The Canada Free Press has a very interesting article regarding the use of video cameras and cell phone cameras in  filming the conduct of police officers and public officials in the US, and while the story is American based, there have been many reports of similar situations in Canada.

The Robert Dziekański taser incident would be one of them. I am quite sure that the video that contradicted the testimony of those police officers involved is one the RCMP wished had never seen the light of day.
Then there is the kicking in the face incident in Kelowna, another video I am sure that police would rather not have surfaced. (Trust me, there are many, many more such videos available from right here in Canada)

In a country where the police are becoming all powerful, using profiling and their powers/authority in inappropriate and abusive ways, I feel this article is very timely and appropriate for the Canadian reader to consider.

The writer, Tim Dunkin has done a lot of research. His article exposes the attitude of the police and other elected officials and cites numerous cases of police brutality, where in the police have done everything in their power including beating and arresting people over video taping incidents.

Quote: " Do the police have such a bugaboo about “civilians” recording them because they know that they may often have something to hide? After all, the police tell people whose vehicles and homes they want to search without a warrant that “if you don’t have anything to hide, then you don’t have anything to worry about.” Why go to such lengths to keep people from recording you in public, unless you think you might be doing something you don’t want people to find out about? End Quote.

In the US, many jurisdictions are attempting to use wire tapping laws as their defence however, they are finding out the hard way that manipulating the law in their own favour does not always work.
He expresses that many recent court rulings involving people who video taped officers and public officials are being held up in favour of the person doing the video tapping.

Quote: "As such, there does seem to be a good deal of broad-based precedent being built for affirming the constitutionality of videotaping or otherwise recording police as they perform their official duties. This has led at least one state (Connecticut) to consider a bill before its state legislature that would make it illegal for police officers to hinder or harass citizens who videotape them, provided the citizen isn’t directly obstructing the officer’s performance of his or her duties." End Quote

He ends his column saying:
Quote: "While lovers of liberty have a lot of work to do across the board as far as fighting to regain lost freedom and to keep what little we still have, codifying the right of citizens to “keep tabs” on public officials, including (or perhaps especially) police officers, is a lynchpin in gaining and keeping liberty. With greater authority and the ability to exercise the raw power of state-sanctioned violence necessarily come the need for greater oversight and control by the group who really form the basis of all legitimacy for government—the people themselves. If government agencies and their officers cannot bring themselves to accept citizen oversight and accountability, then those agencies and officers lose their claims to delegated legitimacy, and should rightly be removed. It’s time for lovers of liberty to make this point explicitly clear. End Quote.

I encourage you to read his full article, read the linked stories...

To me, the lesson here is if you have a video camera or cell phone camera, use it.  Since we, the people pay their wages, the RCMP and other police forces along with politicians would do well to remember that as their employers it is not unreasonable for us to video tape them doing their jobs. We the people are constantly surveilled to catch our bad and or inappropriate behaviours...

Filming police officers doing their jobs is one way to keep our rights and freedoms alive...what say you?

I look forward to the dialogue this topic will generate and hope you will join in the discussion on Facebook, in our forums on or right here in this blog post.

In other news:

In Chatham ON, Full Throttle Ministries became a reality for pastor Brent Elgie and his wife.

In the US Harley-Davidson CEO Keith Wandell expresses that his company is going after the new rider in an aggressive way but will not forget the leather clad core...

Also in the US, Massachusetts bikers are going to be getting refunds as part of a settlement with 15 insurance companies. Close to $40 Million dollars will be going back into their hands.

In Great Britain a driver was caught using a laptop, drinking and writing all at the same time...

In Australia, bikies are suspected of have put a bounty on the head of a person who shot and 11 year old child of a bikie in his own home.

There is a ton of news in the feeds today and I hope you will take a few moments to swing by to see what is happening that could affect your day or life.

I wish you a fabulous Tuesday and hope that if you are riding today you will ride with extreme care and caution, remember, you are far more important than you might believe.

Belt Drive Betty
Editor & Rider

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