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Utah Law Proposed To Hide Police Misconduct So It Doesn't Get On YouTube

from the blame-the-victim dept

It's really fairly amazing to see how people react when bad activities are brought to light. A few times now, we've seen stories of students who were able to film inappropriate activity from teachers or principals with their mobile phones. Rather than recognizing the activity as whistleblowing, the schools in question responded by banning mobile phones. In other words, rather than fix the problem, the schools chose to cover it up so future problems wouldn't get exposed. It appears something along those lines may be happening on a larger scale in the state of Utah. After a video showing questionable police activity involving a taser showed up on YouTube, state senator Chris Buttars has introduced legislation that would allow police to withhold any reports concerning police misconduct from the public (found via Digg). That's because the whole reason the taser video made it to YouTube was because the victim filed a Freedom of Information Act request for it. So now, rather than deal with stopping police misconduct, it appears supporters of this legislation would simply prefer that no one knows about it. It might be worth noting that this comes at about the same time as new reports of a police officer suspended for inappropriate activity -- which was brought to light via YouTube.


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  1.  
    identicon
    Lew Miller, Feb 14th, 2008 @ 11:25am

    Welcome to Utah

    The state senator introducing this bill is also the one who said on Tuesday (in a heated debate about school funding): "This baby is black. It is a dark and ugly thing." In 2006, the charming Mr. Buttars also claimed that the Supreme Court's Brown v. Bd. of Ed. decision (eliminating segregated schools) was "wrong to begin with."

    A racist and a fascist.

     

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  2.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 14th, 2008 @ 11:28am

    All police car video from all units ought to be online live at all times, for public review.

     

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  3.  
    identicon
    E Smith, Feb 14th, 2008 @ 11:38am

    Who is Watching the Watchers

    I'm from Utah. This sickens me. I know the police are there to help us and protect us. What happens when they cross the line (which they will, they are human and fallible just like the rest of us) who will protect us then?! I have seen this video a few times I think these things need to be 'brought to light' when necessary.

    I will defiantly be contacting my representative to get rid of this bill. Just plain stupid.

     

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  4.  
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    Bro, Feb 14th, 2008 @ 11:42am

    dont taze me

    It boggles the mind that a senator, a participant in democracy , would chose to silence these cases. Technology has finally made it easy to hold authority figures accountable for wrong doing.
    Though, Utah is a religious state and no one has more to cover up then clergy...

     

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  5.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 14th, 2008 @ 11:51am

    Re: dont taze me

    No, they're Mormon not Catholic, so it's OK.

     

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  6.  
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    Nahum Ortiz, Feb 14th, 2008 @ 12:00pm

    Re: dont taze me

    Religion is not the guilty. People are corrupted no religion.

     

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  7.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 14th, 2008 @ 12:10pm

    Quis custodiet ipsos custodes, indeed.

     

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  8.  
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    Brent Bonn, Feb 14th, 2008 @ 12:40pm

    don't taze me

    #5 - Mormon? Dum dum dum dum dum.

    #6 - I'll take Mel Gibson's stance one step further. Religion is responsible for ALL THE WARS IN THE WORLD.

    Abolish religion and we'll have a better world to live in.

     

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  9.  
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    Carl72, Feb 14th, 2008 @ 1:06pm

    Police State

    Did i hear someone say "Police State?" (wikipedia.org)

     

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  10.  
    identicon
    Cassius Seeley, Feb 14th, 2008 @ 1:38pm

    Buttars!

    I am from Utah as well. I love SLC, and for hte most part it is ok. However, when people like Chris BUTTars get on their high horses it really make me ill. If forced to tell the truth about what they all want, they would describe a fascist future. We would all be in grey uniforms all marching and soluting the Pope or the Mormon President. No thanks you Mr. BUTTars!!!!!

    If you are in authority and you abuse your power, you need to be punished. This bill stinks to high heaven!

     

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  11.  
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    Overcast, Feb 14th, 2008 @ 2:06pm

    Oh how very nice. So they want to 'operate behind closed doors', huh?

    #6 - I'll take Mel Gibson's stance one step further. Religion is responsible for ALL THE WARS IN THE WORLD.

    Abolish religion and we'll have a better world to live in.


    What was Hitler's 'religious' objective in WWII?
    Napoleon's?
    Civil War?
    Vietnam?
    World War 1?
    War of 1812?
    War of the Spanish Succession?
    Mexican Revolution?
    French Revolution?

    Maybe I missed the 'religious influences' there. I just don't recall one in any of those.

    But still - I can't disagree religion sparks many conflicts. Too bad man's 'search' for God seems to involve so much man-made 'religion'.

