By: Cliff Kincaid
Accuracy in Media
The dreaded so-called “surveillance state” was held in contempt by many in the media until President Obama announced that he would extend it to police officers. All of a sudden, the idea of the National Security Agency (NSA) targeting the thin blue line between the public and the criminals became a great, “progressive” idea.
Obama euphemistically calls it the “Body Worn Camera Partnership Program,” and insists it will “help strengthen accountability and transparency.”
Perhaps these body-worn cameras ought to be used by high-level government officials, in order to sniff out corruption such as the location of missing IRS emails.
Obama bases his policy on the idea that “officers and civilians both act in a more positive manner when they’re aware that a camera is present.” In other words, in an unprecedented move, Big Brother is going to be watching the police so that the Department of Justice can more easily monitor and prosecute police officers for alleged misconduct.
The catch is that Big Brother can also use the cameras to monitor the people, and that could be against the laws of various states. It would represent a potential violation of the Fourth Amendment, supposedly held sacrosanct by “privacy advocates” on the left and the libertarian right.
Nevertheless, liberal Washington Post reporter Nia-Malika Henderson calls it “technology to prevent more Fergusons,” and “something plenty of people with very different views of what happened could agree upon.”
In fact, a body worn camera in Ferguson would have recorded what witnesses testified to—that Michael Brown attacked Police Officer Darren Wilson in his patrol car and tried to take his gun.
Trying to change the subject to the latest so-called outrage for the cop-hating media, she insists, in a knee-jerk response, that “the videotaped death of [Eric] Garner and the failure to get an indictment will likely be used by activists to push for much more than just cameras.”
Those “activists” are typically on the left and opposed to surveillance when it is directed at them.
The video of the Eric Garner police takedown in New York City, which has been replayed over and over again, was not able to indicate how much of a role Garner’s various health problems, including obesity, asthma and heart disease, played in his death. The video did show that he was resisting arrest while claiming, “I can’t breathe.”
Garner was a career criminal with 31 arrests. Before being taken down, he challenged the officers, saying, “I’m tired of it. It stops today.”
On the www.PoliceOne.com website, where police officers can comment on cases anonymously, the reaction (edited for the sake of brevity and clarity) has included:
Garner was taken to the ground by his head and neck. This was NOT a choke hold where he was held for a long period of time and lost consciousness. This man clearly had health issues that contributed to his untimely death. Sorry this man passed away on a day where he simply could have put his hands behind his back and taken his 32nd arrest.
This man most likely died from a heart attack and shock. The headlock did not kill this man. NYPD officers were doing their job.
If you can talk you can breathe! A strong and deadly choke hold would not allow a person to talk.