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“Independent Wire” For All Cops

AT ALL LEVELS OF GOVERNMENT … America’s overreaching, overbearing federal government has spent billions of dollars created a repository for all of our private phone records, emails, text messages and web searches.  Clearly it shouldn’t have done that … but the existence of such a shamelessly unconstitutional facility is proof…

AT ALL LEVELS OF GOVERNMENT …

America’s overreaching, overbearing federal government has spent billions of dollars created a repository for all of our private phone records, emails, text messages and web searches.  Clearly it shouldn’t have done that … but the existence of such a shamelessly unconstitutional facility is proof positive that government can do pretty much anything it wants with modern technology.

Which leads us to an idea …

What if government stopped investing in technology leading to the deprivation of our liberty and started investing in technology leading to its preservation?

After all – isn’t that what government is there to do?  Protect our life, liberty and ability to pursue happiness?  Seems like we’ve heard that before someplace …

Anyway, our idea is simple.   Well, okay … it’s not simple.  It’s probably crazy complex – but in the wake of the debate raging after the Ferguson debacle it strikes us as increasingly necessary.

Basically, our idea involves equipping states with the resources they need to hold their local law enforcement personnel (and their own state law enforcement personnel) accountable for their actions by creating a centralized network of law enforcement monitoring.  The vast majority of cops are already wired for sound – and equipped with cameras on their vehicles – but what we’re envisioning would take things to the next level.

Under our system all  cops – local, state and federal – would be fitted with body cameras and microphones.  These cameras and microphones would go “live” the second an officer goes on duty, streaming content directly to a central statewide repository – one manned 24/7/365 by a representative of the state’s chief executive, Attorney General’s office and a designated victim’s advocate.

For an additional layer of transparency, this panel could choose to allow a representative of the state’s press association (or other media organization) to have access to the repository at any time it deems it appropriate.

Bottom line?  Anytime an allegation is made, all this group would need to do is check the tape.  And if the tape has been deleted … well … you know what that means.

As “cops and courts” libertarians, we have always viewed law enforcement as a core function of government – a necessity for the safeguarding of our lives and liberties.  And we believe such functions (unlike non-core “responsibilities“) must be funded in an amount commensurate with the importance of that task.

We also believe the vast majority of law enforcement personnel take seriously their obligation to protect our lives and preserve our liberties – and to provide that protection equally under the law.  But there are bad cops.  And corrupt bureaucrats who would rather see things covered up than dealt with properly.

Also, there are plenty of rabble rousers and agitators out there who thrive on uncertainty and confusion … who grandstand without a leg to stand on, so to speak, needlessly inflaming passions and stoking further unnecessary violence.

Creating and maintaining a record of law enforcement activity at the state level – and ensuring such a repository is publicly available at a moment’s notice – would protect us from both evils.  It would protect citizens from bad cops, but it would also protect good cops from false allegations of improper conduct.

There’s absolutely nothing more fundamental to a free society than the even-handed protection of life and liberty.  That’s why it’s so essential that we use the technology available to us to help preserve those fundamental rights … not see them further eroded.

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30 comments

Surveil all police on duty August 18, 2014 at 3:33 pm

Wires(audio) without camera’s are problematic.

Favorite drone like chant when a cop is putting cuffs on someone they don’t like with a hot mic, but no camera: “Stop resisting.”

Not to say the cops that wanted to, couldn’t find an excuse/way to damage or disable said equipment, but that’s a different issue.

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EJB August 18, 2014 at 4:16 pm

Not necessarily a bad idea. Outfit the cops with something like Google Glass, upload the data to the cloud. Nearly all cops have smartphones now, just get the ones that can be used as a Wi-Fi hotspot. Have control of the servers under the control of a civilian oversight group. Have alarms for when the signal is lost on any particular piece of gear and have HQ call (radio or phone) the officer whose signal was lost and either have signal restored or return to base for gear replacement. All technology is currently available and in use nationally. Not unlike the military using video for their house to house raids and superiors watch video on a different continent.

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Tazmaniac August 18, 2014 at 4:27 pm

That would be a great idea. It would be like being able to go back and subpoena a government official’s emails to determine if they were abusing their power to attack people politically opposed to their beliefs. Say for example the IRS…………..oh, never mind. :-0

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Limbaughsaphatkhunt August 18, 2014 at 7:33 pm

IRS emails were deleted in accordance with policy as Lois’ hard drive was faulty and corrupted. Personally I’d be more interested in the minutes from Dick Cheney’s energy summit at the White House many years ago or the CIA redacted files on enhanced interrogation techniques.

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Want to buy a bridge? August 18, 2014 at 8:51 pm

You’re truly a fool.

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Norma Scok August 18, 2014 at 9:04 pm

Lulz..never heard of an Exchange server, huh?
If I gave those same reasons to the IRS for losing receipts or my W-2’s, I’d prob end up in jail for income tax evasion.

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Limbaughsaphatkhunt August 18, 2014 at 9:11 pm

Exchange server is different. Not sure why they can’t retrieve those ones. However, the kerfuffle doesn’t involve exchange servers…as the GOP only seems to care about the actual computer hard drive.

They never were that great with ‘puters.

