New York City Police Commissioner Bill Bratton is claiming that citizens who record police in public are placing officers’ lives at risk.
He even provided two specific examples, including one from a video posted last month on Live Leak showing a melee between citizens and cops in a Bronx park.
The video shows a man involved in the melee holding a knife.
But Bratton says cops were unable to see the knife because they were more concerned about the cameras.
Never mind the fact that the video allows them to track the man down if they truly believe he committed a crime.
According to the New York Daily News:
During an interview at Atlantic Magazine’s fourth annual “New York Ideas” symposium, Bratton said two videos on YouTube show just how dangerous recording the police can be.
A teen videotaping cops as they responded to a report of an assault in a Bronx park, recorded a man just a few feet from the police with a knife behind his back. The officers never saw the weapon because they were more focused on being recorded, Bratton said.
“There was a potential danger to the cops that was concealed because of everyone and their brother in their face with their cameras,” Bratton said.
He also brought up a video from this month showing cops trying to arrest a 14-year-old girl for pushing a button on a police box, which is supposed to serve as an alarm, but are becoming obsolete because of the popularity of smartphones that can call police.
The video shows two plainclothes cops trying to arrest the girl, but community members pulled cops off the girl, telling the cops they had no reason to arrest the girl.
The cops ended up getting in their car and driving off without making an arrest.
Bratton believes if it weren’t for Michael Barber of Copwatch who recorded the incident, cops would have been able to arrest the girl.
Or more likely, they would have been able to beat the girl and anybody else who tried to get in their way.
The truth is, recording cops doesn’t place them in danger, but not recording cops places citizens in danger.
Both videos are below.