Woman Jailed For Recording Her Encounter With Police At A Routine Traffic Stop

Citizens are under constant audio and video surveillance. It’s for our own safety, of course. It might be an invasion of our privacy, but as long you’re not doing anything wrong, you should have nothing to hide. So, it shouldn’t bother you that much to always be under some kind of monitoring, whether it be out in public, or on the internet. Or so they say.

If that’s the case, then why do cops hate being recorded so much? Some of them don’t seem to mind, but many of them actually think it’s against federal law to record them. They’ll say that as their patrol car has a dash cam pointing right at them. They just don’t want civilians recording them. But why not? If they aren’t doing anything wrong, then what do they have to fear?

A Broward County cop in Florida pulled a woman over for driving in the HOV lane. She pulled over and activated her cell phone to record the audio from her encounter with the cop. She notified him somewhere in the middle of their conversation that she was recording him, at which point he became angry and told her that she committed a felony by recording him. He opened her passenger side door, removed her and placed her under arrest for “resisting arrest” when she didn’t hand over her phone. She sustained some minor injuries as a result. Here’s Local 10 News:

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I don’t like the idea of a surveillance state at all, where we’re all increasingly being tracked and monitored and captured on audio and video in the name of safety. But where did this idea come from that government officials are exempt from such surveillance coming from civilians? Why do they take is so personally when they find out someone is recording them? Seriously, what do they have to hide? Are they afraid of getting caught or taking advantage of their position of power? Since they are supposed to be representing us and acting on our behalf, all at our expense, shouldn’t we know what they’re up to on a daily basis to keep them accountable?

This trend of recording the police started because of so many police officers abusing their position of power. Recording them provides some measure of insurance that the officer will behave himself when he’s being recorded. Obviously, it doesn’t always work out that way, but it also provides counterevidence in cases where the police report differs from eyewitness accounts.

If police could be depended on to behave themselves, then there really wouldn’t be much of an incentive to record them.