settlement Reached In Preakness Arrest Case.

A Baltimore City lawsuit settlement sparks major police policy and training reforms that affect everyone with a cell phone camera.

Derek Valcourt has details on the change and what it means to you.

The police department is putting it into writing so their officers fully understand. You can record them and they can’t do anything about it. First Amendment advocates call it a major victory.

When police made an arrest at Pimlico four years ago, Christopher Sharp was one of several recording. Officers didn’t like it.

“Do me a favor and turn that off. It’s illegal to record anybody’s voice or anything else,” an officer told Sharp.

But that’s not true.

Sharp says the officers took his phone and deleted videos, including family videos.

“I still am disturbed about what happened,” Sharp said.

Now, four years and an ACLU-backed lawsuit later, city police agreed to a sweeping settlement: money to Sharp and his attorneys, a formal written apology from the police commissioner and, most importantly, a new department policy spelling out expectations of city officers being recorded.

“I think it’s pretty clear people have the right to film what we do. You guys are doing it right now so it should be a norm for this organization,” Police Commissioner Anthony Batts said.

As part of the new policy, all officers going through training will be taught that they can never tell you to stop recording as long as you’re somewhere where you have a right to be and no officer can confiscate your phone just because you have video that they don’t want you to see.

It’s a start.

TRAINED LAW-ENFORCEMENT PROFESSIONALS: Florida Trooper Harassed, Threatened Over Stopping Miami Officer.

Florida Highway Patrol Trooper Donna Jane Watts was on routine patrol early one morning when a Miami police car whizzed past at speeds that would eventually top 120 mph. Even with her blue lights flashing and siren blaring, it took Watts more than seven minutes to pull the speeder over.

Not certain who was behind the wheel, she approached the car warily, with gun drawn, according video from her cruiser’s dashboard camera. “Put your hands out of the window! Right now!” she yelled. It turned out the driver was Miami Police Department officer Fausto Lopez, in full uniform. Watts holstered her gun but still handcuffed him and took his weapon.

“I apologize,” Lopez said, explaining that he was late for an off-duty job.

“You were running 120 miles an hour!” Watts barked back.

That October 2011 confrontation made national headlines and eventually got Lopez fired. But Watts’ actions involving a fellow officer didn’t sit well with many in law enforcement, and not long after she made that traffic stop, she says, the harassment began. Random telephone calls on her cell phone. Some were threats and some were prank calls, including orders for pizza. Unfamiliar vehicles and police cars sat idling in her cul-de-sac. She was afraid to open her mailbox.

Watts suspected her private driver’s license information was being accessed by fellow officers, so she made a public records request with the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles. It turned out she was right: over a three-month period, at least 88 law enforcement officers from 25 different agencies accessed Watts’ driver’s license information more than 200 times, according to her lawyer.

Law enforcement officers have long been known to band together and protect each other, but Watts said in her lawsuit that these actions went too far.

When you have a culture of impunity, people do stuff they wouldn’t do if they were likely to be held accountable.

REASON NUMBER 173,321 FOR ABOLISHING OFFICIAL IMMUNITY: Scenes from a militarized America: Iowa family ‘terrorized.’

Watch this video, taken from a police raid in Des Moines, Iowa. Send it to some people. When critics (like me) warn about the dangers of police militarization, this is what we’re talking about. You’ll see the raid team, dressed in battle-dress uniforms, helmets and face-covering balaclava hoods take down the family’s door with a battering ram. You’ll see them storm the home with ballistics shields, guns at the ready. More troubling still, you’ll see not one but two officers attempt to prevent the family from having an independent record of the raid, one by destroying a surveillance camera, another by blocking another camera’s lens.

From the images in the video, you’d think they were looking for an escaped murderer or a house full of hit men. No, none of that. They were looking for a few people suspected of credit card fraud. None of the people they were looking for were inside of the house, nor was any of the stolen property they were looking for. They did arrest two houseguests of the family on what the news report says were unrelated charges, one for a probation violation and one for possession of illegal drugs.

A couple other points about this story. First, note that the police say they knocked and announced themselves before the raid. The knock and announce requirement has a long history in U.S. and English common law. Its purpose was to give the occupants of a home the opportunity to avoid property damage and unnecessary violence by giving them time to come to the door and let the police in peacefully. As you can see from the video, the knock and announce today is largely a formality. The original purpose is gone. From the perspective of the people inside, there’s really no difference between this sort of “knock and announce” and a no-knock raid.

I think I’m building an AI-directed facial-recognition taser setup that will tase anyone whose face is obscured. If the police knock and identify themselves, I’ll turn it off, of course.

EQUIPPING POLICE with body cameras. “It’s hard to argue with video evidence from a camera that records everything a police officer sees – and it keeps the cops in line too.”

RON BAILEY: Watched Cops Are Polite Cops: How requiring police to wear video cameras will protect your constitutional rights.

Who will watch the watchers? What if all watchers were required to wear a video camera that would record their every interaction with citizens? In her ruling in a recent civil suit challenging the New York City police department’s notorious stop-and-frisk rousting of residents, Judge Shira A. Scheindlin of the Federal District Court in Manhattan imposed an experiment in which the police in the city’s precincts with the highest reported rates of stop-and-frisk activity would be required to wear video cameras for one year.

This is a really good idea. Earlier this year, a 12-month study by Cambridge University researchers revealed that when the city of Rialto, California, required its cops to wear cameras, the number of complaints filed against officers fell by 88 percent and the use of force by officers dropped by almost 60 percent. Watched cops are polite cops.

Jay Stanley, a policy analyst with the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), calls police-worn video cameras “a win/win for both the public and the police.” Win/win because video recordings help shield officers from false accusations of abuse as well as protecting the public against police misconduct. The small cameras like the AXON Flex from Taser International attach to an officer’s sunglasses, hat, or uniform.

In order to make sure that both the public and police realize the greatest benefits from body-worn video cameras, a number of policies need to be implemented.

Read the whole thing. And I agree. Citizens may have a due process right to record the police, but there’s no reason to rely on that.

POLICE ENDORSE RECORDING: Wearing A Badge, And A Video Camera.

William A. Farrar, the police chief in Rialto, Calif., has been investigating whether officers’ use of video cameras can bring measurable benefits to relations between the police and civilians. Officers in Rialto, which has a population of about 100,000, already carry Taser weapons equipped with small video cameras that activate when the weapon is armed, and the officers have long worn digital audio recorders.

But when Mr. Farrar told his uniformed patrol officers of his plans to introduce the new, wearable video cameras, “it wasn’t the easiest sell,” he said, especially to some older officers who initially were “questioning why ‘big brother’ should see everything they do.”

He said he reminded them that civilians could use their cellphones to record interactions, “so instead of relying on somebody else’s partial picture of what occurred, why not have your own?” he asked. “In this way, you have the real one.”

Related thoughts from Chief Weems.

WHY BARACK OBAMA SHOULD RESIGN. Just for the record, this is what it looked like for a man who made a film that made the Obama Administration uncomfortable:

Here’s the key bit: “Just after midnight Saturday morning, authorities descended on the Cerritos home of the man believed to be the filmmaker behind the anti-Muslim movie that has sparked protests and rioting in the Muslim world.”

When taking office, the President does not swear to create jobs. He does not swear to “grow the economy.” He does not swear to institute “fairness.” The only oath the President takes is this one:

I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.

By sending — literally — brownshirted enforcers to engage in — literally — a midnight knock at the door of a man for the non-crime of embarrassing the President of the United States and his administration, President Obama violated that oath. You can try to pretty this up (It’s just about possible probation violations! Sure.), or make excuses or draw distinctions, but that’s what’s happened. It is a betrayal of his duties as President, and a disgrace.

