Cameras Watching Cops: Still A Good Idea

from the the-bad,-the-worse-and-the-bumblefuck dept

Marlene Pinnock, the 51-year-old grandmother with bipolar disorder who was politely asked to refrain from walking on Interstate 10 with the judicious application of California Highway Patrol officer Daniel Andrew’s fist (no less than nine times), has been awarded a settlement of $1.5 million from the city of Los Angeles. Further details on the settlement aren’t forthcoming, but the issuing of a settlement generally means never having to say you’re sorry — most settlements are awarded without an admission of wrongdoing.

The CHP’s statement notes that the officer involved has elected to resign, but that doesn’t necessarily mean he’ll avoid facing criminal charges.

The CHP forwarded the results of its investigation of the incident to Los Angeles County prosecutors last month, saying he could face serious charges but none have been filed yet.

Left unaddressed entirely is the CHP’s seizure of Pinnock’s medical records, which occurred shortly after it became apparent she would be suing over the beating she received. Here’s the recording of Officer Andrew’s life-saving beating. Ask yourself whether this settlement would have arrived this quickly without this recording. (You already know the answer.)

Speaking of cops and cameras, it’s a damn good thing State Trooper Sean Groubert didn’t have the presence of mind to disable his dashcam before shooting a man in the hip for following his instructions.

Sean “Jumpy” Groubert may have thought the driver was reaching for a weapon, but he did just instruct him to get his license — which happened to be in his wallet — which happened to be in the car — and presumably, the rest of his vehicle documents. Instead of allowing Levar Jones to comply, Groubert’s weapon discharged (to use the Police Passive Tense) at least four times, hitting Jones in the hip and leading to a very surreal conversation in which the victim asks a perfectly logical question: “Why’d you shoot me?”

Fortunately, there was no extensive, drawn-out investigation. Groubert has been fired and charged with aggravated assault. Again: would Groubert still be employed if his camera hadn’t been on or if the recording had vanished?

Finally, courtesy of PINAC, here’s one of the nation’s most incompetent cops hard at work.

It took almost eight painstaking minutes for the dimwitted cop in this video to realize he was being recorded, which was when he turned to the man with the camera and told him it was “technically illegal.”

But it also took the cop 24 hours before realizing he had forgotten to issue a citation to a man he had pulled over the prior evening, which is why he had the man meet him at the gas station the following night in an attempt to get the man to sign it.

“Technically illegal.” Which means not illegal at all, but also means that the cop knows it (or thinks he does) but desperately wants the person recording to be more ignorant than he is and think that Officer Better Late Than Never is cutting him a break. Ridiculous.

The person who actually obliged this poster boy for law enforcement IQ tests points out that he really shouldn’t be cited for something that happened 24 hours ago — an interaction in which he was released by this same cop without a citation. The retort?

He also admits he routinely forgets to issue citations to people he pulls over, requiring him to track them down the following day to do so.

Um. Touché.

Again, the camera is the public’s best friend. Hopefully this circulated footage will make its way back to the officer’s superiors, who will hopefully assign him to an immovable desk that will never not be right where he expects it to be, even 24 hours later.

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Comments on “Cameras Watching Cops: Still A Good Idea”

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Anonymous Coward says:

I am totally amazed and dumbfounded in the same moment by actions caught on camera, in which courts decide that the evidence shown before your eyes is not as accurate as a cop’s testimony where often the video disagrees with the cop’s sworn testimony.

We are so eat up with corruption from the lowest levels of policing to the highest levels of government it is incomprehensible that it works even in the most broken fashion. More and more I see money, politics, and industry have killed most traces of justice being equal.

The best laws that money can buy in the form of making or enforcing. Always set against the average citizen.

Soup is Good food says:

Re: Corruption etc

It’s pretty easy to explain, we started to go really wrong in WWII( and I don’t just mean the States here, though they are the worst offenders) we gave Children(let me re-iterate, CHILDREN) toy’s and power on a scale not ever seen before, and it has continued, I watched WAR they other day and though it is dated (early 80’s) it is clear how much all of this has been pretend( you just have to listen to the ones that stayed in the army after Vietnam), the cold war, Vietnam, all of it since WWII, Nazi’s and ex-OSS people and their kids have been in power ever since, and now it has been taken over by THEIR kids, who grew up maximizing stats, they are the irritating rules lawyer kids that you didn’t really want to game(PnP)with. It is unfortunately that simple, if you feel that as a civilization we are headed to Jr. High School, your right.

OldGeezer (profile) says:

Cameras can help cops when they are right

A few months ago there was a police shooting in Wichita KS and it was fortunate for the officer that it was seen on surveillance video. When a suspect was seen leaving a break in he was ordered to stop and he ran and fired a shot at the cop. Instead of shooting back he ordered him to drop the gun but he turned and pointed the gun again. It was then that the cop shot and killed him. Still, even though it was very clear that this shooting was justified there was a lot of whining because the suspect was black and the cop was white. People were saying “would he have shot him if he was white”? The question should have been would he have shot him if he wasn’t pointing a gun at him to fire a second shot. The officer was cleared and returned to duty. If it had not been for the cameras this dumb criminal’s family would have probably sued the city for millions.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Well there's your problem...

As bad cops always say before they want to illegally search your home, if you’ve done nothing wrong, then you won’t mind me looking around.

Cameras are an unbiased eye. They show good cops being good, bad cops being bad, lawbreakers and citizens upholding their rights. Anyone who is against them most likely has something to hide.

OldGeezer (profile) says:

Re: Cameras can help cops when they are right

There was another justification for the shooting. The suspect was running toward a busy intersection where civilians could have been caught in the crossfire. Also he could have carjacked someone stopped at the light. That didn’t silence the critics saying “Why didn’t he just shoot him in the leg?” That is not what they are trained to do. They are to stop the threat by shooting center of mass.

That One Guy (profile) says:

Remind me again, why did I pull you over?

He also admits he routinely forgets to issue citations to people he pulls over, requiring him to track them down the following day to do so.

That looks like a pretty clear ‘Please fire me, I can’t do my job’ statement to me. Someone that forgetful probably shouldn’t be in an important job like law enforcement.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Sort of off topic

I see this all the time; it seems to be when the “identicon” image shows up instead of the anonymous profile graphic. Looks like the template has the width set for the regular graphic, and the identicon image is wider, so goes underneath the text. The fact that the “image” is text garbles the text.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

Your definition of “intimidate cops” is catching cops in the act.

Not surprising, since cops have been proven to shoot people just for complying with the same orders given to them.

So if a cop is about to shoot a bystander for no reason and someone whips out a camera, and the cop stops because he feels intimidated or threatened, to you that’s a bad thing? Fuck the citizenry, right?

Ninja (profile) says:

Re: Re:

When such line is clearly crossed the footage will suffice to prove the citizens holding cameras actually interfered with police work.

There is a line in there somewhere, and many of the “camera” types cross it regularly.

In your neverland maybe but in reality the cops actually have to walk quite a few foots before such cameras actually come within range to make any difference.

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