Your Five Minutes of Fame

As we all know, technology has minimized video and audio capability to the point where the average citizen can have apps on their smart phones that the CIA would have loved just ten years ago.

1)      Accept the old notion that we really do live in a fish bowl as cops and our privacy rights are practically nil when we are on the street.  If they can see us and shoot us then they can tape us.

2)      This ruling doesn’t give anyone, all the time in every situation the “right” to interfere with police actions.  There are limits to the First Amendment also.

3)      The courts have long recognized that cops need to be able to do their jobs, but it is up to us to articulate, clearly, how this person interfered with our job. 

4)      Start with officer survival tactical considerations.  Are they to close?  Blocking your view of assisting officers or threats to get a better video angle?  Are they making statements to you that are causing your fear, such as threats or communicating with the suspect further aggravating the situation?  This is just a start; figure it out.  

5)      Charge right, or don’t charge at all.  In the Boston case this was not a Wire Tap case and the officers knew it. 

I doubt I am the only person that thinks our country is at a generational turning point.  We’ve witnessed more rioting across our country in the last six months than forty years.  I see the beauty of the U.S. Constitution as being as flexible as a rubber band, but nobody knows how far it will stretch.  It would be prudent and responsible on our part to contact the law director, prosecutor or police legal advisor and start having these types of discussions before you encounter seeing your bad side on TV (like I did).


About The Author:

Keith R. Lavery, M.A., CMAS, is a full-time criminal justice educator teaching at a public Career Center, University System of Ohio. He has facilitated and designed criminal justice, security, and law enforcement courses of instruction at the post-secondary level. Keith had a very diverse police career spanning nearly 20 years, working in urban and rural law enforcement settings with assignments ranging from patrol to specialized functions, to include HIDTA Drug Unit, CLANLAB Enforcement Team, SRT and Supervision. In 2008, Keith was awarded the Certified Master Anti-Terrorism designation from the Anti-Terrorism Accreditation Board. Academically, he has completed post-graduate course work dedicated toward a Doctorate in Education. Keith is currently the Law Enforcement Liaison for the Cleveland, Ohio, Chapter of ASIS International.

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