Video Cams for Cops.

Postby RaharuAharu » Mon Mar 23, 2009 10:21 am

http://i.gizmodo.com/5180317/taser-axon-cops-goes-fps

I think human police officers should wear one of these the moment they get out of their vehicles for ANY Reason, and it should transmit back to a Device in their trunk that is armored and locked like an airplanes black box.

but but, it will be expensive...

What is honesty in your police force worth to you?

You can put money on Police Unions Resisting this tooth and claw.

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The Axon is a bit of a shocker from Taser. It's not a "taser" in a traditional sense, but a POV camera cleverly squeezed into a Bluetooth-sized headset.

Connecting via 3.5mm jack existing radio systems (like walkie talkies), the video signal appears to piggyback on existing transmissions, allowing remote monitoring and recording of what a police officer sees from their perspective. Shooting color and lowlight IR modes, the system is being pitched as a means to provide accurate footage in cases where a police officer is questioned in court.

Still, we can't help but consider the Axon possibly the first practical camera to record our whole lives, with most people assuming that you were merely donning a Bluetooth mic through the day. [Axon via Engadget]
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Re: Video Cams for Cops.

Postby Shackler » Mon Mar 23, 2009 9:36 pm

Great idea. In fact, most people should wear these.
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Re: Video Cams for Cops.

Postby InterNutter » Tue Mar 24, 2009 1:28 am

I want one for when I'm driving ^_^

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Re: Video Cams for Cops.

Postby Relee » Tue Mar 24, 2009 3:20 pm

I don't like the idea of constant surveilance. I'm against CCTV cameras and it would be unfair to make the police wear them. Plus, well, having the police wear them means they're also watching everyone else.

On top of that, those things are bluetooth headsets. Word is that's the easiest wireless networking protocol to hack. Do we really want criminals to be able to see exactly what every police officer in town is looking at?
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Re: Video Cams for Cops.

Postby draque » Tue Mar 24, 2009 5:59 pm

I'm with Relee on this one. Surveillance measures like that being imposed unilaterally on anyone that hasn't done anything wrong strikes me as very authoritarian. Police misconduct is a huge problem, but I don't think something like that is the solution.
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Re: Video Cams for Cops.

Postby strange_person » Wed Mar 25, 2009 6:13 am

Relee wrote:I don't like the idea of constant surveilance. I'm against CCTV cameras and it would be unfair to make the police wear them. Plus, well, having the police wear them means they're also watching everyone else.

On top of that, those things are bluetooth headsets. Word is that's the easiest wireless networking protocol to hack. Do we really want criminals to be able to see exactly what every police officer in town is looking at?
Yeah, but it's only got an effective range of about twenty feet. Sure, it can be hacked, but you'll only be able to get realtime feed from someone in the next room.

The police wouldn't be able to see anything they can't normally. In fact, they might actually have fewer opportunities to snoop. As it stands now, a minor illegal search has plausible deniability, and might produce admissible evidence (the officer can claim that it was 'in plain sight').
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Re: Video Cams for Cops.

Postby Shackler » Fri Mar 27, 2009 4:56 pm

draque wrote:I'm with Relee on this one. Surveillance measures like that being imposed unilaterally on anyone that hasn't done anything wrong strikes me as very authoritarian. Police misconduct is a huge problem, but I don't think something like that is the solution.


Surveillance implies someone watching. When cameras are used for the sake of accountability, it's not surveillance.
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Re: Video Cams for Cops.

Postby Wic » Fri Apr 03, 2009 7:32 am

I see nothing wrong with the system. If you're a good cop, the system is there to protect your ass from false claims. If you're a bad cop, then the system is against you. It's same with cashiers, they're under video surveillance during their workhours too. When shit happens, only then the video is checked. The only problem is what to do when the cop wants to use the toilet...

America is still a long way away from the British Big Brother.
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Re: Video Cams for Cops.

Postby Relee » Fri Apr 03, 2009 3:42 pm

I'm guessing you've never been under constant surveilance before. Or studied enough psychology or sociology to see what happens to people under those circumstances.

I don't want people to be under constant surveilance, or even the illusion of constant surveilance. Police are people.
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Re: Video Cams for Cops.

