Claiming they are in fear for their lives, Dallas police are asking citizens to stop recording them in public because these actions are “creating a major officer safety issue.”
After all, stressed one officer, it’s almost impossible to tell the difference between law-abiding citizens expressing their First Amendment rights and felonious kidnappers, a confusion that can lead to somebody getting hurt.
Besides, police say, they already have dash cams and body-mounted cams, so there is no need for citizens to record police anyway.
Naturally, the mainstream media station that reported the news refused to take a stance, preferring to remain “objective,” despite the obvious attempt by police to intimidate citizens from documenting their actions.
But to the credit of CBS-DFW, they did interview longtime PINAC reader Avi Adelman, who runs the crime blog, Barking Dogs, and frequently is on the streets taking photos of cops, resulting in him being regularly threatened and harassed by police.
Adelman is so dangerous that he even volunteers with the Dallas Police Department. But probably not while wearing his PINAC cap as he is in the above news clip.
According to the story:
Dallas Police Association President Ron Pinkston wants citizens to stop taping because he worries someone will get hurt. “It’s creating a major officer safety issue,” he said. “We don’t know who it is pulling behind us. We don’t know they’re there to videotape, they might be part of… if that guy has has just done a kidnapping they could be part of the kidnapping. You don’t know.”
An email was sent to some officers alerting them that citizens “have the right to film in public.”
Adelman is a DPD volunteer, but as his photos show, he’s had officers try to stop him from recording. He believes police that do may have something to hide. “It’s all garbage. The ones who get mad they simply do want you to be there when something happens,” he alleged.
Officials with the police association say they support squad car dashboard cameras and the department’s plans to buy body cams. They believe those are enough eyes watching their every move and are asking citizens to put their cameras away.