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CorruptionInColumbia August 18, 2014 at 4:46 pm

Not a great idea. Cops are human beings, too. As such, they are going to have personal interactions (conversations) on the job with co-workers, other friends, family, and others from time to time. Many of these conversations may include politically incorrect comments or observations, some of which might result in career/livelihood destruction in this day and age of politically correct thought police. Same goes for comments regarding ubiquitous dumbass chiefs and command staff. It might be easy to say that they shouldn’t be having such content in their conversations but let’s not forget that they ARE human. How many of you out there could go a day, much less a month or year, on your job and not make some politically incorrect comment, even under your breath to yourself, or comment about the halfwit manage or boss you work for?

Additionally, the constant transmission of RF radiation at VHF, UHF, or microwave frequencies these systems would necessarily operate at would create health hazards for those wearing these systems.

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Soft Sigh from Hell August 18, 2014 at 5:12 pm

Then have the devices store the data to be downloaded (and automatically checked for continuity) at every end of shift.
Also, allow them to turn off the audio in non-active settings, say at the lunch table or at the precinct desk or break room, or at the street corner or parking lot when just talking with other officers or family and such. Leave the video on.

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CorruptionInColumbia August 18, 2014 at 5:56 pm

You present good solutions to the problems I noted. Regarding the “off” switch, I believe that should cut off audio AND video to prevent lip reading of the person the cop is talking to.

I seriously believe that technology has grown too big for its britches, as my folks used to call it when I was a kid. Geeze, I wish there were a way to put a permanent cap on camera technology. We really are in Orwell’s 1084 or worse.

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shifty henry August 18, 2014 at 6:22 pm

“1984”

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CorruptionInColumbia August 18, 2014 at 6:25 pm

Sorry, Shifty! I must have caught that and been correcting it as you were posting.

shifty henry August 18, 2014 at 6:37 pm

OK, I covered you – see my post again……

CorruptionInColumbia August 18, 2014 at 7:32 pm

Either that, or they would have thought Orwell was an OLD dude!

shifty henry August 18, 2014 at 6:21 pm

Just like us posting on Fitsnews….

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Camera's for you too citizen August 18, 2014 at 6:37 pm

“So it is in Rialto, Calif., where an entire police force is wearing
so-called body-mounted cameras, no bigger than pagers, that record
everything that transpires between officers and citizens. In the first
year after the cameras’ introduction, the use of force by officers
declined 60%, and citizen complaints against police fell 88%.”

http://online.wsj.com/articles/what-happens-when-police-officers-wear-body-cameras-1408320244

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Bible Thumper August 18, 2014 at 9:52 pm

False claims against the police fell 100%.

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Camera's for you too citizen August 18, 2014 at 10:50 pm

So you agree it’s a win/win.

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Bible Thumper August 18, 2014 at 11:04 pm

Only his supervisors and anyone with a complaint has access and can turn it off as Soft Sigh from Hell suggested.

Centrist View August 18, 2014 at 5:13 pm

…and if a State Supreme Court Justice were stopped for DUI???

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Squishy123 August 18, 2014 at 6:01 pm

Who’s going to pay for it? If the officer goes to take a shit, will that be recorded too?

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Limbaughsaphatkhunt August 18, 2014 at 7:32 pm

The cops would never allow this. How else would they get away with their rampant corruption and unlawful searchers and seizures let alone racial profiling, bullying and beatings.

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ThinBlueLine August 18, 2014 at 8:06 pm

Son, we live in a world that has walls, and those walls have to be guarded by men with guns. Who’s gonna do it? You? You, Lieutenant Weinberg? I have a greater responsibility than you can possibly fathom. You weep for Santiago and you curse the Marines. You have that luxury. You have the luxury of not knowing what I know, that Santiago’s death, while tragic, probably saved lives. And my existence, while grotesque and incomprehensible to you, saves lives! You don’t want the truth, because deep down in places you don’t talk about at parties, you want me on that wall. You need me on that wall. We use words like “honor”, “code”, “loyalty”. We use these words as the backbone of a life spent defending something. You use them as a punchline. I have neither the time nor the inclination to explain myself to a man who rises and sleeps under the blanket of the very freedom that I provide, and then questions the manner in which I provide it! I would rather you just said “thank you”, and went on your way. Otherwise, I suggest you pick up a weapon, and stand a post. Either way, I don’t give a damn what you think you are entitled to!

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Limbaughsaphatkhunt August 18, 2014 at 8:10 pm

Bravo!

“I’m not finished with you yet…sit down…and don’t call me son”

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ThinBlueLine August 18, 2014 at 8:35 pm

Should I call you by your given name, Rob?

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Limbaughsaphatkhunt August 18, 2014 at 9:12 pm

No, Mr. Khunt is fine.

ThinBlueLine August 18, 2014 at 10:38 pm

Thanks for confirming your identity your posts will be sent off to your very conservative employer. Hope you Karen and the three kids (one of which should have been an abortion anyway) enjoy the soup kitchen.

Limbaughsaphatkhunt August 18, 2014 at 10:54 pm

Lol…good luck with that.

Oops! August 19, 2014 at 12:19 pm

He isn’t employed.

Bible Thumper August 18, 2014 at 10:00 pm

Great idea fits. We should also wire other groups.
Everybody on the sex offender registry.
Parolees.
Husband’s with shoe fetishes.

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