He won’t resign, of course. First, the President has the appreciation of free speech that one would expect from a Chicago Machine politician, which is to say, none. Second, he’s not getting any pressure. Indeed, the very press that went crazy over Ari Fleischer’s misrepresented remarks seems far less interested in the actions of an administration that I repeat, literally sent brown-shirted enforcers to launch a midnight knock on a filmmaker’s door.

But Obama’s behavior — and that of his enablers in the press — has laid down a marker for those who are paying attention. By these actions he is, I repeat, unfit to hold office. I hope and expect that the voters will agree in November.

Related thoughts from Ann Althouse:

That’s a scarf wrapped around his face, not a “towel.” Is the L.A. Times nudging us to think of this man as a “towelhead”? And look at this headline in the Daily Mail: “The man who set the Middle East ablaze hides his face in shame….” Shame? If I were imputing a motivation to this man, I’d say he has a fully justified fear of becoming a recognizable face.

But I think our government is delusional if it thinks the people who are rioting in Africa and killing our diplomats would — if they knew the facts — see individuals like Nakoula as the proper focus of their rage. They don’t believe the necessary premise: freedom as the superior value. As long as they favor a system in which blasphemy is outlawed and severely punished, they will continue to blame the American government for standing back and allowing blasphemy to flourish and flow everywhere. What good does it do to ask them to please understand our system? They hate this system.

Meanwhile, our government would scapegoat a free citizen. It’s not even effectual scapegoating.

Note Althouse’s strikethrough. You are not “free” when police can come to your door after midnight and demand that you “come downtown and answer a few questions” over a film you’ve made. Voluntarily, of course. . . .

It’s the deputies who should be covering their faces out of shame, but the real shame is on the man at the top of the hierarchy.

UPDATE: Reader J.M. Hanes writes: “I went berserk over the L.A.T. Nakoula photo too, but on top of the brownshirted Constitutional debacle, one incredibly consequential point has gotten lost in the shuffle: Could any visual more effectively reinforce the Arab street’s belief that the U.S. government can, in fact, punish blasphemers if it so chooses?”

Good point, and it ties in well to these comments by Eugene Volokh.

Behavior that gets rewarded, gets repeated. (Relatedly, “once you have paid him the Dane-geld, you never get rid of the Dane.”) Say that the murders in Libya lead us to pass a law banning some kinds of speech that Muslims find offensive or blasphemous, or reinterpreting our First Amendment rules to make it possible to punish such speech under some existing law.

What then will extremist Muslims see? They killed several Americans (maybe itself a plus from their view). In exchange, they’ve gotten America to submit to their will. And on top of that, they’ve gotten back at blasphemers, and deter future blasphemy. A triple victory.

Would this (a) satisfy them that now America is trying to prevent blasphemy, so there’s no reason to kill over the next offensive incident, or (b) make them want more such victories? My money would be on (b).

And this is especially so since there’ll be plenty of other excuses for such killings in the future. It’s not like Muslim extremists have a clearly defined, unvarying, and limited range of speech they are willing to kill over (e.g., desecrating Korans and nothing but). Past history has already proved that; consider the bombings and murders triggered by the publication of the Satanic Verses.

What’s more, there are lots of people in the Muslim world who are happy to stoke hostility. . . . That’s why it seems to me to actually be safer — not just better for First Amendment principles, but actually safer for Americans — to hold the line now, and make clear that American speech is protected even if foreigners choose to respond to it with murder. That would send the message, “murder won’t get you what you want.” Not a perfectly effective message to be sure, but a better one than “murder will get you what you want.”

Read the whole thing. Especially if you work in the White House or the Justice Department.

ANOTHER UPDATE: More from Donald Sensing. “There is no possible justification for voting for this man in November. None, period.”

And reader Joel Mackey writes: “For the people that think that man had it coming due to prior run ins with the law, they should realize that they commit 3 felonies a day, the feds have all the reason they need to knock on your door at midnight, if you cause problems for them.” Yes, given that the laws are so complex that pretty much everyone is a felon, prosecutorial discretion rules. And that discretion needs to be bounded by political norms that you don’t abuse it just to go after people who express ideas you don’t want expressed. Those norms come from the First Amendment, but if there’s no cost to violating them, they won’t last.

MORE: Reader Richard Eastland writes:

Those who think he had it coming because of probation are sticking their heads in the sand.

He wasn’t hounded because he violated probation. He was persecuted because he made a video that the federal government is upset with.

Regardless of the “how” they are justifying their actions, the “why” is completely clear.

If you use his, please use my name. I refuse to be bullied by those who would use force to silence, be they terrorists or my own government.

Good for you. And reader Paul Crabtree writes: “Although the midnight raid to punish free speech is beyond deplorable, I guess we should be relieved that the Nobel Prize winner didn’t order a drone strike on his house.” Heh. We probably don’t have to worry about those . . . in the first term.

MORE STILL: Reader Jack Moody writes:

Prosecuting someone because they broke the law is one thing.

Only prosecuting someone who broke the law, after they embarrassed the administration, is gangster government, extortion, and the road to totalitarianism.

And that’s pretty clearly what’s happened here. Though to be fair, they didn’t actually prosecute him. Just took him downtown to answer a few questions. Voluntarily. After midnight. With a lot of TV cameras there, somehow.

And sorry, claims that this was just a routine probation matter don’t pass the laugh test. They’re just pure hackery.

And reader Rob Beile paraphrases Dean Wormer: “Incompetent, Thuggish and Cowardly is no way to lead The Free World, Mr. President.”

MORE STILL: Reader Jack Moss writes: “Probation is not a law enforcement function, it’s under the court. If his probation officer wanted to question him about the use of a computer, that broke his probation fine. But that wouldn’t include questions about making an anti-Islamic movie. It’s irrelevant. That means that the FBI showed up outside their jurisdiction for a reason given by their superiors. The question then is who ordered them there.”

MORE ODD HAPPENINGS INVOLVING THE MILWAUKEE POLICE DEPARTMENT:

Some people who beat a ticket in Milwaukee Municipal Court might do a little victory dance.

Geoff Davidian appealed.

Davidian wanted his day in court to explore what he contends was a mishandling of a traffic accident involving a police officer and Davidian’s attempts to report it. He wanted a trial, where the police officer would have to testify. Instead, a judge dismissed the case.

“What am I trying to accomplish?” Davidian said. “To have cops not stop a reporter with a camera, and to make this judge think before he does that kind of thing again.”

It all started more than a year ago when Davidian was ticketed for resisting or obstructing, after he tried to videotape the arrest of a woman he says was wrongly struck by a Milwaukee police cruiser exiting an alley.

Unsuccessful in having the case reactivated, Davidian returned to Municipal Court last week with fliers about his experience, warning others headed inside to not let themselves be rushed or bullied.

Davidian says he discovered a whole lot of things he didn’t like about the court during his foray through the system. He says Judge Phillip Chavez refused to allow him to record his own proceeding, wouldn’t allow Davidian’s chosen counsel to appear on his behalf, and didn’t notify him when he denied Davidian’s appeal.

His biggest surprise, he said, was having a substitute judge who’s not even a lawyer appear one day to dismiss the case, while ordering no record be made.

That town really doesn’t seem to care much for the rule of law.

WAR ON PHOTOGRAPHY UPDATE: D.C. Police Officially Declare Photography Is Not a Crime.

Last week, two years after Washington, D.C., cops told Jerome Vorus to stop taking pictures of a traffic stop in Georgetown and to stop recording his encounter with them, the Metropolitan Police Department issued a general order against such illegal interference with citizens’ exercise of their First Amendment rights. The order (PDF), part of an agreement settling a federal lawsuit Vorus filed last year with help from the American Civil Liberties Union of the Nation’s Capital, “recognizes that members of the general public have a First Amendment right to video record, photograph, and/or audio record MPD members while MPD members are conducting official business or while acting in an official capacity in any public space, unless such recordings interfere with police activity.” That was not the position taken by the cops who detained Vorus in July 2010, four of whom incorrectly informed him that he was breaking the law by photographing and recording police without permission from the department’s public affairs office. To the contrary, Police Chief Cathy Lanier says in the new directive, “A bystander has the same right to take photographs or make recordings as a member of the media, as long as the bystander has a legal right to be present where he or she is located.”

