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Mike Bryant
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Taping Of Police Action: Should it Be Allowed?

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Time Magazine had an interesting article this past week on that very question. With the advances in cellphones and mini camera’s people all over the world now have the capacity to catch on cameras what happens. Police departments are suggesting that these actions may come too close to interference with police business.

I’m torn on the issue. Think back to the start of the show "Cops". People were riveted to the look at real police action. I had to stop watching it because I often saw illegal searches, bullying by law enforcement, and questionable incidents. Now, I’m not naive enough to suggest that every stop should be perfect, but it seemed to me that a lot of the emergency situations had two parties involved.

I remember one where a guy was picked up on a relatively minor charge and the police charged into his home. Standing around were at least 8 children. The guy’s biggest issue was that he would walk out and that there was no reason to have his kids see him cuffed. Next thing you know hes on the ground with a knee in his back and three much bigger cops hovering over him. It seemed out of line, even if the guy was a criminal and many would argue he brought this to his house.

Should people be able to tape this kind of thing? Seems to me that as long as they aren’t interfering there should be no problem with it. For years, there were stories about action by the local Minnesota Metro Gang Task force. If there had been video early maybe the state wouldn’t be paying 3 million dollars to the people they were abusing. If nothing else, the tape is far more likely to keep incidents from being hidden.