Archive for February, 2011

An Interactive “War on Cameras” Map

Monday, February 28th, 2011

Borrowing on the map of botched SWAT raids idea I put together when I was at the Cato Institute, “Dr. Q.” at the Cop Block website is working on a similar map plotting incidents in which police have arrested, threatened, or otherwise harassed someone who was trying to record them.

As Dr. Q points out, like the map I put together, he does not claim his map to be comprehensive. These maps are useful and effective at visually demonstrating how common (or rather, “unisolated) these incidents are. They’re also good resource for reporters or activists interested in finding incidents in a particular state or city. So it’s great to see someone expand the idea to another area of criminal justice.

But I always caution against drawing too many conclusions from the map I put together. For example, the maps are much less useful if you want to, say, compare the number of incidents in different areas of the country or different cities. For example, one city may have more incidents than another not necessarily because the police are more aggressive or less tolerant of being recorded, but simply because the media may more likely to report such incidents. Or perhaps the police department in the more active city has a better system in place for citizens to register complaints. On this issue in particular, more populated areas will also present more opportunities for citizens with cameras to interact with police.

My feature, “The War on Cameras” here.

An Interactive “War on Cameras” Map

Monday, February 28th, 2011

Borrowing on the map of botched SWAT raids idea I put together when I was at the Cato Institute, "Dr. Q." at the Cop Block website is working on a similar map plotting incidents in which police have arrested, threatened, or otherwise harassed someone who was trying to record them.

As Dr. Q points out, like the map I put together, he does not claim his map to be comprehensive. These maps are useful and effective at visually demonstrating how common (or rather, "unisolated) these incidents are. They're also good resource for reporters or activists interested in finding incidents in a particular state or city. So it's great to see someone expand the idea to another area of criminal justice.

But I always caution against drawing too many conclusions from the map I put together. For example, the maps are much less useful if you want to, say, compare the number of incidents in different areas of the country, or in different cities. For example, one city may have more incidents than another not necessarily because the police are more aggressive or less tolerant of being recorded, but simply because the media may more likely to report such incidents. Or perhaps the police department in the more active city has a better system in place for citizens to register complaints. On this issue in particular, more populated areas will also present more opportunities for citizens with cameras to interact with police.

My feature, "The War on Cameras" here.

An Interactive “War on Cameras” Map

Monday, February 28th, 2011

Borrowing on the map of botched SWAT raids idea I put together when I was at the Cato Institute, "Dr. Q." at the Cop Block website is working on a similar map plotting incidents in which police have arrested, threatened, or otherwise harassed someone who was trying to record them.

As Dr. Q points out, like the map I put together, he does not claim his map to be comprehensive. These maps are useful and effective at visually demonstrating how common (or rather, "unisolated) these incidents are. They're also good resource for reporters or activists interested in finding incidents in a particular state or city. So it's great to see someone expand the idea to another area of criminal justice.

But I always caution against drawing too many conclusions from the map I put together. For example, the maps are much less useful if you want to, say, compare the number of incidents in different areas of the country, or in different cities. For example, one city may have more incidents than another not necessarily because the police are more aggressive or less tolerant of being recorded, but simply because the media may more likely to report such incidents. Or perhaps the police department in the more active city has a better system in place for citizens to register complaints. On this issue in particular, more populated areas will also present more opportunities for citizens with cameras to interact with police.

My feature, "The War on Cameras" here.

Cop Block launches “The War on Cameras: An Interactive Map”

Monday, February 28th, 2011

View The War on Cameras: An Interactive Map in a larger map


Most Cop Block readers are probably familiar with the “Botched Paramilitary Police Raids” map project by the Cato Institute which tracks botched SWAT raids on an interactive Google map. Over the past couple weeks, I’ve been working on a similar project which aims to track government hostility to cameras. You can check out the project page here.

The map currently has over 60 markers on it. Each marker on the map represents one or more incidents where a person was harassed, detained, threatened, attacked, arrested, or charged with a crime for using a camera, incident(s) where a camera was seized, or incident(s) where government officials attempted to cover up video evidence. The events on the map all occurred between 2007 and the present.

Just to be clear, this map is absolutely not intended to be comprehensive. In fact, I am already aware of a number of events that have yet to be posted, but I decided to release the project in it’s current state since it is intended to be a perpetual work-in-progress. I will continue working on getting these events on the map and attempting to track down new ones. If you would like to tell me about an incident that I missed, check the project page for information about how to do so.

I will do my best to document any significant changes I make to the map. Updates about the map will be filed under the category “Map Updates.”

If you appreciate the work I’ve done on this project and would like for me to continue working on it, donations are much appreciated. You can donate to me here.

Lastly, I’d like to give a big shout out to Carlos Miller, David Packman, Radley Balko, and my fellow Cop Block contributors. Their research and reporting were invaluable to this project.

Policing for Profit

Monday, February 28th, 2011

Cops launch drug raid based on anonymous tip and a single marijuana stem found in the trash. End up raiding a home recording studio. Begin deliberations on what cool stuff they’re now permitted to take.

Policing for Profit

Monday, February 28th, 2011

Cops launch drug raid based on anonymous tip and a single marijuana stem found in the trash. End up raiding a home recording studio. Begin deliberations on what cool stuff they’re now permitted to take.

Policing for Profit

Monday, February 28th, 2011

Cops launch drug raid based on anonymous tip and a single marijuana stem found in the trash. End up raiding a home recording studio. Begin deliberations on how much cool stuff they're now permitted to take.

Policing for Profit

Monday, February 28th, 2011

Cops launch drug raid based on anonymous tip and a single marijuana stem found in the trash. End up raiding a home recording studio. Begin deliberations on how much cool stuff they're now permitted to take.

Photo

Monday, February 28th, 2011


VOICES FROM OUTSIDE: art exhibit and auction to benefit Books Through Bars, 3/19

Monday, February 28th, 2011
VOICES FROM OUTSIDE:

read more