It’s bad enough to have people in ones own community committing crimes. Imagine living in a community where the police think they run things and can make up on the spot what is and is not legal?
Here’s an example of a guy whose phone (with video camera) was stolen by police. The police then deleted the video including other unrelated videos.
The man fought for his rights. The ACLU backed him up. And a significant settlement was reached. Hopefully, law enforcement throughout the country will take notice and honor our first amendment rights.
Police officers are in a powerful position in any community. Not only do they have a duty and a job to enforce the law, but no one else can use force to stop bad-actors in a variety of scenarios with very little consequence of backlash. Most private citizens, if they get actively involved in stopping a bad situation, bear the risk of being civilly sued or even criminally prosecuted. Police officers, however, can get in there and get the job done with very little risk of repercussions. True, there is the immediate risk the officer shoulders in any volatile situation. There is no question the officer’s job is a difficult one. But it is this small risk of painful consequences that can serve as an incentive to grow careless or behave beyond the bounds of the law. Officers are given a great deal of power and authority, and it with that comes an added level of scrutiny. It might be annoying to be video taped by Joe Blow, but the Citizenry have an important responsibility and duty to hold people of authority accountable for their actions.