Smile, it’s brought to you by Taser

 Might there be a video arms race of sorts underway?    

A free trial offer by Taser has enabled Burlington police to begin testing shoulder mounted video devices that can, at their discretion record incidents and encounters. It’s just another tool Taser makes to protect us. So relax. The Free Press reporter notes at the start of the article that one possible use

[officers]…can use the tiny camera mounted on his shoulder to record his interactions with drunks and loiterers along Burlington’s Marketplace.

At least he sounds convinced that only those already guilty of something will be videoed.  

The camera’s default mode continuously captures and then overwrites 30 second loops of video. At any time, an officer can either turn off the camera or start recording video.

Usage policy advises sensibly that:

Officers “will try to avoid recording videos” of naked people, or in places where people would reasonably expect privacy

and a nod is given to respect First Amendment rights

“unless an obvious violation of criminal law is occurring, or if the officer is in the same vicinity for other legitimate law enforcement purposes.”

5 thoughts on “Smile, it’s brought to you by Taser

  1. It appears to have been etherized into a metaphysical state on previous non-existence.


    Smile, it’s brought to you by Taser (+)

    by: BP @ Tue Jun 07, 2011

    the police can use the tiny camera mounted on his shoulder to record interactions with civilians . . . and will try to avoid recording video . . . in places where people would reasonably expect privacy unless the officer is in the same vicinity for other legitimate law enforcement purposes.


    Police Arrest Burlington Filmmaker Sam Mayfield for filming a Public Event

    by: Jonathan Leavitt @ Mon Jun 06, 2011

    . . . footage of Burlington Filmmaker Sam Mayfield being arrested by police for reporting on the people of Wisconsin speaking out against Governor Scott Walker’s attempt to end public employees collective bargaining rights.

  2. This is a really important topic and I’m amazed that a city as progressive as Burlington would allow it to happen.  

    In Miami, the police smashed cell phones of all witnesses to a police shooting.  They even arrested one man who video taped the entire episode.  

    It seems that the police get to video tape civilians but civilians can’t video tape the police.  It’s a terrible path that we are going down …

    Check out the news link from Miami:

  3. I’d like to alert my fellow GMD readers to the existence of an iPhone app that uploads video to the internet as it is being taken. No need to hide the memory chip in your mouth after witnessing the police committing murder.

    This kind of application will undoubtedly soon be out for android phones as well. It’s a game changer for the cops. Sure, stomp on my phone – won’t do you any good.

    I remember talking with the members of a jazz band from L.A. not long after the Rodney King incident. The drummer, a Hispanic guy, said, “The only difference between Rodney King and anybody else was that he happened to have a camera aimed at him.”

    Once the police have to worry about streamed video, perhaps this will cut down on abuse.

  4. Are they going to put funny videos on TV:  “Stupid Offender TRicks” and “Stupid Innocent Bystander Tricks?”  Amazing how much money is put into ‘gadgets’ while people in this country starve, die of cancer & long for a space program that will seek out ‘intelligent’ life.  How much f’n’ money do they spend recording and filming and monitoring us?  For every one of us, I’ll bet we have five people employed to watch us.  And they’re also being watched:  “I got you on tape watching Bill who was watching Fran screwing around with Jim filming Joe and Carol watching the cops watching the guy who was suspicious because he wasn’t watching anybody.”

    Meanwhile, who’s watching our pets?

  5. “Hey, I’ds likes me one of them tiny cameras to help with my Double-Noughtin’.  And one a them thar tasers too.  Hot Dang!

    And, are these cell phone whatchamacallits better than my shoe phone?  Double-noughts need the latest gadgets.  I’m still waitin’ on this Q feller to deliver my official Double-Nought ATV with the machine guns and rockets so’s I’s can look for all the terrorists Mr. Drysdale says are on all the hiking trails in Vermont.

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