Take this example: The ACLU in New Jersey is launching a smart-phone app that will let you record the police. They say "secretly" but I'm not sure how "secret" holding your phone up while talking to the cops is going to be.
That's a good thing, by the way- both the app and that it can't really be secret. The police need to know that we are their employers, and they owe us every respect and benefit-of-the-doubt. They also need to know that they will be held accountable for their behavior, and that corruption and outright malfeasance will not be tolerated.
But then the ACLU has to go and muck it up with a stupid political statement. Worse, they have to do so with one that's wrong.
From the article:
“You can think back to when Rodney King was beaten at the hands of the LAPD,” Shalom said.Can this meme die, please? The LAPD police officers were acquitted of any wrongdoing because the full tape- not the one shown on TV in New Jersey, but the full one in the trial- showed that the violence against Rodney King only escalated as he continued to refuse to comply.
So for them, the problem is not that the police just might act out of line, but that they are some stalwart line between the populace, specifically minorities, and the police. It's gratuitous race-baiting which unnecessarily further exacerbates the distrust between the police and citizens.
Other than that, though, the ACLU is right about this app- and they'll never have any idea how much it hurt me to write that sentence. The nature of the relationship between the police and the populace has shifted from one of mutual respect, to that of mutual suspicion. That needs to be rectified. The first step in that direction, is true and open accountability.