August 6, 2012
Laurel, Maryland police officers will be facing an internal investigation following their inexcusable punching of a detained handcuffed man.
Craig Reddix pulled up to the Laurel Station bar when he noticed two men sitting on the sidewalk in handcuffs. Reddix, having had his share of injustices at the hands of police, decided he would film the interaction with his cell phone, but he didn’t anticipate what would happen next.
In his film, one cop is seen walking a man to a patrol car while another cop punches the man several times in the face.
Normally an incident like this would go down without much clamor, but thanks to Reddix’s video the cops will be facing heat for their misconduct.
A spokesperson for the Laurel Police Department told NBC Washington, “The shift supervisor alerted the Laurel Police Chief right away and an internal investigation was opened immediately.”
Reddix told NBC that he wasn’t trying to get involved in the cops’ or the victim’s business, but, “That guy was handcuffed, he didn’t deserve to get hit upside his head like that three times handcuffed. You got him, he’s subdued.”
David Edwards of Raw Story notes the race of the cops and the victim: “The video shows two white officers escorting a handcuffed African-American man.” Whether race played any part in the attack is subject to speculation.
As we have previously covered, the right to film cops is constitutionally protected. Paul Joseph Watson notes that even though the right has been upheld, general public consensus is that it’s against the law: “Despite innumerable cases where charges have been dropped against citizens arrested for filming police, the mass media still constantly invokes the misnomer that it is illegal to record cops in public.”
Not only is it legal, but filming police is vital to holding out-of-control cops accountable. The existence of video evidence can often tip the legal scales if or when an investigation occurs.
Fear oftentimes accompanies filming police activity, but everyone should be ready to film cops in public. This may mean buying a disposable camera or making sure a cell phone is always fully charged; the benefits greatly outweigh the costs.
However, if one decides to film police, they should do so carefully. If it’s one thing corrupt cops hate, it’s being filmed committing their atrocious acts.