I wonder how celebrities feel about being in the eye of the camera all of the time, if those million dollar smiles masquerade the fear and apprehension of being photographed with a piece of food lodged between your teeth. The worst case scenario maybe that they are terribly embarrassed, in which case they fire the personal assistant who’s in charge of food stuck in teeth. Unless you’re Courtney Love, then nothing embarrasses you.
With this in mind, I ponder whether or not the police have the right to deter or prevent private citizens from videotaping or taking pictures of police, civilian encounters. In today’s day and age, just about everyone has a cell phone that is equipped with a camera and in some cases the ability to shoot video. Cops know this and those that don’t maybe need to find a new profession. Police work flows freely, shit happens when it decides to happen. There is no script, there is no director yelling cut at the scene of a police civilian encounter where the police have to use physical force so that cell phones and cameras can be collected. In those situations, the issue of civilians shooting videos or taking pictures is moot. The cop is not going to stop to collect phones or to make sure no one is filming before getting into a fisticuffs with the mutt that just snatched grandma’s handbag.
The majority of cops are good cops trying to do the right thing. The notion that we need to make cops more apprehensive than they already are by reinforcing the fact that ‘big brother’ is watching is ridiculous. Cops already know that they are constantly being watched. How has that affected police work? I don’t think we have the quantitative evidence to answer that question. I can answer it just from my own experiences as a cop. If I were a cop in today’s age of advanced technology, I don’t think I would have been as aggressive as I was and as a result, I would have been a less effective cop.
Take that aggressive edge away from cops and you will turn them from courageous sheep dogs who protect the flock from the wolves into a meek, mild mannered lap dogs. Trust me when I say that we don’t want our cities and towns policed by cops who believe in doing as little as possible in order to avoid having their pictures taken with food stuck between their teeth. Smile.