     

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  12.  
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    Iron Chef, Feb 14th, 2008 @ 3:29pm

    re: #11

    But still - I can't disagree religion sparks many conflicts. Too bad man's 'search' for God seems to involve so much man-made 'religion'.

    Colbert actually teaches Sunday School too. Whataguy. Maybe he'll start talking about his fear of Bears again.

    IMHO, religion is a process created to facilitate a relationship between you and your maker. Maybe it's too progressive, but I don't believe in the need for that process because God is the biggest prankster I know. He's hillarious, but you have to listen, and watch. Maybe you need to be kicked out of Catholic School to pick up what I'm throwing down.

    However, reading the Bible from cover to cover, is reassuring. Jesus rocks by himself, no need to complicate things.

     

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  13.  
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    KingCast, Feb 14th, 2008 @ 8:26pm

    Conduct inimical to First Amendment and a free soc

    This guy's a total tool. As a former AAG I abhor his conduct inimical to the First Amendment, Right-to-Know and FOIA. I linked to y'all's page today -- 14 Feb. 2008 -- at my blawg, Chris King's 1st Amendment Page.

    http://christopher-king.blogspot.com/2008/02/kingcast-tells-utah-state-senator-chris.html

    Rock on.

     

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  14.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 15th, 2008 @ 5:15am

    Re: Re: dont taze me

    Religion has *always* been corrupt. That is pretty much the only reason organised religion exists.

    You can have faith without religion. If people realised this, the world would be a far, far better place.

     

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  15.  
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    Alimas, Feb 15th, 2008 @ 7:25am

    Re: Re: Re: dont taze me

    Uhm...faith in what? Your microwave?
    "Religion" isn't a club, its set of faiths believed in or followed by one or more people who may or may not associate with each other.
    Furthermore, the historical record on world religions and faiths shows humans using previously established faiths as reasons for war. That is, someone has a reason to go to war, then presents religion as the reason the war should be had.
    Like the rest of reality, it is our nature to conflict and compete for the things we want.

     

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  16.  
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    Jasen Webster, Feb 15th, 2008 @ 11:40am

    What's next??

    If this bill passes, what will be next? Banning people using their own video cameras to film officers acting inappropriately? This should all be publicly accessible. Anything you pay taxes on should be available unless they can prove it will threaten national security, but even that term gets abused.

    If the bill does get approved, I hope someone takes it to court and gets it thrown out as unconstitutional. Sad that our law makers continue with their unconstitutional behaviors. Perhaps we should video tape them on a regular basis? We do pay their taxes. Someone call the paparazzi and put them to good use! ;o)

     

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  17.  
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    Brent Bonn, Feb 15th, 2008 @ 11:43am

    Gibsonism

    I just wish there was police cruiser footage of Mel on his little Tirade. Mel Gibson is to blame for all the problems in the world, truely.

     

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  18.  
    identicon
    Monarch, Feb 16th, 2008 @ 6:45am

    I can't believe a representative would even consider putting forward a law to cover up Police Brutality! That rep should be voted out of office at the earliest possible moment!

    As for the Baltimore Cop and the Skateboard punk. The cop didn't go far enough in my opinion. That is precisely what is wrong in America anymore. Kids not having any respect for anyone, including people in authority. Hell I remember not that long ago, when teachers had the right to corporal punishment, and the kids respected the teachers because of it. Or the fact that kids were more scared of their parents than what the cops or teachers would do to you.
    Heck, my parents would have told that cop to lock me up if I disrespected a police officer that badly, and my dad would have shaken the cops hand for trying to instill a sense of respect into me.

     

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  19.  
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    BLN, Feb 17th, 2008 @ 8:31am

    Unbelievable

    Thanks god, that marketing and PR professionals canĀ“t go this way to.

     

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  20.  
    identicon
    Dennis Hall, Feb 17th, 2008 @ 11:41pm

    Utah-Misconduct by police

    I regard the police actions with misconduct an important issue to address. It indicates a dangerous system of law if enactments are made through legislation to ban cameras or other surveilance in recording unlawful police actions. The public has the right to rally, protest, and record evidence in public settings without police retaliation or suppression.

     

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  21.  
    identicon
    John Doe, Feb 23rd, 2008 @ 5:39pm

    FIRE State Senator Chris Buttars!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    VERY SAD!

    Another reason why everyone Utah should leave ASAP and move to a more friendly state where they protect your rights rather than try to hide it.

    If I were the boss of state senator Chris Buttars, I would probably give him the option to resign or repeal the law and apoligze for such stupidity that defies the foundation of the founding fathers US Constitution.

    Of course that is just my opinion...............

     

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