Amusing drunk caught on bodycam demands cops take footage off the net


#1

Originally published at: http://boingboing.net/2016/08/22/amusing-drunk-caught-on-bodyca.html


#2

I’m assuming you’re using “Amusing” in a similar fashion to “Gentleman”.


#3

He is certainly, as they say, tired and emotional.


#4

I love how you can hear the guy he is on the phone to telling him he is going to get himself arrested.

He really worked hard at it, but he got there in the end.


#5

I see the ACLU’s point. The idea of body cams isn’t to produce social media PR videos.

As far as the demeanor of the officer goes though, that was well handled.


#6

#7

all bodycam footage should be made public within a day or two just like anything else on the blotter,

I have the opposite take.

The push for bodycams is about making police more accountable. That means a reduction in their power. It is exceedingly rare for people to willingly give up power. Thus we will see more and more police use of bodycam footage to re-assert their power.

This case is just one of the more innocuous ways in which bodycam footage can be re-purposed to increase police power. There will be more. Especially with the ability to data-mine footage. Taser, one of the biggest vendors of bodycams, sells a full-service package that stores footage in the cloud. Once its in the cloud it is easy to apply enormous amounts of computational power to extract information from footage. For example, audio fingerprinting to uniquely identify the engine sound of every car in the vicinity of the microphone. Another is facial recognition to identify everybody in the field of view.

Since bodycams can run continuously they will effectively turn the police force into a mobile tracking system of people out in public. Kind of like all those license-plate scanners on the cars of police and repo-men.

I think the only sufficient way to prevent police abuse of bodycam footage is to encrypt it at the camera with the decryption keys held by a 3rd party that will only release them on receipt of either a warrant or the request of someone in the footage itself. As long as the police themselves have full access to bodycam footage, even if they can’t make it public, it is going to become a tool for them to increase their power rather than a check on their power.


#8

Frankly, he seems to be about one shot away from alcohol poisoning.


#9

Amusing drunk could’ve got opposite Striesand by owning it.

“Yeah… I was f—ing blotto, just glad I’m okay and white and stuff, and I would like to apologize to and thank my smartphone wingman who tried to tell me things…”


#10

The solution seems obvious: all bodycam footage should be made public within a day or two just like anything else on the blotter, unless the standard exceptions prevail (ongoing investigations, minors, vulnerable people, etc)

What makes that guy, who is clearly not in control of his faculties, an “amusing drunk” (to be laughed at by the whole Internet) rather than a “vulnerable person”? Oh yes, he had it coming, it’s his own fault, he shouldn’t have drunk that much!


#11

Read the comments that proceeded yours. Then we can get down to “drinking responsibly” if you’d like.


#12

The ACLU is on the right side, as far as I can tell. Although the USA does not have a legal framework to control publishing your likeness like most of Europe does, it does have the concept of in dubio pro reo as most nations do, and this really does punish the person without a fair trial.

With more and more of our memories being stored externally and directly shared, we need to think more about stuff like this.


#13

“Be made public” does not have to mean “published on the internet”, as I see it. I would be satisfied of the police would have a dedicated viewing point at the station, where bodycam data cards are kept for 30 days and then erased if there is no incident that occurred on that shift. If there is an incident, then that material is placed in the file, but none of it goes into the public Internet.

My main concern is that cops go to a lot of places, and see a lot of stuff we wouldn’t want published on the internet. Also, many bystanders or people doing nothing wrong will end up published. We need to respect that when publishing bodycam footage.


#14

Well said. Saved me the effort of saying just the same things, plus I didn’t think of the encryption idea, that is really good.


#15

Look, this drunk guy is a loser, okay? That’s with Obama. When I’m in there, all our drunks will be tremendous winners, I guarantee. I will have all the best drunks, believe me. This guy? Sad!


#16

Is this guy lucky to be white or what?


#17

Wow, I disagree completely. So we want to essentially make public shaming and humiliation the default, “baseline” punishment doled out to any citizen who is forced to interact with a cop, even the innocent ones? Just a nice little bonus way, on top of any actual sentences, for the criminal justice system to ruin lives?

Cop accuses you of having drugs and performs a search, finding none? Phew, you’re free, but whoops, the video’s online now, and your employer doesn’t feel like taking chances. Cop takes you to the drunk tank when you’re 19 and you were in fact being a bit of a nuisance? Ok, fair enough, but now you’re 30 and a model citizen - but your reputation and career are damaged forever because the video went viral. Cops invade your home based on an anonymous tip (was it accurate? who knows?), catching you in bed and your wife in the shower? Online it goes for everyone to share in the horrific and traumatic moment for your family, whether you like it or not.

In the case of a criminal case or a civil suit (like that last one might lead to) in which the facts of the case are in dispute, then absolutely, the footage should immediately be made available upon request. But otherwise, it should be kept confidential by default, not the opposite. To me, that “solution” is terrifying.


#18

Yup.

If I were writing the rules, it’d be that the non-police subjects of the video (or their heirs, if the police have already killed them…) have an absolute right to view, copy and publicise the footage, whereas the police are able to view it, but are required to keep it confidential apart from using it as evidence in court.


#19

It’s amusing because this guy got drunk and will not ever be able to hold down a job again because of it. Streisand effect for the loser at life, boys!


#20

It’s a good thing he wasn’t driving.