You’ve seen that jerk…
You know, the one with the camera.
You’ve seen his YouTube videos.
Any time some obnoxious behavior goes viral, “That jerk with the video camera” is responsible. You need to consider an important point whenever “that jerk’s” subject area is dealing with the police.
Let me show you why…
If you are worried about the increasing militarization of the police, you’re not alone. Look at the footage out of Ferguson, MI. Their riot gear looks more like Baghdad gear.
It seems like cops are becoming more and more aggressive, and it seems like more and more they don’t care about our rights. You see so many videos of cops mistreating citizens, harassing them, and just bullying them.
And you see more and more these days videos taken by people who seem determined to thwart the police and show other people how to do it. They know their rights and they insist on those rights. By being knowledgeable of the law, they walk rings around the cops who don’t know those laws very well.
The thing is that law enforcement officers are just people.
Some are good and some are bad. Some abuse their power and some care about not doing that.
And some will try to bully you, while others will respond to the question, “Am I being detained?” by saying, “No, you’re free to go, have a nice day, sir.”
See, lately, it seems like people are deliberately going out and antagonizing police so they can produce those “jerk with the video camera” videos. Sometimes it is open carry activists. Frequently it is people in border states who are challenging the unconstitutional stops and interrogations that the border patrol is doing.
And sometimes it is people who just have an attitude about the cops.
I saw a viral video a while back featuring this guy who claims he just “asked the cops a question” in a late-night diner. He says the cops went ballistic and arrested him for disorderly conduct. His buddy videotaped the altercation and the video made the rounds on Facebook and elsewhere.
But then something interesting happened…
A security camera video surfaced that showed the ENTIRE encounter. It quickly became obvious that the “jerk with the video camera” had exaggerated his innocence and even lied about the cops’ behavior.
This guy had a chip on his shoulder the size of a two-by-four. He went after the cops, treating them rudely, and they actually put up with him for several minutes before they started yelling at him to get lost.
Now, I don’t preach blind obedience to police officers. Just because a police officer gives you an order, that is not reason enough to follow his orders unless his instructions are lawful.
Still, even if you think the cop’s orders are NOT right, the fastest way to find yourself face-down on the hood of a car is to be combative with the police and challenge their authority. If you argue with a cop, it isn’t just him you are arguing with.
He’s thinking the whole time that you are challenging him about the crowd around you. He is very aware that if he loses control of the situation, he is outnumbered. He will treat you accordingly. And if you just plain act like an obnoxious, confrontational jerk, you may end up getting rightfully hauled off by the police because you didn’t know when to quit.
Police do a difficult job.
Some of them are, well, assh*les. But some aren’t. In any case, they don’t deserve to be accosted and harassed.
Doing so is a lot like sticking your face in a bee’s nest. It’s going to go badly for you no matter how justified you think you are, and the video is going to end up on YouTube where it will be judged and analyzed after the fact.
If you ever think of being “that jerk with the video camera,” keep this in mind …
You may well have to assert your rights and stand up for yourself in a confrontational way, but don’t go LOOKING for trouble just because you want to Fight The Power that day.
Borrowing trouble does one thing for you: It lands you a whole lot of trouble!
That’s no way to live your life and it’s not a long-term survival strategy that is in any way sustainable. Don’t be that jerk.