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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Comments on “Utah Law Proposed To Hide Police Misconduct So It Doesn't Get On YouTube”

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Lew Miller says:

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.

E Smith says:

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.

Alimas says:

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.

Cassius Seeley (user link) says:


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!

Overcast says:

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?
Civil War?
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’.

Iron Chef says:

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.

KingCast (user link) says:

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.


Rock on.

Jasen Webster says:

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)

Monarch says:

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.

Dennis Hall says:

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.

John Doe says:

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


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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