Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Law Enforcement is not entertainment

My stance on this one is pretty clear, putting film crews for entertainment in cop cars is a terrible idea. If you recall the TV show "Speeders" where you follow traffic cops mostly in Illinois and California (go figure) while they extort thousands of dollars from regular citizens just driving around. Whatever your take on speeding is, I respect your views. If you think it's dangerous, I agree it can be. If you think it's not dangerous, I also agree it also can be. One thing I can try to unite everyone on, is if it's dangerous, why do all the cops on the speeders TV show speed all the time... and if it's not dangerous, why are you paying fines in excess of $100 per incident? That TV show helped me to understand that the rule of law has no meaning, because those who enforce the laws don't believe in them and are never held accountable for breaking them, even things as trivial as speed laws.

That brings us to Naperville Illinois, where A&E are doing a TV series called "Female Forces" a TV show not only to exploit the citizens through law enforcement for entertainment, but also to devalue female police officers. They are the subject of a lawsuit from Matt Coan for violating the civil rights of a physically ill man who was nauseous, and being issued a ticket for driving on a suspended license that was suspended for not paying a previous ticket. This was not a bad man, just a victim of the system that demands your money to pay homage to any officer that stops you, through the court that is.

Coan, a construction contractor, says he was pulled over for driving with a suspended license on April 4, 2008, plaintiff. As defendant Officer Tracy Nance took his license, the TV crew pulled up and began shooting.
Coan claims that Officer Nance stalled, holding him longer than necessary so that defendant Officer Julie Lardino could arrive with another film crew. He says an unknown individual repeatedly asked him to sign a consent form permitting his name, image, voice and likeness to be used on the program. Coan says he refused.
Nonetheless, Coan says, he was prominently featured in the televised episode, and was shown vomiting out his truck door as police arrive.
Nance is heard asking, "Why you throwing up like that, dude?" before asking for Coan's license and insurance. She asked whether he "forgot to pay some tickets, because that is what it looks like you're suspended for."
After Lardino arrived, the two officers mocked and demeaned him, Coan claims.

Now as we've seen in Illinois recently, filming someone without their consent is a FELONY CHARGE... unless you are doing it while affiliated with a police officer, then once again, this law has no meaning.

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