Buffalo, NY — Several police departments across the country are calling on President Trump to restrict the use of mobile phone recording to reduce the incidents of police misconduct. Police departments from Houston, Los Angeles, and Baltimore, in particular, are taking the mantel of Trump’s rhetoric of “if you don’t test, you can’t diagnose” and applying it to citizen action.
“It’s clear that if we didn’t have rioters filming police activities, we wouldn’t have incidents of police officers shoving older citizens to the ground,” said a spokesperson for the National Law Enforcement Union, an adjunct organization for police officer rights. “I think you’d find the rates of police misconduct would drop precipitously if we just restricted the use of cell phone video.”
Over the past three years, according to a somewhat troubling 2019 study from Security.org, the rate at which officers are charged with crimes has fallen by 90%, and the charge-to-conviction rate has vanished completely. However, the amount of citizen recording has tripled’ leading some experts to suggest that the Trump administration’s policy reforms were responsible.
The controversy surrounds what are called “consent decrees,” which are how disputes are resolved between the police and the victims of brutality. In his last move before abruptly leaving the White House, then-Attorney General Session dramatically limited the use of such decrees.
Critics in favor of Sessions’ move point out that not once in his 7-page order does he mention the police. Which, of course, probably just means that law enforcement is handled by magical fairies and conservative magical thinking.
For their part, the Law Enforcement Union is sticking to their figurative guns.
“We are filing a motion with the Federal Courts later this week, maintaining that filming police officers during the prosecution of arrests violate their 1st Amendment protects of privacy and free speech. Citizens do not have oversight of police behavior, and should have their ability to film them restricted reserved for parades and school visits.”