Good news! You can now count the days until the US presidential election on one hand. Bad news! All the horrific press coming out about that travesty will only intensify day by day. Lucky for you, I’ve been writing this list of 13 ways to fight for liberty outside of that awful ritual called voting. By now you know to use Bitcoin to stick it to the Federal Reserve and encrypt your communications to annoy the NSA. You’ll be supporting the local agorist economy while caring for the needy, and learning to defend yourself and your community. You’ve even started to chip away at the prison industrial complex by teaching jurors about nullification. But we still have a problem: before you ever get to a jury of your peers, you have to get past police misconduct. Thankfully, there is still something you can do about it.
In theory, Americans have rights. In practice, cops can shoot you on a whim, say you were resisting arrest and reaching for a weapon, and will get away with it if they’re the only witness. Justice only exists as far as it’s enforceable. That’s why it’s crucial to film police encounters. From an optimist’s point of view, filming an encounter ensures that you have enough evidence of your innocence and police misconduct to get justice in court. From a realist’s point of view, you have the footage to galvanize the public and cause a wave of outrage and pressure on law enforcement to leave you with some of your rights. Either way, the innocent benefit from the truth. If every police encounter is recorded, the leeway to abuse authority significantly diminishes.
This one can get uncomfortable if you’re not used to confrontation, and I would recommend against it if you’re easily intimidated or can get aggressive under stress. If you’re up for it, use a streaming service like Bambuser so that the video of the encounter doesn’t get deleted if the police confiscate or destroy the device. Remain calm, polite, and reiterate that you’re just making sure everything goes smoothly. Make sure you respect the wishes of the civilian in question, and stop filming if they want, including refraining from posting footage online that could cause an embarrassment.