“Your company’s ‘Waze’ app… poses a danger to the lives of police officers in the United States.”
Those are the words Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck wrote to Google, trying to convince the company that an application allowing users to mark where marked police cars are on a map is a threat to the lives of police officers.
Waze is a traffic app that also lets users report locations of heavy traffic, road closures, and yes, police speed traps and other hazards. Chief Beck wants Google to disable the police-reporting function.
Waze, which Google purchased for $966 million in 2013, responded quickly to Chief Beck’s outlandish claim that knowledge of a police officer’s location puts his life at risk.
“Police partners support Waze and its features, including reports of police presence, because most users tend to drive more carefully when they believe law enforcement is nearby,” stated Waze spokeswoman Julie Mossler.
PINAC Publisher Carlos Miller spoke on the subject for a CNN article that only printed his comment on the attitude of some police officers.
“We finally got the technology to watch them back, and they don’t like that,” said Carlos Miller in the CNN article.
While LAPD Chief Beck is decrying an app that simply marks where police are in public, law enforcement officers across the U.S. are now using a hand-held radar device that allows them to effectively see through walls. The “Range-R” uses a Doppler motion detector to see through most building materials up to 12 inches thick and can detect a person’s breathing from 50 feet away.
“They clearly are useful for law enforcement. But just because they are useful doesn’t mean they should be unregulated by the law,” said ACLU staff attorney Nathan Freed Wessler, who noted that a 2001 Supreme Court ruling determined police must seek a warrant when using electronic surveillance gear to see through walls.
Meanwhile, the NYPD is effectively gearing up for war against the general public, after declaring they will deploy a unit of 350 riot gear-wearing officers on vehicles equipped with machine guns to “handle protests.”
The “us against them” mentality displayed by police officers throughout the country is manifesting itself in this technology battle. Cops want to disable an app that points out where officers are while deploying troops armed for war against potential protestors expressing their First Amendment rights.
Police officers nationwide, take note: there is no enemy battalion. The people being treated as potential terrorists are no more than everyday Americans who do not want to harm police officers. They just want police officers to stop harming citizens.
Yes, individuals like the man who killed two NYPD officers exist, but to treat the general public as a threat because of the actions of a few individuals is to tear down the Bill of Rights that once distinguished the United States from a dictatorship.