Think Freely Media presents Common Sense with Paul Jacob

Police Officer Un-indicted

We’re naturally worried about the potential for police abuse of power — cops who roust people for no good reason, then claim that the other party was “resisting arrest” or some such thing.

But sometimes it’s the person on the other side of the badge who reconstructs history.

Several days ago, a story broke about Django Unchained actress Danièle Watts, who is African-American, being accosted along with her white boyfriend by a police officer who wanted to see their IDs. Both later suggested that they were targeted by police for racial reasons. On her Facebook page, Watts reported that she “was handcuffed and detained by two police officers . . . after refusing to agree that I had done something wrong by showing affection, fully clothed, in a public place.”

But audio of the encounter that has come to light shows an officer politely asking for ID, and explaining that he was responding to a call. (The caller had claimed the couple were having sex in public.) The officer is calm; Watts is persistently histrionic. She brings up race; he says race wasn’t the issue, sexual activity in public was.

We can argue about whether the officer should have handcuffed the actress in response to her recalcitrance. (Apparently, an accusation is all that is required to trigger police power, a demand to “see our papers.” It’s hard not to be on Ms. Watts’s pro-freedom side on that.) But now that this recording is out there, her original version of the encounter just won’t stand.

Enough reason to put video-recording devices onto every police lapel . . . in L.A., in Ferguson, everywhere.

This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.

By: Redactor


  1. Rick says:

    Sure. Just don’t let the cop himself be in control of the on-off switch.

    OT Everything we see going on in the world today is a massive effort to prop up the status quo at a time when people realize the status quo is not working–Scotland, Catalonia, Middle East, Fiscal/monetary policy, etc, etc. Now we decide to arm Syrian rebels? Our foreign/domestic policy is beyond stupid. But are things painful enough to cause meaningful change? When only 36% of Americans can only name 3 branches of gov’t i don’t think so and the political elite know it.

  2. JFB says:

    Always on while on duty, and soon it will be claimed by the victims recording their actions was unfair. An armed and recorded society is a polite society.

  3. Paul Jacob says:

    A reader emailed me to say, “Exactly. As a former cop, I’m thinking I would love to have a video came recording everything. This would prove any accusation that might have been lodged against me would have been bogus. I can’t stand those pulling the race card as a means of trying to get out of trouble. It is used all too often.”

  4. Rick says:

    Foreign policy:

    I think our policy regarding Iraq & Syria should be as follows:

    1) We are leaving the area.
    2) If you want to leave the area, people such as the Yzidis or whoever else, we will give you 60 days of air cover.
    3) After that we are gone and it’s up to Iran, Saudi, Syria, Turkey, etc to work this out.

  5. Rick says:

    The reason why this is the only practical policy is the fundamental reality that someday we will be forced into a larger war with the Muslims. We have proved we don’t know who to trust. We don’t know how to bring peace to the area and we are going broke trying to keep this up. And further they are a people with a totally different set of values as is laid out by Sahria law and our systems are incompatible. Therefore we have no fundamental business trying to direct the lives and future of these people.

  6. […] I’ve argued that police be required to wear cameras on the job — for the sake of both the wrongly used and the wrongly accused. […]

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