Cops On The YouTube Beat

from the specializing-in-dumb-criminals dept

In the past couple of years, we've seen some politicians trying to blame YouTube for encouraging crimes, under the odd rationale that kids are committing crimes just to show them off on YouTube. In fact, one politician even proposed a law that would make punishment worse for people who put video of the crime on YouTube. However, it would appear that the police have a rather different view: YouTube is a fantastic tool for catching dumb criminals who provide all the evidence needed against them, by posting it to YouTube. In fact, it sounds like some police departments are putting an increased presence on YouTube and other sites, searching for evidence of wrongdoing. This comes after quite a few stories of people incriminating themselves with YouTube videos. However, as the article notes, criminals may have much less incentive in England and Wales to post such incriminating evidence, as filming a crime and posting it to the internet will now be considered an "aggravating factor" in the case.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 21st, 2008 @ 5:22pm

    Cops can use YouTube to catch criminals but when it comes to police brutality they want it taken down, a bit ironic.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2.  
    identicon
    brwyatt, Feb 21st, 2008 @ 5:23pm

    More proof...

    Just more proof that "Common Sense" is not so common...

    Retards

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3.  
    identicon
    Overcast, Feb 21st, 2008 @ 5:32pm

    Cops can use YouTube to catch criminals but when it comes to police brutality they want it taken down, a bit ironic.

    Yeah, they just want the citizens to watch their step - thus all the cameras, but if the tables of scrutiny are turned... well... that's not material that should be posted.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 21st, 2008 @ 6:16pm

    Queue sophomoric anti-police comments.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 21st, 2008 @ 6:40pm

    I like original content.

    Like Chris Crocker... Kinda...

    http://crockpot.ytmnd.com/

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6.  
    identicon
    T.J., Feb 21st, 2008 @ 7:49pm

    My dad is an FAA accident investigator. I helped him download some videos from youtube of a pilot "showing off" after the guy crashed. The FAA actually asked me to come into the office to show them how to do it. You'd think they could call the IT department?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7.  
    identicon
    inc, Feb 21st, 2008 @ 7:53pm

    so if someone puts up a fake video do they need to now worry about cops busting their door in?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8.  
    identicon
    redgif, Feb 22nd, 2008 @ 3:58am

    Seems reasonable to me to increase penalties for posting your own video of a crime you commit. ( But this option should be left up to a judge and not be mandatory. Why we have judges after all, an attempt to find justice.)

    This will not prevent the truly stupid from doing it, they would do it anyway.

    But it should discourage the more clever, who are posting video for the sole purpose of claiming notoriety, or to intimidate witnesses, or dare I say it..even empress girl.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 22nd, 2008 @ 4:01am

    But it should discourage the more clever, who are posting video for the sole purpose of claiming notoriety, or to intimidate witnesses, or dare I say it..even empress girl.


    empress should be spelled impress.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 22nd, 2008 @ 5:24am

    Re:

    Of course it shouldn't be posted; police officers have a reputation to keep up. Pointing to evidence that such a reputation is sometimes undeserved undermines the authority of the whole police force, and it's much easier to quash dissent than to try making internal corrections.

    On a more serious note, though, I think there is some concern for having regular cops 'set up', making cleverly staged videos that show just enough to give the impression of brutality when, in context, no wrong was done.

    I don't think this concern excuses, say, a Baltimore cop physically and mentally harrassing some kid, even if the kid instigated the confrontation. The Police should be on a higher level than juvenille punks.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 22nd, 2008 @ 5:27am

    Re:

    But what does that serve? Currently, dumb and arrogant criminals are getting themselves caught. If we raised the penalties, or even threatened to raise the penalties, if you incriminated yourself, we'd still catch the dumb but the simply-arrogant would wise up. Net loss of caught crooks; doesn't sound like a prudent plan to me.

    Unless, of course, you think that having these crimes recorded on YouTube is worse than having these people out committing the crimes in the fist place.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 22nd, 2008 @ 5:50am

    There can be no doubt that some crime is committed for the sole purpose of filming it and putting it up on YouTube. The police should use this is catching criminals and if it is determined that the crime was committed to get attention or to become famous, then the penalty should be increased also.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13.  
    identicon
    Redgif, Feb 22nd, 2008 @ 5:52am

    The operative element should be intent. If the intent is to intimidate witnesses or another person with a video: say, burning down someones house with the words "Don't Snitch" , or beating the hell out of your wifes lover, penalties should be increased(again left up to a judge who reviews the case).

    On the contrary, you won't suffer a net loss in criminals caught. You will discourage a net increase in a new kind of crime, committed for the purpose of intimidation or purely the notoriety to be gained.

    The stupid remain stupid and still get caught.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  14.  
    identicon
    Bob, Feb 22nd, 2008 @ 6:12am

    HELP WANTED

    Full-time video watcher

    Must be willing to sit through teenage dancer, pet videos, lip syncing, pranks and the occasional criminal activity. Familiarity with Google Video, YouTube, MySpace, Facebook, and the "Internets" in general are a plus. 20/20 vision not required. Common sense optional.

    If you are interested in this position please submit your interview video to YouTube and email to chiefOpolice@yoursmalltown.gov

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  15.  
    identicon
    Alimas, Feb 22nd, 2008 @ 6:18am

    Re: Re:

    WOW! Are you SERIOUS?!
    I can't believe I just read that! It damn WELL should be posted! EVERY and ANY instance of police officer misconduct should be posted.
    Your right they have a reputation to keep and its kept via avoiding misconduct, not covering it up! We're not talking about running secret police here!
    And any instance of misconduct should rightfully undermine their people's perception them. Thats the design of our society, you lose credibility in the eyes of those you serve - you lose your job.
    The police force has tons of famous misconduct events because of attitudes like yours where its a club that needs to protect itself from the public - thats exactly the opposite of their job - which is to protect the public.
    Wow - anybody thats dragging down the perception of the force should be removed from it - post haste.

    And the officer is NEVER on a higher level than anybody and NEVER should perceive himself to be, even compared to some punk. He is a SERVANT of the public, not a LORD.

    While the threat of staged materials is possible, it is still difficult to do (convincingly) and is massively out weighed by the need to maintain/improve checks and balances.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  16.  
    identicon
    Strofcon, Feb 22nd, 2008 @ 7:41am

    Re: Re: Re:

    As much as I'm sure we can all appreciate the passion in your post, you seem to have missed the point of the post you replied to. I don't think they were trying to say that such videos should not be posted, but rather making a snide comment about the mentality of those who think police brutality videos are not to be put online. It's especially evident in the last part of the second sentence.

    Of course, I could be wrong, in which case I agree with you that the above poster is off base.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  17.  
    identicon
    Alimas, Feb 22nd, 2008 @ 8:41am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    I re-read it, and damn your right.
    Mildly embarrassing on my part, but a great relief to realize someone wasn't actually thinking that.
    It was kind of scary.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here
Get Techdirt’s Daily Email
Save me a cookie
  • Note: A CRLF will be replaced by a break tag (<br>), all other allowable HTML will remain intact
  • Allowed HTML Tags: <b> <i> <a> <em> <br> <strong> <blockquote> <hr> <tt>
Follow Techdirt
A word from our sponsors...
Essential Reading
Techdirt Reading List
Techdirt Insider Chat
A word from our sponsors...
Recent Stories
A word from our sponsors...

Close

Email This