With one of his officers on leave pending an investigation into him pointing his gun at bystanders, NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton is blaming the “epidemic” of cell phone videos of police officers committing misconduct and abuse for that misconduct.
It’s often the “epidemic” of amateur photographers armed with cell phones — and not the aggressive actions of city cops — that escalates clashes between police and the public, the NYPD’s top cop said Wednesday.
Police Commissioner Bill Bratton was asked about the investigation into a disturbing video of a Harlem cop pointing a gun at a group of onlookers when he went on a rant about “mobs” armed with cell phones.
“There is a phenomenon in this country that we need to examine and it’s just not in New York,” Bratton said following a conference of police chiefs and law enforcement executives at the Times Square Marriott Marquis.
“This has become very serious,” he added. “I would almost describe it as an epidemic in this country.”
Oh yes, of course. The epidemic is not police officers with no respect for people’s rights or the Constitutional limits on their authority, it’s video of them displaying those traits that is the “epidemic.” Seriously, how many cases do we need to see of police officers committing unnecessary violence and then lying about it on police reports, only to have those lies come to light because of cell phone or surveillance camera video, before Bratton’s position becomes something between laughable and repulsive?
I’m sure Bratton has no problem at all with ubiquitous surveillance of those he deems his subjects. After all, I’m sure he would argue, if you’re not doing anything wrong why should you worry about being on camera? Alas, that logic suddenly does not apply when the tables are turned.