Postby Monocheres » Fri Apr 03, 2009 5:55 pm

The fundamentalist would argue that religion is the fundamental basis for morality. The only thing that can force innately sinful mankind to do good and renounce evil is fear of retribution from an all-seeing God.

The atheist would counter that that is a childish basis for morality. People should do good and avoid evil, simply because it is good and evil. They should grow up, and get over the need for a Big Daddy in the Sky looking over their shoulders and telling them what to do.

Take "Big Daddy in the Sky with His All-Seeing Eye" and replace with "Big Brother with His All-Seeing Sky-Eyes" and I think you get exactly the argument between the pro-surveillance/anti-crime camp on one side and the civil-libertarian/civic-responsibility camp on the other.
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Re: Video Cams for Cops.

Postby Shackler » Fri Apr 03, 2009 7:07 pm

Relee wrote:I'm guessing you've never been under constant surveilance before. Or studied enough psychology or sociology to see what happens to people under those circumstances.

I don't want people to be under constant surveilance, or even the illusion of constant surveilance. Police are people.


My philosophy is that you should live your life as if you're always being watched. That aside, though, police SHOULD feel like the eyes of the public are on them at all times, because that's what their job demands.
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Re: Video Cams for Cops.

Postby Alfador » Sat Apr 04, 2009 10:14 am

Shackler wrote:
Relee wrote:I'm guessing you've never been under constant surveilance before. Or studied enough psychology or sociology to see what happens to people under those circumstances.

I don't want people to be under constant surveilance, or even the illusion of constant surveilance. Police are people.


My philosophy is that you should live your life as if you're always being watched. That aside, though, police SHOULD feel like the eyes of the public are on them at all times, because that's what their job demands.


Agreed. Simple solution. Give each officer a switch to turn the camera off for privacy reasons. If they flip it off during a confrontation and then feign ignorance of how that suspect got those broken bones... the skepticism will shift from the way it currently is, since they could've had all the evidence in the world if they weren't doing anything wrong, and deliberately hid that evidence.
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Re: Video Cams for Cops.

Postby strange_person » Sat Apr 04, 2009 10:29 am

Another option would be to have the camera always on, but not always worn. If a cop takes the camera off, he gets a reprimand for being out of uniform while on duty, and it's suspicious. If more conventional investigation turns up evidence of wrongdoing on the officer's part during the unmonitored period, then the lack of a camera is evidence of premeditation.
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Re: Video Cams for Cops.

Postby Monthenor » Sun Apr 05, 2009 1:20 pm

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Re: Video Cams for Cops.

Postby Wic » Sun Apr 05, 2009 2:51 pm



I rest my case.

I don't think the store clerk had any problems to be surveillance during his work hours either.
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Re: Video Cams for Cops.

Postby RaharuAharu » Sun Apr 05, 2009 5:21 pm

You beat me too It Monthenor!

Here is the whole thing.


Video sharpens focus on raid
Store owner's hidden back-up shows cops snipping security-camera wires

By WENDY RUDERMAN & BARBARA LAKER
Philadelphia Daily News

rudermw@phillynews.com 215-854-2860

THE NARCOTICS officers knew they were being watched on video surveillance moments after they entered the bodega.

Officer Jeffrey Cujdik told store owner Jose Duran that police were in search of tiny ziplock bags often used to package drugs. But, during the September 2007 raid, Cujdik and fellow squad members seemed much more interested in finding every video camera in the West Oak Lane store.

"I got like seven or eight eyes," shouted Officer Thomas Tolstoy, referring to the cameras, as the officers glanced up. "There's one outside. There is one, two, three, four in the aisles, and there's one right here somewhere."

For the next several minutes, Tolstoy and other Narcotics Field Unit officers systematically cut wires to cameras until those "eyes" could no longer see.

Then, after the officers arrested Duran and took him to jail, nearly $10,000 in cash and cartons of Marlboros and Newports were missing from the locked, unattended store, Duran alleges. The officers guzzled sodas and scarfed down fresh turkey hoagies, Little Debbie fudge brownies and Cheez-Its, he said.

What the officers didn't count on was that Duran's high-tech video system had a hidden backup hard-drive. The backup downloaded the footage to his private Web site before the wires were cut.

Although Duran has no video of the alleged looting, he has a 10-minute video that shows the officers using a bread knife, pliers, milk crates and their hands to disable the surveillance system.

The officers didn't "touch the money with the system looking," said Duran, who came to the United States from the Dominican Republic 15 years ago and has no prior criminal record in Philadelphia.

They touched "the money after they destroy all the system," he said.

Duran, 28, of South Jersey, a technology buff, said that he was upset that the officers had wrecked his $15,000 surveillance system.

"That was his main complaint - that they destroyed his surveillance system," Duran's attorney, Sonte Anthony Reavis, said last week. "I believed him."

Duran's video bolsters allegations by eight other Philadelphia store owners who said that Cujdik and other officers destroyed or cut wires to surveillance cameras. Those store owners also said that after the wires were cut, cigarettes, batteries, cell phones, food and drinks were taken. The Daily News reported the allegations March 20.

The officers also confiscated cash from the stores - a routine practice in drug raids - but didn't record the full amount on police property receipts, the shop owners allege.

Six more store owners or workers, including Duran, contacted the Daily News after the March 20 article. All six described similar ordeals involving destroyed cameras and missing money and merchandise.

The officers arrested the stores' owners for selling tiny bags, which police consider drug paraphernalia. Under state law, it's illegal to sell containers if the store owner "knows or should reasonably know" that the buyer intends to use them to package drugs.

Duran alleged that the officers seized nearly $10,000 in the raid on his store, on 20th Street near 73rd Avenue. He said that the money included a week's worth of profits and cash to pay his three employees.

The property receipt filed by the officers said that they had confiscated only $785.

Told of the new allegations, George Bochetto, an attorney representing Cujdik, said that he stood by his earlier response:

"Now that the Daily News has created a mass hysteria concerning the Philadelphia Narcotics Unit, it comes as no surprise that every defendant ever arrested will now proclaim their innocence and bark about being mistreated.

"Suffice it to say, there is a not a scintilla of truth to such convenient protestations."


Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey said that he's disturbed by the store owners' allegations.

"It's pretty serious and I want to get to the bottom of it," Ramsey said last week.

Cujdik is at the center of an expanding federal and local probe into allegations that he lied on search warrants to gain access to suspected drug homes and became too close with his informants.

Ramsey said that Duran's video now "needs to be made part of this larger investigation."

The video also calls into question the validity of the search warrant that enabled the officers to raid Duran's store.

In a search-warrant application, Officer Richard Cujdik - Jeffrey Cujdik's brother - wrote that he "observed" a confidential informant enter Duran's store to buy tiny ziplock bags at about 4:30 p.m. on Sept. 11, 2007.

The informant left the store two minutes later and handed two bags to Richard Cujdik, according to the search-warrant application.

Two-and-a-half hours later, at about 7 p.m., the Cujdik brothers and four other officers, including Tolstoy, Thomas Kuhn, Anthony Parrotti and squad supervisor Sgt. Joseph Bologna raided the store.

The Daily News watched the time-stamped Sept. 11 surveillance footage between 4 and 5 p.m.: Not a single customer asked for or bought a ziplock bag.

"At the time, I had no reason to question the validity of the warrant," said Reavis, Duran's attorney.

When told by the Daily News that no bags were sold during that time frame, Reavis expressed shock.

"That's manufacturing evidence," Reavis said. "If the basis for the search warrant is a lie, that's perjury. It's illegal. It's criminal on the officer's part."

Richard Cujdik also wrote in the search-warrant application that the same informant had bought ziplock bags from Duran twice before - on Sept. 5 and 6, 2007. Duran said he was unable to locate the footage from those days.

The Daily News attempted to contact each of the officers who took part in the raid. Except for Bochetto's response on behalf of Jeffrey Cujdik, none returned messages seeking comment.


The footage from the day of the raid is crystal-clear:

Duran is chatting on his cell phone in front of the cash register when the officers enter the store. With gun drawn, Tolstoy is in the lead. Most of the officers are wearing vests or shirts with the word "Police."

Tolstoy handcuffs Duran. The officers ask routine questions: Does Duran have a gun? Does anyone live on the second floor? Are there dogs in the basement?

