Video As Evidence: A Copwatch primer to Filming The Police

Whether you’re Copwatching in the streets of St. Louis, or out on the reservations of Minnesota, this guide will provide you with best tactics and strategies while documenting critical incidents involving the police.

This Video as Evidence Guide was adapted in 2016 by WeCopwatch, WITNESS and our allies at Standing Rock. It was intended to help Water Protectors and activists fighting the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline to safely, effectively and ethically document human rights abuses for evidentiary, advocacy and reporting purposes.

But these ideas can be implemented wherever the police are doing wrong. We hope you get a lot out of it. .
This information is part of our Copwatch College curriculum.

If you support the work WeCopwatch does, consider donating to us at WeCopwatch.org/Support

Also we produced a documentary called Copwatch! Check it out on Amazon Prime.
https://www.amazon.com/Copwatch-Ramsey-Orta/dp/B075VKBVK6

Ramsey Orta is Catching Hell

   

On October 21, 2017, we received information that Ramsey was in “The Box”, a term used for being put in disciplinary solitary confinement without contact to the outside world. We immediately reached out to his lawyer to begin the process of getting Ramsey the support he needed. On October 22, 2017, we received this letter from Ramsey outlining an incident involving threats and physical abuse.

The letter reads as follows …

10/16/2017
On the above date at around 5:30pm C.O D. Mortiz called someone on the phone, next thing I know 5 to 7 officers came into the dorm walking towards my cube. C.O M. Titus grabbed me by my neck and walked me in between the doors that allow you to exit the dorm. During this time C.O M. Titus shoved my face into the wall very hard and started to pull my hair from behind and began to slap me on the right side of my face a few times. When CO. M Titus stop and starting securing me down all over. When he got to the groin area, my dick, he grabbed it and pulled it twice. I was then slapped again and put in the van to get sent to Building 16, “The Box. When I got to The Box Sgt. J. Raymonda and C.O B. Fourner were the one’s who did the intake process. I asked to speak to a nurse due to the abuse that took place against me and nobody wanted to report it nor did the nurse when I told her. I fear for my life in this facility and can’t take the ongoing abuse anymore. Please help me! Ramsey Orta, 16A4200

Illustrations by Jonathan Burkhardt

We are concerned about Ramsey’s well-being. This is the most recent and worrisome ordeal that Ramsey has had to experience, but it’s not the first. As many know, Ramsey was poisoned while imprisoned at Riker’s Island in 2014. Since his incarceration in October 2016, Ramsey has been cut, harassed, put in solitary confinement, and shipped to a facility on the Canadian Border in an attempt to disconnect him from his Family and his support network.

                                Letter written by Ramsey dated 10.18.17

By now, Ramsey has been released from “The Box”, and he is grateful for the support he has received. For now, we ask that you pay attention, and support in any way you can.

Pictures from Copwatch Documentary

THIS IS HOW YOU CAN SUPPORT RAMSEY

1. Donations are crucial in keeping Ramsey connected with his Family and community. If you want to make a one-time donation, or give a little every month, feel free to use this PayPal
“OfficialRamseyOrta@gmail.com “ or send postal order (only) to

Ramsey Orta, 16A4200
Franklin Correctional Facility
P.O. Box 10
Malone, New York 12953-0010

2. You can send food packages to Ramsey. We have an Amazon wishlist that has food items that the jail accepts.
Link: http://a.co/0ptyH6P

3. You can send Ramsey books. He loves to read political work, know-your-rights books, history books, etc.
You can send books to

Ramsey Orta, 16A4200
Franklin Correctional Facility
P.O. Box 10
Malone, New York 12953-0010

4. We need more people sharing posts on Twitter and re-posting content from his https://www.facebook.com/SupportRamseyOrta/ page. If you have online reach and want to be part of Ramsey’s support team, email us at WeCopwatch@protonmail.com

Write Ramsey a letter here. Let him know you support him.

* indicates required field

Pictures from Copwatch Documentary

Media coverage of Ramsey’s recent incident
http://fair.org/home/ramsey-orta-cant-breathe/
http://www.silive.com/news/2017/10/post_1784.html
http://www.nydailynews.com/news/crime/ramsey-orta-jail-guards-beat-eric-garner-death-video-article-1.3596164

Other News

https://indypendent.org/2017/11/what-the-hell-does-it-take-to-convict-a-cop-of-murdering-a-civilian-in-america/
http://solitarywatch.com/2017/10/29/seven-days-in-solitary-102917/

Ramsey Orta is still behind bars. Here’s how you can support him

Write Ramsey a letter here. Let him know you support him.

* indicates required field

Like so many families across the nation, WeCopwatch is tasked with supporting one of our loved ones serving time in the Prison Industrial Complex. As Ramsey comes up on his first year of incarceration, and with three to go, we at WeCopwatch have been reflecting on our strengths and our weaknesses, so that we can continue to be a better support network for the years to come.

Comic Book sketches of Ramsey by Jonathan Burkhadt

Our Strengths and Weaknesses

Strengths
1.Ramsey has received a lot of sporadic support in the form of donations, letters, and visits.
2.We have been able to visit Ramsey.
3. We have been able to fundraise when Ramsey’s commissary is empty, and we send out food packages when we can, we also keep photos coming in to him.
4.And do our best to be a connection point for Ramsey to the outside world.

Weaknesses
1.Beyond a few dedicated people, we have no formal support network in place to support Ramsey.
2.WeCopwatch has no online reach and has difficulty fundraising, or getting information out to large populations of people.
3.When Ramsey was in solitary confinement, we couldn’t find a lawyer that would be willing to call or visit Ramsey.


August interview with Ramsey Orta

We want/need to do better for Ramsey. But we need more people involved to make this possible.
Ramsey is in good spirits, but in his first year in prison, Ramsey has already been put in solitary confinement, he has been cut, and Ramsey has been moved around several times, and is currently at Franklin County Corrections Facility in UpState New York, on the Canadian Border making it hard for him to stay connected to his community.

We as a community can do more to keep Ramsey safe and healthy. We want to plug you in. In any way you can. Consider the following. First and foremost Ramsey needs continuous donations of any form. Keeping his communication open to the outside, and money in his commissary is a must. WeCopwatch helps manage his PayPal donations in the areas mentioned.

THIS IS HOW YOU CAN SUPPORT

1. If you can donate one time, or a little every month, feel free to use this PayPal
“OfficialRamseyOrta@gmail.com “ or send postal order (only) to

Ramsey Orta, 16A4200
Franklin Correctional Facility
P.O. Box 10
Malone, New York 12953-0010

2. You can send food packages to Ramsey. We have an amazon wishlist that has food items that the jail accepts.
Link: http://a.co/0ptyH6P

3. You can send Ramsey books. Ramsey loves to read political work, know your rights books, history books, etc.
You can send books to

Ramsey Orta, 16A4200
Franklin Correctional Facility
P.O. Box 10
Malone, New York 12953-0010

4. We need more people helping post on twitter and content on his https://www.facebook.com/SupportRamseyOrta/ page . If you have online reach and want to be part of Ramsey’s online support team, email us at WeCopwatch@protonmail.com

Ramsey is keeping busy though.
He’s enrolled in classes,
reading the books and letters sent to him.
And recently Ramsey, Jonathan Burkhardt, and WeCopwatch have began working on a Comic Book showcasing Ramsey, his life, Copwatch, and Know Your Rights information. It’s sure to be a hit.


Ramsey Orta Can’t Breath – Produced by WeCopwatch

Standing Rock Copwatchers come to Oakland

In 2016 we left our families, our homes, our lives to go defend the water at Standing Rock, North Dakota. We stood in struggle with hundreds of tribes from across the country and continent. Our fight was for mother earth, and it was for our people, our history, and for our future.


