Posted by
Benjamin Leo
• 01.26.11 12:00 pm

WARNING: Filming a cop with your cell phone can now get you 15 years in the hole; just ask these poor shmucks.

Still from Sundance finalist Ty Hardaway’s short film “Getting Along”

I remember thinking black people were right to riot after the Rodney King verdict. Don’t get me wrong, I was glad to be safely tucked away on the Upper West Side and protected by a Hispanic doorman, but from an intellectual perspective it was a no brainer: The video was right there on the fucking TV! How you gonna say it’s OK to beat the shit out of the guy like that?

When the judge and jury actually saw Celebrity Rehab contestant Rodney King being savagely beaten, and still found the cops innocent, Black America© was outraged. (The question is: Would they STILL have been outraged if he hadn’t been a celebrity?)

Either way, an overall message was clear: Due to the magic of ten-pound shoulder cameras, federal express packages and television, a new era of justice had arrived. From now on the cops would have to watch their asses — they never knew when people would pull a ten-pound handycam out of a knapsack and BOOM.

Like most pressing threats, it took Johnny Law 20 years to respond — but their response this time is a doozy: Check this shit out. These two poor fucks are going to do 15 YEARS behind bars for just audiotaping cops without their consent, and one of them was recording a cop who was allegedly sexually harassing her!

At press time, it’s only quite this harsh in Chicago (well, all of Illinois, but the rest of the state’s toothless population doesn’t have smartphones or computers) but law enforcement is making inroads towards making these draconian policies the law of the land.

Look, here’s the bottom line: I couldn’t do what the police do; I thank god for the cops. My best FRIEND is a cop. A black cop. A lesbian black handicapped cop — and don’t be a dick: She was wounded on 9/11 an has a desk job now like the extras on Barney Miller.

The point is this: I love the police more than my own mother, but as a society, I think we’re making a serious mistake by not reforming these laws.

All of us regular citizens are walking around getting filmed all the time — there are security cameras everywhere — and we’re told not to bitch about our privacy because “if you’re not doing anything wrong, you’ve got nothing to fear.”

Why exactly are police exempt from this? How exactly does filming a cop ostensibly endanger them?

“Eavesdropping laws” are as outdated as the Second Amendment; they were intended to prevent the mob from wiretapping police conversations and altering their criminal master plans to avoid capture. In 2011, police are as endangered by iPhones as NRA members are threatened by the British army.

We never could have imagined that 20 years after Rodney King, everyone would be walking around with miniature cameras in their pockets — so just realize that in 20 more years, everyone WILL be walking around with ocular camera implants. Laws that already seem awkward in light of today’s technological advances with seem like the Salem Witch Decrees by 2025.

Look, nobody likes being recorded at their job. I could KILL the motherfucker who proved to my boss that I spend 40% of my day on Redtube. But sentencing people to spend 15 years behind bars because they left a cellphone camera running is as corrupt and cruel as a Giuliani mop-handle to the starfish.


  1. ty says:

    “A lesbian black handicapped cop” with an adopted Chinese daughter (who’s in a charter school with the uniforms n’ shit).

  2. Dad is a cop says:

    Great picture and highly entertaining content, but the law is actually a necessary evil. I understand it may come off as a double-standard, but the fact is that law enforcement needs special privileges (like running red lights?) to accomplish their very dangerous, essential, an unenviable job.

  3. ahhhh yeah says:

    Dad is a cop- not seeing the equivalence between running a red light and not being filmed.

  4. noparentsnorulez says:


  5. demetrios says:

    Would it be right for Jigaboo jones to grab one of his guns and create a riot after the rodney king verdict and kill your hybrid daughter? What sort of fucking walking contradicion is that.
    “I remember thinking black people were right to riot after the rodney king riot”

  6. Arv says:

    @demetrios: Where do you see “I remember thinking black people were right to riot after the rodney king riot?”

  7. demetrios @arv says:

    Holy shit dude someone’s sleeping did you even read the article or by god did you write it is that why your pissed its the first fucking line in the article

  8. ahhhh yeah says:

    d- read it again

  9. Arv says:

    @demetrios: Wow, you do not know how to read.

  10. no.thanks. says:

    lets start a campaign where everybody just starts to record cops all the time. the state wouldnt possibly lock up that many people to make a point.

  11. Uncle Wah Wah says:


    “hybrid daughter” HAHAHAHA

    Better than “Mongrel”, I suppose

  12. Jim Shorts says:

    getting wounded on 9/11 turned your bff (such a fag you are) into a black handicapped lesbian? i haven’t heard of this syndrome. if you can get her to take on veganism, you’ll have a contender for moodiest person in the world on your hands. rodney king was not a celebrity when he got that beating either. he was a scrub that vaguely resembled mailman malone.

  13. Cha cha cha says:

    @ Jim Shorts

    You might be the stupidest person i’ve ever met.

  14. chRon says:

    @ no.thanks. You said:

    “lets start a campaign where everybody just starts to record cops all the time. the state wouldnt possibly lock up that many people to make a point.”

    Right – we all know the state is primarily concerned with real crimes™… It’s not like there are 13 million people rotting behind bars for smoking teh herbz.

  15. Jim Shorts says:

    what dude i think your column is freakin allsome.

  16. Anonymous says:

    arv is stupid…it says that right in the thing…duh

  17. you all like "Fergie" says:

    It says “after the Rodney King verdict” not “after the Rodney King riot”

    Either way, you’re both stupid.

  18. hagenshape says:

    Hear, hear.
    Right fucking on Benjamin

  19. demetrios @arv says:

    why don’t you focus on the real matter at hand why this article is complete bullshit kind of like you and you and you and the rest of the contributors on this website and not be niggling over one stupid error….sorry arv im still waiting for a substantial response with with some responsible substance with relation to my point you clown.

  20. Clifford Stoll says:

    What did I miss? Who is the new version of Vane$$a minus the brains and wit?

  21. Dude says:

    Police are public officials performing public duties in a public place using public equipment wearing publicly financed uniforms.

    How the hell do they expect to have rights to privacy?

    Now buff my knob cochese I’m putting this up on redtube. Slurp it. That’s better.

  22. thanks says:

    Man, it would have been really easy to overdo this one.

  23. itchibang says:

    If Roberts wasn’t obsessed with overturning Thomas’s blond wife, Scalia wouldn’t be be all up in the ol’ Alito, Ginsberg would be howling, and Kagan would be giving Kennedy a righteous four-on-the-floor with Sotomayor.

  24. Roofis T says:

    Damn good.

  25. FEDERAL COME™ says:

    why would anyone encourage arv to open his mouth?

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