That right applies in “public settings” such as “parks, sidewalks, streets, and locations of public protests” as well as “an individual’s home or business, common areas of public and private facilities and buildings, and any other public or private facility at which the individual has a legal right to be present.” If someone is legally taking pictures or making a recording, an officer may not “order that person to cease such activity,” “demand that person’s identification,” “demand that the person state a reason why he or she is taking photographs or recording,” “detain that person,” “intentionally block or obstruct cameras or recording devices,” or “”in any way threaten, intimidate or otherwise discourage an individual from recording [officers’] enforcement activities.” Furthermore, “a person has the right to express criticism of the police activity being observed…so long as that expression does not jeopardize the safety of any member, suspect or bystander…and so long as that expression does not violate the law or incite others to violate the law.”

It’s sad that it takes a lawsuit to get these basic truths recognized, but this is still progress.

A VICTORY FOR CITIZENS IN THE WAR AGAINST PHOTOGRAPHY: Public can record Baltimore police officers on duty, new rules say. “Baltimore police have issued new rules governing how officers deal with a public increasingly armed with cameras and video records, saying that in most instances, cops cannot stop people from filming crime scenes. The general orders, issued in November and made public Friday, come days ahead of a federal court hearing in a civil suit brought by a man who says an officer confiscated his cell phone camera and deleted images of an arrest at the Preakness Stakes in 2010.”

Somebody must have read Morgan Manning’s article on photographers’ rights.

COPS AND CAMERAS: As More Police Wear Cameras, Policy Questions Arise. “The next time you talk to a police officer, you might find yourself staring into a lens. Companies such as Taser and Vievu are making small, durable cameras designed to be worn on police officer’s uniforms. The idea is to capture video from the officer’s point of view, for use as evidence against suspects, as well as to help monitor officers’ behavior toward the public.” So long as the video isn’t conveniently “lost” at crucial times, I think this is a good idea. And it certainly undercuts the lame argument that people shouldn’t be able to record cops on duty, though I suppose some people will remain capable of a double standard here.

Of course, it’s another reason why you may not want to talk to the police, or let them into your home.

#OCCUPYFAIL: Chaos In DC: Occupy Protest Turns Violent.

UPDATE: With rape and sexual harassment a problem, separate women-only tents set up at Zuccotti. “The large, metal-framed ‘safety tent’ — which will be guarded by an all-female patrol — can accommodate as many as 18 people and will be used during the day for women-only meetings, said Occupy Wall Street organizers.”

This is proceeding like a parody written by Norman Spinrad and P.J. O’Rourke.

ANOTHER UPDATE: Union-backed Occupy Chicago thugs interrupt Scott Walker speech. Ann Althouse comments:

The rudeness is sickening. I don’t understand how the protesters imagine that they will win support from anyone that way. They do seem driven to preventing Walker from ever speaking, but in fact, he did speak after they left. He said:

“The bottom line is, no matter how loud you shout, the facts are the facts. The facts are that our reforms have worked and continue to work in the state of Wisconsin.”

It only makes him look better.

Indeed. Plus, in the comments: “They are the argument against themselves. They sound and look ugly and scary. It’s not a good protest. It is lacking in charm. The only way they can begin to look good is if someone gets physical or nasty against them, which they would then catch on camera and edit and post.” They keep this up, and even that’s not going to help.

MORE: Ray Patnaude emails: “My wife and I were at the AFP dinner. Some info on the AFP member who was pushed down the stairs by the protestors… she is the second woman the police are helping up in the Daily Caller video. Her name is Dolores Broderson, age 78. She rode on a bus for 11 hours from Detroit to get there. She went to the emergency room with a bloody nose and bruises on her hand and leg.”

STILL MORE: Reader Glenn Gallup writes: “The reason these guys use violence to try to silence their opponents is because they know Brian and Scott and whoever on CNN and all the press guys have their backs. And nobody in the Administration is going to do anything about it either. They think they are going to win.” They’re sadly mistaken.

Related: Fear Of Violence Spreading To OccupySeattle.

MORE STILL: Reader John MacDonald writes:

When the green movement in Iran protested , Obama didn’t tell the regime to get out of town like he told Mubarek & Gaddafi.

The Community Organizer in Chief didn’t tell the protesters to go home.In the past he’s used phrases like ‘ get in their faces” and never let a crisis go to waste (Rahmbo).You’re dealing with people that know exactly what they are doing and which buttons to push while wondering around like Mr. Magoo …and trying not to leave fingerprints.

The end justifies the means…so they’ll be ramping up for 2012. The sooner the Tea Party and independents know who they are dealing with and their objectives the better. Sept of 2012 is too late to figure out what’s really going on.

Indeed.

HOW SMARTPHONES are changing digital photography. “It will take time before cameraphones are good enough to seriously challenge enthusiast compact cameras in terms of baseline functionality, but more and more, images from smartphones are appearing in online publications and even the occasional newspaper story, that would traditionally have been the preserve of professionals carrying ‘serious’ cameras. It’s not just the spontaneity of cameraphones or their increasingly impressive image quality that makes them appealing to photographers. There are a huge range of photo-related apps available that can enhance the picture-taking process. . . . We’re not all professional photojournalists working in warzones of course, but wherever you are, you might sympathise with Winter’s argument that sometimes snapping pictures with a smartphone is much more practical than it would be with a DSLR. A common complaint amongst photographers all over the world, peaceful and war-torn alike is that police and security officials, as well as ordinary people regard them and their equipment at best with suspicion, and sometimes with open aggression. In this environment, the cameraphone comes into its own. Small, discrete and connected, it can send photos and video around the world in seconds, from places where pulling out a DSLR or compact camera might just create unwarranted attention.”

WAR ON PHOTOGRAPHY UPDATE: Court says state law used to ban recording of police officers in public is unconstitutional.

A Boston lawyer suing the city and police officers who arrested him for using his cell phone to record a drug arrest on the Common won a victory today when a federal appeals court said the officers could not claim “qualified immunity” because they were performing their job when they arrested him under a state law that bars audio recordings without the consent of both parties.

In its ruling, which lets Simon Glik continue his lawsuit, the US Court of Appeals for the First Circuit in Boston said the way Glik was arrested and his phone seized under a state wiretapping law violated his First and Fourth Amendment rights.

Good. The really important part is that the court held that the right to photograph is “clearly established,” meaning that the officers are not entitled to official immunity. Full opinion here. And some useful background reading here. Key bit: “The proliferation of electronic devices with video-recording capability means that many of our images of current events come from bystanders with a ready cell phone or digital camera rather than a traditional film crew, and news stories are now just as likely to be broken by a blogger at her computer as a reporter at a major newspaper. Such developments make clear why the news-gathering protections of the First Amendment cannot turn on professional credentials or status.” Indeed.

DOES APPLE REALLY WANT TO CRIPPLE YOUR IPHONE? “The leading computer company plans to build a system that will sense when people are trying to video live events — and turn off their cameras.”

Sounds like totalitarian governments would love this. Kinda makes me wish I’d bought a Droid. If this is really an Apple initiative, I hope that it really hurts their stock price and market share. Meanwhile, it’s another argument in favor of cheap flipcam video cameras.

UPDATE: Reader James Eric Johnson emails:

For a company that built a reputation on the back of its “1984: Big Brother” ad, this type of thing is perplexing. Apple has no conceivable duty to police the use of its products in this fashion. In fact, by doing so, Apple may be assuming a duty to act as a big brother. At the very least, it is enabling Big Brother.

