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. . . .
On April 21, 2010, two agents of the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF) came to my house to talk to me, a part time peace volunteer for Palestine. After verifying that they really were with the FBI, I asked them to wait. I shut my door, took a deep breath, and grabbed my video camera.
In an ideal world what prevails is “the truth.” Therefore, if you are innocent, you have nothing to fear since ultimately you will be found innocent. But the real world is not ideal; and what really counts in this world of ours is the “perception of truth.” Powerful governmental institutions with insurmountable resources at their disposal in terms of skills, money, manpower, organization, computer systems, etc. can create a perception of truth that ends you up in prison—even though you are innocent. This is why there are innocent people on Death Row. Consequently, the only prudent answer, when interrogated by government officials, is to exercise your Right to Remain Silent, and request an attorney, specially, during the current times of political agitation and war hysteria.
Just remember that as Voltaire once said, “It’s dangerous to be right when the government is wrong” and that “In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act.” -George Orwell
I want to thank Jeffry Zavala for: * Helping me remain anonymous in this video * For creating something to help you if the FBI ever knocks on your door to question you about pre-crimes,* For helping me to tell others about my number one cause: Promoting the “One-State” Solution to the Palestine-Israel conflict, instead of the apartheid-like “Two-State” scenario.
Click here for more about your rights when the FBI comes to your door. . .
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.
These Streets Are Watching
These Streets are Watching is a 50 minute video on police accountability in three communities; Denver, Cincinnati and Berkeley. The video documents incidents of possible police brutality. Independent filmmaker Jacob Crawford weaves three cities’ responses to police brutality into a single tale of community empowerment and direct action. The film conveys basic legal concepts that can provide practical help to groups and individuals seeking an understanding of their rights when dealing with police. The film is divided into sections that explain citizen’s basic rights, tactics for documenting police activity, and ideas for further action and organizing. These Streets Are Watching has been screened across the United States and has played on television across the United States.
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: