WeCopwatch offering Online Courses in 2017!

This year WeCopwatch began offering a series of intensive Copwatch / Know Your Rights trainings and classes to Copwatch groups and individuals.

We feel that the responsibility of watching the police falls on us all. That’s why a primary function of WeCopwatch is to educate the masses about their rights when stopped by law enforcement, and while out observing the police.

We’ve trained with varies groups, individuals, and organizations like the Peaceful Streets Project , The Canfield Watchmen, and WITNESS. But the demand for trainings and information is so great that we’ve come to the conclusion that we need to make our information more accessible to the general public.
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Inspired by a UC Berkeley college class taught by Berkeley Copwatch, and motivated by the daily requests for support and training, WeCopwatch has been working tirelessly consolidating information and training material into a full curriculum that will educate and empower the public to make better decisions when interacting with law enforcement, be better witnesses when observing police stops, and to be better advocates for victims when we witness and document incidents of police misconduct.

Copwatch College will be multiple classes comprised of videos and reading material as well as a multitude of reference material so that one can take their education as far and deep as they want. And yes, there is an optional exam at the conclusion of each class.

Course material will also be downloadable so that it can be utilized and distributed in trainings and workshops and be accessible to people who are not connected to the internet.

Once enrolled, you can take classes at your pace.
You can enroll in the entire course, or sign up for just one class.

The hope is that regardless of how far you take it, that you walk away with tools to act.

This is the current curriculum. . .

The History and Role of Police in America

From Slave Patrols to Strike Breakers

Rights and Who they Serve
They were written for White Men but. . . .

The Watchers
A History of Watching the Police

How Police are Trained

Enter the Mindset of Johnny Law

Rights When Stopped by Police
An Overview of Different types of Stops, your Rights, and Strategies for Exercising them

Rights and Tactics for Safe and Effective Copwatching

Responding to Critical Incidents Involving the Police
Tool Kits for deploying to Police Shootings and Crowd Control scenarios

Conducting Public and Legal Investigations

So The FBI is at Your Door. .

Image by Eccentric Circle

This is a repost from about three years ago. It’s important to note that this the only version to still exists online. Apparently the FBI has sent privacy complaints to youtube regarding their identities being open to the public. If you are an agent with the FBI and take issue with this post, consider how it would feel to be a law abiding person and be visited by agents for “pre crimes”. And if you take issue with this video being online, please contact the ACLU Northern Branch. . . .

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Want To Start A Copwatch?

Over the years, Copwatch groups have spread across the nation and world.

If you are interested in starting a Copwatch group, reach out to your community and find like-minded folks. Read up on your rights (local, state, and federal). Check in with the greater public about Copwatch and see how they feel about it. If it’s a need that makes sense, go out and do it, and be great!

Here are some resources Berkeley Copwatch has used in Know Your Rights trainings over the years.

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Right to Videotape Policy (Got One?)

When Berkeley Copwatch formed back in 1990, police were initially resistant to the idea of people watching them with video cameras. Some copwatchers would be harassed or even arrested for documenting police stops. But with conflict, there came resolution. The Berkeley Police Department eventually created a departmental policy known as “Bulletin 91” which required the Berkeley police to provide the least amount of restrictions to civilian oversight of the police during contained situations.

While the public has the right to observe and videotape police during the course of their duty, if you intend to pro-actively monitor the police, it doesn’t hurt to pressure your local department to develop a policy that outlines their requirement of officers to respect people’s right to observe.

Below are several examples of different cities’ copwatch policies:

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