And this coming from a recent Apple convert who would dread the idea of going back to PCs for my personal computing functions (primarily Adobe CS and programming). I’m not at all anti-Apple; I’ll defend their products, but not their worldview.

Indeed. Perhaps this story will turn out to be incorrect.

WHY IT CAN BE VALUABLE TO CARRY both a gun and a recorder.

Related: This Is The Police: Put Down Your Camera.

UPDATE: A reader emails:

I have been following your posts on this subject with great interest.

The problem — as noted in a recent post or two — is that the arresting officers sometimes delete or “disappear” the video.

There is a solution to that problem that I have not seen mentioned — streaming video, using services like Qik.com. These not only record the video to the cell phone itself, but stream live, and automatically archive the video to a website. As soon as one hits the “stop” button, it archives to the website. Evidence preserved.

“No video you say?”. . Might want to compare that police report to THIS ONE.

I haven’t used Qik. Anyone out there have experience with it?

TAR, FEATHERS: Philly Police Harass, Threaten to Shoot Man Legally Carrying Gun. “A story in today’s Philadelphia Daily News shows why it’s so important that citizens be allowed to videotape cops – it can be citizens’ only way to fight back against police abuse of power.” And that’s why they’re so quick to threaten and arrest videotapers.

Related: Orlando man arrested for videotaping police, now the video is missing. “Kurtz said the camera was in his hand when he was arrested. But police say it was never taken into custody and secured as evidence. Nor was it among the personal possessions returned to Kurtz when he was released on bail.” How convenient.

UPDATE: Some background on the Philly incident.

YOU CAN SEE WHY TEA PARTY PROTESTERS WORRY THE COPS MIGHT TAKE SIDES: L.A. Police Union Urges Members to ‘Stand in Solidarity’ with SEIU and MoveOn.Org. The folks at BoingBoing seem to like it that the Wisconsin cops are siding with protesters, but where’s the reason for trust from those who feel otherwise? Do we want police to take sides in political disputes?

Apparently some do. This is why (1) you should always bring a camera; and (2) public employee unions should be illegal. If union protesters turn violent — as they increasingly have — can you trust pro-union police to intervene?

UPDATE: Charlie Martin emails: “You might recall that when Alex Jones and his mob was attacking Michelle Malkin — and giving me a blind-side kidney shot as I protected her — the Denver police were not interested in intervening in the slightest. I eventually got an apology from the DPD, but if Jones had the physical strength to match his mouth I’d have been peeing blood.”

Plus, related thoughts from Walter Olson.

ANOTHER UPDATE: Here’s the video of Alex Jones attacking Michelle Malkin. Andrew Marcus emails: “The part with Alex Jones starts at 2:39, and it really is something to behold.” Indeed. I remember this, and Jones will forever be defined for me by this incoherent, loudmouthed bullying behavior, threatening a woman less than half his size. What a pathetic loser.

WAR AGAINST PHOTOGRAPHY UPDATE: Atlanta Police Department Won’t Hinder Citizens Who Videotape Cops. “Faced with complaints from a citizen watchdog group, Atlanta police will stop interfering with people who videotape officers performing their duties in public, an agreement reached with the city Thursday says. The settlement, which also calls for the city to pay $40,000 in damages, requires city council approval. The agreement resolves a complaint filed by Marlon Kautz and Copwatch of East Atlanta, a group that films police activity with cell phones and hand-held cameras. The group has volunteers who go out on patrols and begin videotaping police activity when they come across it.”

OH, CANADA: Man faces jail after protecting home from masked firebomb attackers. “His surveillance cameras caught the attackers lobbing at least six Molotov cocktails at his house and bombing his doghouse, singeing one of his Siberian Huskies. But when Mr. Thomson handed the video footage to Niagara Regional Police, he found himself charged with careless use of a firearm.”

So the Niagara Regional Police are a bunch of clowns. Or just corrupt. Noted.

UPDATE: Reader Jim May emails:

The problem is not the NRP, it is Canada itself — in particular, its antipathy towards self-reliance in the realm of self-defense. Along with socialized medicine, this topic is one of those where dissent has been quite rare, and has often been derided with comments to the effect that the “anti-Canadian” dissenter should just emigrate to the States. I ended up doing just that.

That being said, your post confirms something peculiar that I noticed on my last two visits home last year: suddenly, I was hearing angry stories about people being brought up on charges after successfully defending themselves at home. That was notable in and of itself, but what was more surprising was the reaction to my expression of gratitude that I now live in the U.S., where I own guns and have the relative freedom to use them in self-defense. Instead of the usual condescension about American “violence” or “gun culture”, I got a surprise; more than a smidgeon of actual envy of that freedom.

After a spate of these stories nationwide, most notably that of David Chen, a Toronto retailer who detained a repeat shoplifter in his store and called police — only to be charged with kidnapping — it seems like Canadians may finally have had enough.

You have to be in my shoes — from Canada, but having been away for some years — to appreciate the significance of this shift.

Americans defending against the Left’s latest spot of gun-control opportunism would do well to take note of where the Left’s road leads, for you’ll find Canadians standing there — disarmed. And not too happy about it anymore.

No reason they should be, but I’m glad they’re waking up.

A VICTORY IN THE WAR AGAINST PHOTOGRAPHY: Charges dismissed against Md. man who taped traffic stop.

A Harford County Circuit Court judge Monday dismissed wiretapping charges against Anthony Graber, a motorcyclist who was jailed briefly after he taped a Maryland state trooper who stopped him for speeding on I-95. Graber used a camera mounted on his helmet, then posted the video on YouTube. . . . Judge Emory A. Pitt Jr. had to decide whether police performing their duties have an expectation of privacy in public space. Pitt ruled that police can have no such expectation in their public, on-the-job communications.

Pitt wrote: “Those of us who are public officials and are entrusted with the power of the state are ultimately accountable to the public. When we exercise that power in public fora, we should not expect our actions to be shielded from public observation. ‘Sed quis custodiet ipsos cutodes’ (“Who watches the watchmen?”).”

Indeed. This is obviously correct, and it is an utter disgrace that Harford County state’s attorney Joseph I. Cassilly brought charges anyway.

UPDATE: Or maybe not. Reader Carl Dahlman writes:

In a TV interview last summer, Cassilly said that he believes that the police have no right to privacy when stopping people on the highway. He stated that he brought the suit in order to get legal clarification of the basic issue. If he lost, he’d be happy; if he won, the State legislature would have to act.

Seems to me Cassilly got the matter settled without needing statutory remedy. Bully for him. Maybe you should not be so hard on him.

Also, kudos to the State AG who issued an opinion last summer that troopers have no right to privacy on the highway. I’m sure that influenced the judge.

Hmm.

ANOTHER UPDATE: On the other hand, reader Steven Wells writes:

I read with some interest the comments of your reader Carl Dahlman regarding the dismissal of charges against the Maryland man who taped a traffic stop. Mr. Dahlman suggests that it is a good thing the prosecutor brought charges because this clarified matters without getting a statutory remedy. I disagree.

As a criminal defense lawyer, I think this type of prosecution is a disgrace, as you wrote in your initial post. Criminal charges endanger our most fundamental rights and liberties. For a prosecutor to file charges simply to clarify a vague statute is greatly troublesome. If a statute is vague, then prosecutors should not be filing charges at all. The defendant in this case had to hire an attorney (although I understand from some accounts he may have had pro bono counsel, this is still a real issue), have his name broadcast throughout national media, go through the process of obtaining bail (which is a restriction on liberty), and face the very real possibility of being a convicted felon. All of this when the prosecution admits that there was a distinct possibility that there was no basis for a charge?

There is no need for a statutory remedy in this circumstance. Prosecutors have a great deal of discretion in how they do their jobs and that discretion is all the ‘remedy’ this situation needs. I do not know Maryland’s ethical code, but under Rule 3.8 of the Rules of Professional Conduct, prosecutors should not prosecute a case if they know the charges are not supported by probable cause. It seems to me that if the prosecutor admits that the statute is vague, there is a very real argument that the prosector should know these charges are not supported by probable cause.

Just some food for thought.

Indeed.

STILL MORE ON that Erik Scott shooting in Las Vegas. “As expected, no Costco or other video was presented at the Inquest. Recent information indicates that the police will claim that all of the Costco video from every camera that might have captured an image simply does not exist due to an technical malfunction known to Costco before the event which was not corrected until after the event. While this is possible, one would surely be forgiven for questioning the convenience–for the police–of this kind of coincidence, particularly when such video has the potential to unambiguously resolve the central issues in the case. . . . The potentially missing video remains, at the very least, a public relations disaster for the police, and one which may not go unnoticed by local political leaders.”

A PROSECUTOR ON THE WAR AGAINST PHOTOGRAPHY: A reader who asks anonymity emails:

I’ve followed with interest your series on police misconduct in harassing or arresting bystanders who photograph or video officers on duty. We had a similar case this month – we dismissed the charge immediately and began an internal review of all the officer’s pending cases. His boss (the County Sheriff) brought the matter immediately to our attention and launched an IA investigation as well.

Just wanted you to know that not all prosecutors are idiots … :-)

Some additional inside baseball: nearly all of our officers and their chiefs strongly support audio and visual recording of officers while on duty. Most jurisdictions here have voice-activated microphones and video cameras mounted in their patrol cars and remote microphones clipped to their officers’ collars. Many of these devices automatically download video and audio feeds directly to remote servers to prevent tampering with the raw footage. But the cameras cannot capture everything that happens around an officer and the microphones have a limited range, so bystanders’ portable video can be a potent source of evidence documenting that an officer acted properly – which they do in the vast majority of instances.

Yes, as I’ve noted before, officers who are behaving properly should welcome this sort of thing. And it’s worth noting that when officers and prosecutors act properly, it usually doesn’t make the news.

COPS REALLY GOING WILD AGAINST SCRUTINY: Woman Charged For Watching Arrest From Own Front Porch:

The resisting-arrest conviction last week of Felicia Gibson has left a lot of people wondering. Can a person be charged with resisting arrest while observing a traffic stop from his or her own front porch?

Salisbury Police Officer Mark Hunter thought so, and last week District Court Judge Beth Dixon agreed. Because Gibson did not at first comply when the officer told her and others to go inside, the judge found Gibson guilty of resisting, delaying or obstructing an officer.

Gibson was not the only bystander watching the action on the street. She was the only one holding up a cell-phone video camera. But court testimony never indicated that Hunter told her to stop the camera; he just told her to go inside.

Pathetic and thuggish. What was Mark Hunter afraid of?

CIVIL RIGHTS PROGRESS: Recording police likely OK, attorney general says. “Marylanders appear to have the right to record interactions with police officers with devices such as video cameras and mobile phones, according to an opinion by the state attorney general’s office. The advisory letter was issued as several people face or have been threatened with criminal charges for taping police. It’s unlikely that most interactions with police could be considered private, as some law enforcement agencies have interpreted the state’s wiretapping act, wrote Assistant Attorney General Robert McDonald. The conclusion is based on prior rulings and opinions of courts in other states.” This statement of the obvious shouldn’t be news, but, sadly, it is.

THE WAR AGAINST PHOTOGRAPHY: Radley Balko has more on Maryland. “Graber is due in court next week. He faces up to five years in prison. State’s Attorney Joseph Cassilly has also charged Graber with ‘Possession of an Interception Device.’ That ‘device’ would be Graber’s otherwise-perfectly-legal video camera. . . . Perhaps that officer was merely misinformed. But Maryland police spokesmen and prosecutors are giving the impression that the state’s wiretapping law is ambiguous about recording on-duty police officers. It really isn’t. They’ve just chosen to interpret it that way, logic and common sense be damned. . . . A cynic might conclude that law enforcement officials in Maryland are reacting to the McKenna embarrassment by threatening and cracking down on anyone who videotapes on-duty cops, and they’ll interpret the law in whatever way allows them to do so. At least until a court tells them otherwise.”

This is a disgrace. State’s Attorney Joseph Cassilly should hear from Marylanders who care about freedom — and this seems to be me to be another argument for federal civil rights legislation guaranteeing the right to photograph police. With hefty damages, and a waiver of official immunity, for cases like Graber’s. . . .

Last week, an Illinois judge rejected Chicago artist Christopher Drew’s motion to dismiss the Class I felony charge against him. Drew is charged with violating the state’s eavesdropping statute when he recorded his encounter with a police officer last December on the streets of Chicago. A Class I felony in Illinois is punishable by 4 to 15 years in prison. It’s in the same class of crimes as sexual assault. Drew will be back in court in June to request a jury trial.

I’m currently working on a feature for Reason about man in a more rural part of the state charged with six violations of the same statute, all of them for making audio recordings of on-duty public officials. For several of the counts in that case, the police were actually on the man’s property. He started recording his conversations with police because he felt he was being unjustly harassed for violating a town ordinance he thought was unconstitutional.

Like our host, I’m of the opinion that it should always be legal to record on-duty police officers, both as a matter of policy and under the free speech, free press, and right to petition the government provisions in the First Amendment. We saw the power and potential of audio and video recording technology to expose government abuse in the Iranian protests last summer. But we also see it here in the U.S. with the thousands of  police misconduct videos uploaded to YouTube in recent years.

Typically, police who want to arrest someone for recording them while on duty use a strained interpretation of state wiretapping laws or whatever state or local law addresses obstructing or  interfering with law enforcement. These incidents are troubling enough, and I think state legislatures should consider passing laws explicitly making it legal to record on-duty law enforcement officials. Those laws should include remedies for people wrongly arrested, or who have had their cameras or cell phones illegally confiscated, damaged, or destroyed.

But in Illinois the situation is quite a bit worse. In Illinois it actually is illegal to make audio recordings of on-duty cops–or any other public official. Illinois is one of a handful of states that require all parties to consent before someone can record a conversation. But the other all-party-consent states also include a provision in their statutes stating that for there to be a violation of the law the nonconsenting party must have a reasonable expectation of privacy. On-duty police officers in public spaces have no such expectation.

Here’s where it gets even worse: Originally, the Illinois eavesdropping law did also include a similar expectation of privacy provision. But the legislature stripped that provision out in 1994, and they did so in response to an incident in which a citizen recorded his interaction with two on-duty police officers. In other words, the Illinois legislature specifically intended to make it a Class I felony, punishable by up to 15 years in prison, to make an audio recording of an on-duty police officer without his permission.

Given the spate of recent stories about cops in Chicago caught on video misbehaving (some of whom were subsequently held accountable only because of the video), the legislature’s already-awful-when-it-passed 1994 amendment hasn’t aged well.

I suspect most state officials know this law is unconstitutional. While several people have been charged under the statute for recording public officials, I’ve so far been unable to find anyone who was actually convicted, much less had a conviction upheld. (If you know of someone who has, please email me!) Prosecutors tend to either drop the charges or offer a plea bargain before the case gets to trial. It isn’t difficult to see why someone would take a misdemeanor plea and a clean record instead of challenging a bad law and risking up to 15 years in prison and a felony record if they lose.

Before Drew the closest anyone came to challenging the law came in 2004, when documentary filmmaker Patrick Thompson was arrested for recording police interactions with patrons outside of bars and restaurants in Champaign-Urbana. He was looking to document allegations that police were treating white patrons differently than black patrons. (See the ACLU’s brief on Thompson’s behalf here). But Thompson took a plea bargain before his case went to trial.

So the law remains on the books. Which Illinois police officers remain authorized by state law to detain, arrest, and jail people who record them while on-duty, and they can continue to confiscate the recordings.

(Cross-posted at Reason‘s Hit & Run.)

UPDATE/CORRECTION: Eugene Volokh emails to say that Massachusetts also doesn’t appear to recognize an expectation of privacy exception to its all-party-consent law, and has upheld a conviction for recording on-duty police officers.

JAMES TARANTO:

Yesterday we examined the latest evidence and concluded that there is still no corroboration for three black congressmen’s claims that tea-party protesters yelled racial slurs on March 20, the eve of ObamaCare’s enactment. Today we’d like to step back and ponder the meaning of this alleged event.

Why are racial slurs such a taboo? . . . Free speech notwithstanding, there are circumstances in which legal redress is available to people who have been hurt by racial slurs. The most obvious cases are those in which slurs are wielded by an authority figure like a boss or a policeman, who is legally obliged not to discriminate in the exercise of his authority.

That is the opposite of what happened, or didn’t happen, on Capitol Hill. There, three powerful men allege that anonymous members of a crowd yelled racial slurs at them. The Associated Press’s Jesse Washington reports that the lawmakers claimed to have heard the slurs as they were walking toward the Capitol. Some time later a widely circulated video, which depicted an angry crowd but on which no racial slurs could be heard, was “captured by the black lawmakers’ cameras” as they walked away from the Capitol, Washington reports.

If the congressmen had felt threatened by the supposed slurs, they could have taken the underground railroad that connects the Capitol to congressional office buildings. Instead, they went back into the crowd, armed with video cameras.

It seems fair to surmise that they were hoping to gather evidence, and this would be an entirely reasonable thing for them to do under the circumstances as they described them. But it illustrates a salient point: If racial slurs are weapons, in a political context such as this they are weapons only of self-destruction.

Read the whole thing.

ANARCHISTS PLANNING TO infiltrate, sabotage Tea Party protests on 4/15.

Protesters are well-advised to arm themselves with portable video cameras, and document everything. It might also be a good idea, as a commenter suggests, to print out these flyers and pass on copies to local police and media, in advance.

REASON TV: Exclusive Footage: DC Cop Brings Gun to a Snowball Fight!

UPDATE: Reader Kevin Greene emails:

A fundamental shift is occurring. The people are ridiculing the government. “Don’t bring guns to a snowball fight.”

Look at all those video cameras. There is simply nowhere for this arrogant police officer to hide. No way to lie his way out of it later on.

The watchers are being watched.

Interesting concept.

UPDATE: Ann Althouse thinks this is unfair to the cop. “There is a difference between a snowball fight and throwing snowballs at moving vehicles. In a snowball fight — like this cool one in Madison a couple weeks ago — you have voluntary participants playing at fighting with each other. Throwing snowballs at cars, on the other had, is surprising people who happen upon the scene and it’s distracting them — and doing so at a time when it is particularly difficult to drive. . . . ‘Brandished’ is a heavy word and ‘brandished… at’ connotes that he pointed the gun at people, which he did not.”

Fair point, but I believe that a civilian who behaved similarly would have been charged with “brandishing.” There was poor judgment by all concerned (and those who threw snowballs at the cop violated Niven’s Rule — “don’t throw shit at an armed man”) but the standards should be higher for sworn officers who carry guns, shouldn’t they?

CHECK OUT PJTV for lots of Tea Party coverage today. Current live stream is here.

Also, lots of stuff via Twitter.

UPDATE: Reader Jay Brinker sends this cellphone pic from Cincinnati:

teapartycincinnati0415

And here’s another pic from reader J. Binik-Thomas who writes: “Vine street closed. Fountain square full. Estimate 4000-4500.” People are still arriving.

teapartycincinnati04152

Reader Steven Pelton writes from Rochester:

This morning at 11:00, I took my toddler daughter to our local tea party behind the federal building in downtown Rochester. There had to have been at least 500 people at 11, but I had to leave early (lunch time for the toddler, you know). Maybe 500-700, but people were still coming when we were leaving.

A few Paulicans (“America is a surveillance state”, etc.), a few evangelists, but everyone was very nice, helpful (especially to a guy with a bulky stroller), and upbeat. Sorry I’m not sending any pictures. The one thing I forgot was the camera. Hopefully someone will send them on soon. It’s still going on, so hopefully any later reports have the numbers at much bigger than 500-700.

Stay tuned. And reader James Woolery writes from Napa:

I took the first two hours of my work day off as vacation so I could go to the Tea Party in downtown Napa before heading into the hospital in Vallejo to do consultations.

There were about 200 protesters at the gathering, which was quiet and good-natured. People assembled on Main Street downtown in front of the office of Mike Thompson, our local US Congressman, a Democrat. (He did not seem to be in at the time!) There were people of all ages, but the majority appeared to be boomers. Being a veteran of anti-Vietnam War protests in my youth, it was striking to witness the tone of this gathering, which was peaceful in the extreme, entirely moderate (the most raucous expression of protest was a guy beating on a drum in a sort of Revolutionary War tattoo!)…

There were no counter-protesters or agents provocateurs.

I was suprised and encouraged that there were as many as 200 people in the Napa Valley who would attend a gathering like this.

Many who drove down Main Street past the protesters honked in support!

I asked a woman who took a photo of the whole group to forward it to you; I’m not certain that will happen, but I hope so.

Word will get out. Plus, pics from Harrisburg, PA via Roger Baumgartner.

And a reader who prefers anonymity writes from Louisville:

I just got back from the Louisville Tea Party – what a great time. Approximately 1,000 – 1,500 participants, tons of signs, kids, veterans, moms, etc. who braved cold temperatures to express their 1st Amendment rights in downtown Louisville. The speakers were impassioned, educated on the issues, and explicitly non-partisan (“This is NOT a Democrat or Republican thing! This is an American thing!”). Three local news vans on site, and a visit from Newsweek’s Howard Fineman – who came away impressed, I think, by some of the speakers. Our local organizer and her husband are political newbies and did a fantastic job planning the rally – music, speakers, logistics, etc. went off without a hitch. No violence, no political confrontations, just fed-up Kentuckians and Hoosiers venting a little bit.

Yeah, it’s freezing here, too. Where’s my #@#$ global warming when I need it?

Reader Thomas Kubilius reports from Pittsburgh:

I just got back from the Pittsburgh Tea Party Protest in Market Square in Pittsburgh.

I saw 2,000-3,000 of the most well behaved protestors you could imagine. Except for the signs, you’d think it was a charity event. I saw one police officer, and he was just making sure that traffic moved through the square in an orderly fashion. They had Tea Party staff walking the crowd to keep things orderly, but all I saw was a polite, attentive crowd.

A couple of young girls from a hair dresser’s school nearby stopped to heckle for all of 2 minutes. After some shouting back and forth, they moved on. Money says that’s the part that makes the news, as that was the only time I saw anything that looked like a TV camera.

More when I have time. But here’s a pic from Austin, TX courtesy of reader Chris Stacy, who reports: “This is the earlier of two tea parties scheduled in Austin today. I’d put the crowd in excess of 1000.”

teapartyaustin0415

WHEN POLICE DON’T LIKE SURVEILLANCE CAMERAS:

Last year, New York police officers were seen dancing in the streets just before arresting four men in a city nightclub on charges of selling $100 worth of cocaine. It took six months and the men’s life savings, but their names were finally cleared when prosecutors took the unusual step of announcing in court that the men had committed no crime.

That’s because club surveillance video shows that the undercover cops had no contact with the accused men in the two hours they were in the club.

Now, club owner Eduardo Espinoza says the police are retaliating against him.

Jeez. They’d better get used to it — surveillance is a two-way street now, and that phenomenon is only going to increase.

THEY CAN TAPE YOU, but they don’t like for you to tape them:

A Newton activist who concealed a camera to videotape a Boston University police sergeant was convicted of violating state wiretapping laws. An associate is charged with witness intimidation.

Peter Lowney, 36, was sentenced last week to six months probation and fined $500. A Brighton District Court judge ordered him to stay away from the sergeant and remove footage from the Internet.

Lowney shot the film during a 2006 political protest. Ordered to stop recording, officers arrested Lowney for hiding the still-rolling camera in his coat.

The notion that videotaping events at a public protest is “wiretapping” — or that a court could order such footage removed from the Internet — is absurd.

UPDATE: More thoughts from Eugene Volokh. It’s my position, of course, that there’s no such thing as “privacy” for police officers who are in the performance of their duties. This is further evidence, however, of the need for federal civil rights legislation protecting the right of citizens to photograph, videotape, and otherwise record the public behavior of law enforcement officials.

MORE POLICE VIDEO THUGGISHNESS: “Frank Waterhouse of Oregon is suing Portland police after he was tasered and shot with a beanbag gun. His offense? Videotaping a warrantless police search on a friend’s property. The police report helpfully explains that the force used on Waterhouse (who was standing far off on the edge of the property) was necessary because, ‘He had refused to drop the camera which could be used as a weapon.'”

THIS IS AN OUTRAGE:

Brian D. Kelly didn’t think he was doing anything illegal when he used his videocamera to record a Carlisle police officer during a traffic stop. Making movies is one of his hobbies, he said, and the stop was just another interesting event to film.

Now he’s worried about going to prison or being burdened with a criminal record.

Kelly, 18, of Carlisle, was arrested on a felony wiretapping charge, with a penalty of up to 7 years in state prison.

His camera and film were seized by police during the May 24 stop, he said, and he spent 26 hours in Cumberland County Prison until his mother posted her house as security for his $2,500 bail.

Kelly is charged under a state law that bars the intentional interception or recording of anyone’s oral conversation without their consent.

These guys obviously have something to hide, and I’d like to know what it is. I’ve said this before, but I’d like to see federal legislation guaranteeing the right to tape law enforcement activities in public places. With big damages and attorney fees. (Via BoingBoing).

UPDATE: Much more from Brendan Loy. And I certainly agree with this: “a DA who’d file charges in a case like this is reprehensible.” I don’t know the name of the deputy DA who’s supposed to have approved this, but I’d like to.

TRAFFIC CAMERAS — FINE FOR THE POLICE, BUT NOT FOR YOU:

Lee and Teresa Sipple spent $1,200 mounting three video cameras and a radar speed unit outside their home, which is at the bottom of a hill. They have said they did so in hopes of convincing neighbors to slow down to create a safe environment for their son.

The Sipples allegedly caught Kennesaw police officer Richard Perrone speeding up to 17 mph over the speed limit. Perrone alerted Bartow authorities, who in turn visited the Sipples’ home to tell them Perrone intended to press charges against them for stalking.

Perrone should be ashamed here. And I think that citizens should have the same right to photograph police that police have to photograph citizens. In fact, I think that citizens do have that right. And so, I guess, does Perrone, who later withdrew his complaint. (Via Slashdot).

DIGITAL CAMERA CARNIVAL, PART THREE: I wasn’t going to do a new installment of this, but people keep sending me stuff! Follow the links for Part One and Part Two if you happened to miss those earlier installments.

Reader Roger Baumgarten emails:

I’m a thrilled owner of the Canon Digital Rebel XT. Have produced amazing pix with this body coupled with the Canon 70-200 f/4L, Tamron 28-75 f/2.8, and my new Canon 85 f/1.8. Here’s a sample gallery, shot hand-held, no flash, ISO 1600!!! The lack of noise at high ISO is astonishing.

For general browsing of my XT photos: www.kodakgallery.com/baumgarten.

Yes, you get much lower noise at high ISO’s with digital SLRs than with pocket cameras, because of the larger sensor sizes and better noise-reduction circuitry.

Jonathan Gewirtz emails:

Once you get that neat new digital camera you will need to organize and edit the many photos that you will make. The right software makes doing this a lot easier. Photoshop is great, but for quick image adjustments, batch editing and organizing, as well as super-easy photo emailing and other features (slideshow making, print ordering), Google’s Picasa is hard to beat. It’s free, very well designed and the latest version allows you (finally!) to use your own directory hierarchy for organizing images. Because Picasa is so easy to use and doesn’t cost anything it’s worth trying even if you already have photo software that you like.

I’ve been meaning to give it a try. I use Photoshop CS for serious editing, and Photoshop Elements — or, on my laptop, the extremely elderly but still adequate Micrografx Picture Publisher — for lighter duty. I haven’t upgraded to the latest Photoshop Elements though. Maybe I should give Picasa a try. You can’t beat free.

Bill Hobbs emails with a question:

I have a Canon Digital Rebel with a 28-135mm image-stabilized zoom that I absolutely love – although I do crave the higher mega-pixel of the 30D.

My question is: My daughter, age 9, wants to start taking pictures, and I’m not wanting to hang my thousand-dollar camera around her neck, what the best point-and-shoot digital camera under $200 or even under $150?

I’d go with the Ken Rockwell-recommended Canon Powershot A530 — at $149 it hits the under-150 price point, and Rockwell loves it.

Reader Andrew K emails:

I was wondering if you are into scuba at all. If so, any recommendations on a decent digital camera and case for underwater photography (down to recreational limits of about 120 ft.)?

I’m very much into scuba, and I generally rent my cameras from Cathy Church’s underwater photo center. You can see some of the stuff they use here. The pictures — and underwater video — for my Popular Mechanics rebreather piece were taken with the housed Olympus. It worked fine.

You can buy underwater housings — mostly designed for particular cameras — from Ikelite and other companies. I’d recommend renting, though, unless you plan to do a lot of photography over an extended period.

Reader Karen Baker emails:

I have a photoblog called Photos by Seawitch.

I’m including a couple of photos. Both of these were taken with my Nikon D50. I’ve been experimenting with a number of the settings to see what works best when. At my blog, the photos are from my HP Photosmart M407 and the Nikon D50. I switched to the Nikon D50 because I wanted to be able to use telephoto and macro lenses. I don’t have a macro lens yet, but very soon. A lot of my shots are of brown pelicans, least terns, and osprey. There’s also a lot that are of the damage done to my hometown of Gulfport and other cities along the Mississippi Gulf Coast.

I created three videos with some of the pictures I’ve taken.

Link This was done at the start of the hurricane season for 2006. It has before, during, and after shots of Hurricane Katrina

Link I did this one to thank all the volunteers, military, local, state, and federal officials, the utility companies, and the police and fire departments.

Link I did this for the one-year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina and it shows the progress that has been made.

The photos are a mix from both cameras and each one is set to music. The are between 4 1/2 to just under 5 minutes long.

I hope you’ll consider watching the videos and possibly linking to my photo blog. I realize you must receive many e-mails.

I sure have gotten a lot here! That’s it for this series, though. I’m carnivalled-out!

J.D. JOHANNES ON BODY ARMOR — I told you so: “When I chased a Marine infantry platoon around Al Anbar last Summer I was armed only with a Canon XL-2 camera and only wore a kevlar vest similar to what a police officer would wear. By wearing/carrying 50 pounds less I was able to out run and climb the 21-year-old grunts.”

His earlier post on the subject is here.

UPDATE: J.D. would move even faster if he used a Canon GL2, which is smaller than the XL2 by far but has the same imaging. No interchangeable lenses, but I suspect that’s a minor drawback when covering combat.

The Insta-Wife shot most of her documentary with a Canon XL, but on one interview where she had to fly solo she took the GL2 and it was the best video — and audio — of the whole thing.