Neither the violence brought on us by DAPL employees, local, state, federal, or tribal police, nor the snowy, windy, winter of North Dakota could break our spirit. When our camp was finally raided in February, some of us who had remained to the end left Standing Rock on a bus and we began a 2 month journey driving over 6,000 miles, through over 20 states.

We are a group of young natives, who share the same passion to protect, love and honor Mother Earth. We have been traveling from city to city connecting with other people, sharing our stories, speaking about the fight for our earth, and conducting know your rights trainings.

We have visited many communities, and answered many calls to action, whether it be to sing prayer songs, speak to the youth, or be on the frontlines.

We’ve made stops in NYC, Chicago, Washington DC, Denver, Los Vegas, Seattle, Tuscon, Compton, Minneapolis, and the Bay Area.

As we enter spring, we have found ourselves a long way from home. After traveling through two different blizzards, varies rain storms, and high winds, we find ourselves in California, thousands of miles away from home.

Many of us are currently in Oakland, California, staying with our WeCopwatch family who stayed with us at Standing Rock throughout the fall and winter.

We are currently fundraising to get the clutch on our bus fixed, and raise funds for a NoDAPL / Copwatch food truck.
And of course Copwatching whenever the police stop people in our neighborhood.

The plan is to head back to the Dakotas to visit varies camps that were built in the weeks following the Standing Rock Raids. We want to bring buffalo, and warm meals to our relatives as the camps begin to grow.

Bay Area! We are here. We want to meet you. We’d love to do any report backs, fundraisers, or even have coffee or dinner.
Contact us at WeCopwatch@gmail.com

Also
Folks can donate to the Rolling Resistance here
https://www.youcaring.com/ocetiwarriors-768414

Folks can donate to the No DAPL / Copwatch Food Truck here
https://www.gofundme.com/support-standing-rock-rock-refugee

More info about the Rolling Resistance here
https://www.facebook.com/therollingresistance/

More info about the No DAPL / Copwatch Food Truck here
http://wecopwatch.org/support-nodaplcopwatch-food-truck/

To my Brother in Arms. David Whitt

As I reflect on these past three years, it’s often hard to see where we are, where we are heading, and where we came from.

But today I see so much clarity both in what we have accomplished together, and apart. David when I met you in Ferguson, I couldn’t conceive what was about to happen. Who would have ever imagined that we could effectively kick racist police out of your neighborhood using video cameras.

Who would have ever thought that we would help bring copwatch to the people, and the communities that needed it the most.

From Ferguson, to Oakland, to Baltimore, to NYC, to Standing Rock, I thank you and am forever grateful for taking this journey with me.

We’ve sacrificed everything, and we’ve lost so much.
But I think about how large our family has grown, how many people have joined this struggle and stood with us.

We’ve been targeted, surveilled, even infiltrated by police provocateurs, yet here we are today. Stronger than ever. It did’t start with us, and certainly won’t end with us either. But I love you. You are my Brother, and have been one of the most important contributors in this struggle.

Thank you David. I see the light at the end of the tunnel. Jacob Crawford/WeCopwatch

Ramsey Needs Our Support

Here is how you can help

1. Ramsey needs legal support. He has been cut, harassed, and put into solitary confinement.
If you are a lawyer, and can make welfare phone calls, or are interested in helping support Ramsey with a few issues that he is dealing with behind bars, please contact us at WeCopwatch@protonmail.com

2. It would be great if more people were writing him. Let him know he is not alone. You can write him and send it to this address.

Ramsey Orta, 16A4200
​Franklin Correctional Facility
P.O. Box 10
Malone, New York 12953-0010

3. We send pictures to Ramsey. Feel free to take a picture with a sign, and email it to us a WeCopwatch@protonmail.com and we’ll be sure to put it in the mail.

4. Ramsey need financial support. You can donate directly to him at his Paypal using this email. OrtaRamsey@gmail.com(which was not in his control for many months) You can also send money orders to

5. Ramsey’s official pages are now RamseyOrta.org or com. RamseyOrta.info has not been updated for many months, and it had inaccurate information on it.

