Science Fiction author David Brin is a big proponent of complete transparency. Brin is of the opinion that we have already gone past the point of no return, privacy-wise, and that attempts for private citizens to keep stuff secret are ultimately futile; the only thing for it is to ensure 360 degrees of transparency. That is, force the government to be as transparent as they are trying to force regular citizens. It’s a bit of a depressing though, I admit, but Brin’s point is, the governments already have the power to invade your private space; shouldn’t you have that power, too?
In that vein, consider the United States’ (in my opinion) absurd drug policy. Many states have already decriminalized or made a very minor crime the possession of small amounts of marijuana for personal use; many polls show that there is widespread support for national decriminalization; and yet the federal government continues to spend untold amounts of money and effort to prosecute stoners, cancer-ridden grandmas, and other people who are as low a threat as you can possibly imagine. How can regular folks combat this insanity? With transparency, of course!
Police officers in Long Beach are accused of using excessive force during a raid on a pot dispensary, and the entire incident was caught on video.
It happened on June 19, when Long Beach police went to the Happy Ending Collective in the downtown area with a search warrant.
Video shows volunteer Dorian Brooks being ordered down to the ground.
“The gun [was] to the back of my head the whole time,” Brooks recalled. “I’m laying down. I felt somebody step on my neck.”
The video shows a male uniformed officer walking on Brooks’ back with both feet, and then he steps on his neck.
Another officer walks around Brooks. He then notices a surveillance camera, nods to a fellow officer and takes it out.
“All the glass shattered on me,” Brooks said. “I was told to shut up.”
In another part of the dispensary, an undercover cop takes a metal rod to another camera.
Officers didn’t know that the video feed was being recorded at a remote location.
“It’s outrageous. That’s what you do to people that murder people, not people that commit zoning code violations,” attorney David Welch said.
Police–understandably–don’t like being filmed when doing this kind of thing. Which is why you want some really hard-core equipment for your surveillance. In this case, the dispensary owners were using Swann cameras, which clearly stood up to the police abuse enough to bring you the recordings.
Just something to keep in mind as our police force becomes more and more militarized. We can’t fight back physically, but we can with information. Or so I think. Let us know what you think below!