ANOTHER UPDATE: Greg Johnson says I’m wrong about the GL2:

The image system on the XL2 isn’t identical to the GL2. The XL2 also has 24p option (the GL2 doesn’t), where frames are “pulled down” within the camera itself to simulate the film “look.” This is the big new development in DV prosumer technology in the past two years, the Panasonic DVX100 series has it as well. One step closer to under $5000 cameras looking no different from film (to a layman) on the DVD player.

Hadn’t noticed that, but then that’s not an option that I’m interested in.

And be sure to read this underlying story on the armor subject:

Extra body armor — the lack of which caused a political storm in the United States — has flooded in to Iraq, but many Marines here promptly stuck it in lockers or under bunks. Too heavy and cumbersome, many say.

Indeed. Of course, on the general subject of whether more armor is always better I can say I told you so too!

PEGGY NOONAN: “We are debating port security. While we’re at it, how about airport security? Does anyone really believe that has gotten much better since 19 terrorists hijacked four planes five years ago?”

I don’t.

UPDATE: More here: “Security experts say U.S. ports have long been ill-prepared for a terrorist attack — regardless of the nationality of the owner.”

Homeland Security remains pretty much a joke — air, sea, and land. The good news is, the Dubai deal won’t make things worse at Baltimore:

At least one of the ports where DP World is set to operate, Baltimore, has been dogged by security shortcomings for years. A Baltimore Sun investigation in June 2005 revealed that the port’s fiber-optic alarm system on the perimeter fence malfunctioned and was usually switched off, and that port police were so understaffed that their patrol boats often dry-docked because there was no one to operate them. The newspaper also found that a pair of “video cameras” guarding the entrance to one important marine terminal were actually blocks of wood on poles.

Last summer, a tour of the port, the nation’s eighth largest, revealed gaps in perimeter fences, unattended gates, surveillances systems that didn’t work and insufficient police patrols on land and sea. State officials have acknowledged security gaps and said they have been working to close them.

It can only get better, apparently . . . .

Read this piece by Jim Glassman, too: “Isn’t this precisely what the United States preaches? Don’t we want places like Dubai to fight terror and to grow, to invest, to buy, to trade, to adopt Western commercial practices, to expose themselves to the rest of the world and thus become tolerant and moderate?” Read the whole thing.

ANOTHER UPDATE: Over at WizBang, a correction is offered regarding my views on airport security. I stand corrected.

THIS IS COOL:

As video cameras, and digital storage devices (like the iPod), grow smaller and cheaper, they have become useful as a military intelligence tool. The latest example of this is a lightweight video camera that can be attached to a helmet, and the video stored on a 30 gigabyte hard drive the size of an iPod. That provides enough storage for 2-46 hours of video (depending on the resolution.)

It was civilian security personnel, former military people, who first started doing this sort of thing. Small vidcams attached to the dashboard, were used to photograph a mission. Reviewing the tapes later would often reveal an attempted attack, or some other danger that needed to be studied, and dealt with in the future. Now a British company, Double Vision (DV), is producing wearable vidcam systems for police, journalists, military personnel and athletes.

I want some of these for bloggers. . . .

MORE PROBLEMS with the U.N.’s Congo operation:

The expert was a Frenchman who worked at Goma airport as part of the UN’s $700 million-a-year effort to rebuild the war-shattered country. When police raided his home they discovered that he had turned his bedroom into a studio for videotaping and photographing sex sessions with young girls.

The bed was surrounded by large mirrors on three sides, according to a senior Congolese police officer. On the fourth side was a camera that he could operate from the bed with a remote control.

When the police arrived the man was allegedly about to rape a 12-year-old girl sent to him in a sting operation. Three home-made porn videos and more than 50 photographs were found.

The case has highlighted the apparently rampant sexual exploitation of Congolese girls and women by the UN’s 11,000 peacekeepers and 1,000 civilians at a time when the UN is facing many problems, including the Iraqi “oil-for-food” scandal and accusations of sexual harassment by senior UN staff in Geneva and New York.

Kofi’s “annus horribilis” continues.

UPDATE: Richard Aubrey emails: “Do you think we’d be seeing more play made of this if Bush were Secretary General?”

Possibly.

ANTI-TERRORISM GOOD NEWS:

BALTIMORE (AP) – When three Baltimore County police officers saw someone aiming a camera from a sport utility vehicle on the Bay Bridge and decided the videotaping looked suspicious, Maryland’s intelligence center was notified within minutes.

The state’s counterterrorism center has local, state and federal authorities sitting next to each other 24 hours a day at an FBI building in Calverton in Prince George’s County. That’s why police were able to arrest Ismael Selim Elbarasse, a man wanted for questioning in Chicago about the finances of the Hamas extremist group, so quickly, state officials said.

More on the arrest here and here.

MICKEY KAUS is chiding the Los Angeles Times, calling the Bremer/Alissa Rubin correction “defensive and un-mensch-like.”

And I’m going to twist the knife a bit more by quoting Iraqi blogger Omar on this:

It seems that some people in the major media still think they’re the only ones who have eyes and ears and cameras and that ordinary people cannot have access to the information except from the major media outlets. They underestimated the prevalence and the effect of the internet in connecting people to each other and making the readers in direct contact with real eyewitnesses at the scene of events. I hope this will serve to make them more careful in the future on what to report, or make sure that they report from a place in which there are no bloggers.

Heh. Of course, it’s worse than that — as it turns out that part of the speech was actually broadcast on CNN

The new Iraqi government which took office today will shepherd the country to elections by January 31, 2005. Ambassador Paul Bremer formally ended the U.S.-led occupation by turning over sovereignty to Iraqi leadership today, two days ahead of schedule. Bremer then left the country. But before he did, he had a farewell message for the people of Iraq.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

L. PAUL BREMER, FRM. IRAQI CIVIL ADMINISTRATOR: The future of Iraq belongs to you, the Iraqi people. We and your other friends will help, but we can only help. You must do the real work.

The Iraq your children and their children inherit will depend on your actions in the months and years ahead. You Iraqis must now take responsibility for your future of hope. You can create that future of hope by standing fast against those who kill your police and soldiers, who kill your women and children, who wreck Iraq’s pipelines and power lines, and then claim to be your champions.

You can create that future of hope by supporting your government and the elections they are pledged to bring you. You can create that future of hope in a thousand different ways by sharing through your words and deeds a personal commitment to a stable and peaceful Iraq.

You, Iraq’s Kurds and Arabs, Shi’a and Sunni, Turkomen and Christian, you are more like each other than you are different from one another. You have a shared vision of how a united Iraq can, again, be a beacon of hope to the region. You have a shared hatred of the violence inflicted on you by those who abhor your vision. And you have a shared love of this wonderful, rich land.

Let no one pit you against each other. For when Iraqis fight Iraqis, only Iraqis suffer.

I leave Iraq gladdened by what has been accomplished and confident that your future is full of hope. A piece of my heart will always remain here in the beautiful land between the two rivers with its fertile valleys, it’s majestic mountains and its wonderful people. ‘ (END VIDEO CLIP)

(Via Free Will Blog.) So they didn’t just fail to notice something that was on Iraqi TV — and snark about it in an uninformed but nasty “news analysis” piece that accused Bremer of leaving without making a speech, and said he was afraid to look Iraqis in the eye — they missed something that was on CNN. Why do we listen to these guys?

Increasingly, of course we don’t. And judging by the L.A. Times’ “defensive and un-mensch-like correction,” they’re afraid to look us in the eye. And they should be.

UPDATE: In a related matter, Powerline features an email from the Washington Post’s Baghdad bureau chief, giving his side of the story. “The bottom line here is that I did not know anything about the taped remarks when I wrote that Bremer did not deliver a farewell address. Knowing what I now do, thanks in part to media watchdog bloggers, The Post has corrected the record. It’s too bad, though, that the CPA did not do a better job in informing the Western and Arab press about the broadcast.”