Ramsey Orta is in Trouble

In the past few months Ramsey has been cut, abused by guards, moved to the Canadian Border, and put in isolation.

As of today, we’re having a difficult time finding a lawyer to do welfare check on Ramsey. We don’t know how he is, we don’t know what is happening to him.

We need someone to call Ramsey.
To find out what happened
Who did it
We need to know what Ramsey needs

Are you a real deal lawyer willing to make a phone call?
Contact WeCopwatch at WeCopwatch@gmail.com for more info

Ramsey is currently at Franklin Correctional Facility:

Visiting Hours at Franklin Correctional Facility:
Inmates are limited to four visitors per session. Visiting occurs on Saturdays, Sundays, and state recognized Holidays from 7:30am-2:50pm.

Physical Address:
Franklin Correctional Facility
62 Bare Hill Road
Malone, New York 12953
Telephone:
(518)-483-6040

Inmate Mailing Address:
Ramsey Orta, 16A4200
​Franklin Correctional Facility
P.O. Box 10
Malone, New York 12953-0010
Send money via us postal order only

Support the NoDAPL/Copwatch Food Truck!

Donate Here!
Donate to our Mobile NoDAPL/Copwatch Food Truck here!

In the fall of 2016, WeCopwatch traveled to North Dakota to support the indigenous-led resistance against the Dakota Access Pipeline’s drilling along the Missouri River, right on the border of the Standing Rock Reservation. Water protectors had been experiencing violence and repression from local, and state authorities as well as DAPL employees.

The camps had already been documenting these incidents, so the idea of Copwatch resonated with many. With great honor, we were invited to return in the winter to help spread the message of Copwatch across the camps.

In the spirit of Copwatch College (which will be available this year), we interviewed a bunch of Water Protectors, dug into WITNESS and WeCopwatch’s resources and assembled and pretty incredible Copwatch / Video as Evidence Guide which we would use and distribute during training’s at Standing Rock.

You can download the Video as Evidence Guide here

We also did a successful fundraiser for video cameras and other equipment.

 

 

Copwatch Cameras for Standing Rock on Crowdrise

https://www.crowdrise.com/copwatch-cameras-for-standing-rock/
Copwatch Cameras for Standing Rock

The fund is still open. Feel free to contribute. The struggle is far from over.

We spent the great part of winter at Standing Rock splitting wood, supporting Water Protectors, and conducting varies trainings. What was evident then, and continues to be today, is that police are a real issue in Native Communities, and people want to do something about it.
WeCopwatch

In February of 2017, Local, State, and Federal authorities, assisted by officers from out of state, as well as the National Guard, raided multiple camps at Standing Rock displacing hundreds of people. Our Copwatch Community has been displaced along with others.

The camps may be gone, but the spirit of Standing Rock continues to grow as occupations sprout up across the country. WeCopwatch anticipates a busy spring and summer.

We recently decided to partner with one of our Water Protectors to obtain a food/copwatch truck that can travel from occupation to occupation feeding people and educating people about their rights when they are stopped by law enforcement, or while observing the police when they interact with members of the public.

We partnered with Richard Fisher, an elder, a warrior, a water protector, and a copwatcher. Richard took representatives of WeCopwatch into the SWO camp at Standing Rock in November of 2016.

He helped support the formation of a native led Copwatch group. Today we are trying to support him, and support this great project. The water protectors haven’t given up, so it’ up to us to make sure they have the support they need. This is a Standing Rock / WeCopwatch Collaboration, and we look forward to continuing to spread the gosepl of copwatch to Native People in resistance.
https://www.gofundme.com/support-standing-rock-rock-refugee

Budget:
$3000 – Food Truck
$500 – Literature
$2000- Gas and Transportation
$500- Copwatch Training Tee Pee
$2000- Cooking Equipment
$2000- Food