California Sergeant David Shelby recently came under fire for playing a Taylor Swift song while being recorded by an Anti Police-Terror Project protester. But why? “Are we having a dance party now?” asks the protester.
Actually, the reason for the music was much more sinister.
“You can record all you want, I just know it can’t be posted on YouTube,” Shelby said, referring to the YouTube copyright policy that often automatically removes videos containing someone else’s music – a policy that officers have manipulated before.
In a country where only seven states require body cams, and police brutality typically gains attention through civilian video footage, that manipulation infringes on our First Amendment rights to document police misconduct.
But, there’s a silver lining to this story.
Despite the cop’s hopes, the video of the altercation now has 700,000+ views! The Anti Police-Terror Project is using that visibility to garner funds for the family of Steven Taylor - the man they were protesting for in the first place.
You can join the crowdfunding on GoFundMe at https://gofund.me/82c48ae7.
It may not be surprising that police are dishonest, but it's important for us to know how they make that dishonesty possible. From body cams to cell phones, we have the right to document their brutality, even if they still try to cover it up.