Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Does the TLC Audience Seriously Sympathize With The Cop In This Video?

Reddit frontpaged this video (posted in Feb 2011 to YouTube) today:



"If they don't got no warrant, don't open the door."

The guy in the red jacket was smart as hell. He knew his rights and refused to be intimidated. His poor friend was scared, confused, and clearly unsure of his rights. Let's call them Gallant and Goofus.

The goon lies to Goofus and tells him that if he doesn't open the door, she'll charge him with "obstruction." (Police are legally allowed to lie to you. Conclusion: Don't trust police.) She then actually puts him in cuffs for exercising his Constitutional right not to submit to a search of his house without a warrant signed by a judge.

Cops everywhere are fighting our right to film them breaking the law, but these cops brought their own camera crew! Then the goon tells Gallant, "You need to keep your mouth shut or you're going to get cuffs on you too." Exercise your 4th Amendment right-- get cuffed. Exercise your 1st Amendment right-- get cuffed.

It's good to see from the YouTube and Reddit comments that the Internet doesn't sympathize with this uniformed miscreant, because TLC's documentary makers clearly frame the story like she's the good guy and not a total creep. The scary thing is, judging from the rest of TLC's offerings, this television show's audience of over 1 million people who think this is the best use of their time between 9 and 10pm, will probably uncritically accept TLC's point of view.

And good God, I love it when the cop says to Goofus: "You know what, I would stop listening to him because here's the thing, he's the one that's gotten you in handcuffs, because apparently he makes all your decisions for you."

Oh really? He put those handcuffs on Goofus? Cuz I would have sworn that I saw the cop put those on him. And blaming Gallant for refusing to respect Goofus' free agency to make his own decisions is real rich. Gallant may not be an attorney, but the cop is definitely not a philosopher. Or maybe there is no meaningful difference between: "Goofus, you don't have to do what they say," and "Goofus, if you don't do what we say, we'll hurt you."

Never talk to the police. Even if TLC is filming it.

Parting thought: Turning the justice system into TV entertainment is a little too Running Man for my comfort.