Then Sgt. Bologna looks up and waves his finger toward the ceiling: "Whaddya got, cameras over there? . . . Where are they hooked up to?"

In fact, every officer seems fixated on the surveillance system.

"Where's the video cameras? The cassette for it?" Richard Cujdik asks.

"Does it record?" Jeffrey Cujdik quickly adds.

Officer Kuhn then steps up on a milk crate that he had placed underneath a ceiling camera and struggles to reach it. "I need to be f---ing taller," Kuhn mumbles as another officer laughs.

"You got a ladder in here, Cuz?" Kuhn asks Duran.

"Yo," Tolstoy calls out from behind the register. "Does this camera go home? Can you view this on your computer, too?"

"I can see [at], yeah, home, yeah," Duran replies.

"So your wife knows we're here, then?" Tolstoy asks.

"My wife? No. She not looking the computer right now," Duran says.

"Hey, Sarge . . . Come 'ere," Tolstoy shouts out.

Bologna ambles over to the front counter.

Jeffrey Cujdik leans in and whispers, "There's one in the back corner right there."


"It can be viewed at home," Tolstoy says.

As the others talk, Officer Parrotti reaches up to another camera in front of the register. He pulls the wire down and slices it with a bread knife taken from the store's deli.

"OK. We'll disconnect it," Bologna assures Tolstoy. "That's cool."

Meanwhile, Parrotti's hand covers the camera lens and he appears to yank the camera from the ceiling.

The screen goes black.

"They could watch what's happening at the store at your house?" Bologna asks.

The audio cuts out.

There is footage of Kuhn looking for a camera outside the store and of Richard Cujdik searching Duran's white van. In the audio portion of the video, Richard Cujdik asks Duran, "Is that your - whose white van is that?"

Then Richard Cujdik simply asks for the keys and heads outside. The search warrant for the store makes no mention of a van. The Daily News could not find a search warrant for the van in court records.

The officers arrested Duran on misdemeanor charges of possessing and selling drug paraphernalia, specifically tiny ziplock bags.



The next day, while Duran was in jail, his brother-in-law Anthony Garcia entered the store, which had been locked after the officers left.

The place was trashed, Garcia said. Goods had been knocked off shelves onto the floor. The oven and deep fryer were left on and the refrigerator door was left open, spoiling the food inside.

"It looked like they were having a party in there," he said. "There was a lot of money missing."

Garcia said that Duran's van was left unlocked with the keys in the center console.

The initial police report says that the officers "also recovered in the store . . . eight (8) overhead cameras." The officers, however, do not list the cameras on any property receipt or state why they took them, according to police documents.

During the raid, Jeffrey Cujdik told Duran that he was seizing the cameras and computer monitor "as evidence because you're selling drug paraphernalia. So we gotta get rid of it. . . . You got yourself on video selling drug paraphernalia."

Duran's cameras, however, were digital and contained no tape and, therefore, no evidence.

Commissioner Ramsey said that he couldn't think of any official reason for police officers to cut camera wires.

He said that the officers could confiscate surveillance equipment, including the cameras, if they believed that the footage provided evidence connected to the drug-paraphernalia case. But, Ramsey added, the officers must include the equipment on a property receipt and explain why they had confiscated the cameras.

"You wouldn't just cut it and take it, because that's somebody's private property," Ramsey said.

During the raid, Richard Cujdik told Duran that the ziplock bags were illegal. Duran tried to explain that he bought the store fully stocked and the bags were already inside.

"OK, it don't matter," Richard Cujdik told him. "You should know your business."

In February 2008, Municipal Court Judge James M. DeLeon sentenced Duran to nine months' probation after he pleaded "no contest" to the charges. He paid $5,000 in attorney's fees.

And Duran, who was renting the first floor that housed the store, lost his lease. The building owner said that Duran had to leave to prevent the city from taking the building in forfeiture, Duran said.

He now operates a grocery in Camden County, but remains angry about the raid.

"That's not fair, what they did to me," Duran said. "That's no way to treat me when they don't know me.

"You work 18 hours [a day] and they come in and do that?"
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Re: Video Cams for Cops.

Postby Plasman » Mon Apr 06, 2009 4:37 am

It's bad enough when customers come in and treat you like shit, but...
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