City takes down police brutality video
Check out the takedown I ran across the other day: “bad cop/ good cop absent”.
According to the description: it’s a police officer pulling over a pickup truck, talking to the driver and passenger, and pulling his mace on the passenger. Tags include aggression corrupt police beatup innocent. Whoever uploaded this video was aiming to expose a police officer abusing his power with violence.
Now, the city may well hold the copyright to this video, since it was evidently recorded by the police. But if anything qualifies for fair-use protection, it’s a citizen showing their neighbors what their government is up to—the core of the First Amendment’s guarantee of free speech. Even if the city had the law behind it, it wouldn’t change the motive of this takedown: censorship.
UPDATE: (thanks to Alex Leavitt) It gets even better. According to this story, the video in question was obtained by the driver’s family through open-records laws, because police video in Oklahoma is required to be available to the public. In addition to probably overreaching their copyright power and breaching the First Amendment, it seems safe to say that the city official that authorized this takedown is failing to accomplish the public-policy aims the Oklahoma legislature expressed in that law.