Asking an Oakland PD officer why he's hidden his badge

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127 Responses to “Asking an Oakland PD officer why he's hidden his badge”

  1. ikkleste says:

    And when is boss isn’t directly present? of his boss comes down on his side or just stonewalls you too (perhaps with his own badge taped)?

    What if the timing isn’t right? It all very well doing this while things are relatively chilled as they appeared to be in the video. But if things are a little more heated? If the officer is currently dealing with someone causing trouble in a way you think is unfair and you need to identify them there and then?Don’t get me wrong, I feel this is the right way to handle things. But it isn’t always going to work. And there’s a chance he just re-taped it after they rode away. 

    • BLK PXLS says:

      Lets End this right here

      1. I did not have my face covered and Im not some out of town punk. I am a proud Black Male resident of OAKLAND

      2. I never stated the cop had evil intentions.Im just  tired of cops getting away with shit because there is no proof.

      3.I posted this video because of the officers ATTITUDE. We asked him politely why over 10 times. no answer and was trying to give me the intimidation stare. We remained respectful and non violent. Thats what cops ask for right?
      4. All the officer had to say was…I’m hiding my name for my families safety. I dont want my family harassed.Then  I would NOT have posted the video.

      5. This is for OSCAR GRANT!

      6. I have been slam to the ground, had guns pointed at me, hit with nightsticks and held in handcuff being humiliated by POLICE.  KARMA just came back to equal out all the times cops have violated me and my friends!

  2. Glad to see evidence of what so many people have been reporting from Oakland over the past few weeks. 

    Furious that this is allowed to occur without consequences. 

    A modest proposal: any police officer found concealing their identification should be expelled from the force. Permanently.

    We pay their wages, we dictate the rules. Demand identifiability and *accountability* from your public servants.

  3. Stonewalker says:

    If Law Enforcement Officers are going to be the good guys, then they must be transparent.  We CAN’T trust them if they won’t follow their own rules.  When the cops don’t follow the law, we don’t’ have Rule of Law, and I can’t blame the anarchists for burning shit to the ground.

  4. kmoser says:

    Shouldn’t somebody dressed like a police officer, but without a valid badge, be arrested on suspicion of impersonating a police officer?

  5. Bill Walsh says:

    That Wong dude seemed like a pretty cool cat though.

    • Anna Clover says:

       A pretty cool cat? If those guys weren’t passing through with a camera to hand, he would have allowed the officer to continue to cover his name badge. He’s just as bad, if not worse for not disciplining his officers.

  6. Zooey says:

    oh god, who would ever want to be a police officer and have to go through that though, cameras shoved in your face demanding to know your name, accusing you of being evil. no matter how badly i would want to become a police officer to help and protect people… (confession: sometimes watching law and order makes this nerd really want to serve and protect!)but … i just couldn’t live with that kind of harassment as my everyday life.

    not to say he wasn’t wrong, obviously he was. but MOST likely he is a decent guy just trying to avoid having his name on the news or protect him and his family from being sued for the likely ~30K starting salary a year job. (probably paid less that what the kids who were videotaping him paid in college tuition.) but he is humiliated for making a mistake. i don’t know what other working class public servants are subjected to that kind of public injustice. “PARK RANGER, BUS DRIVER, WHAT ARE YOU TRYING TO HIDE, HUH??? SHOW YOUR NAME TAG TO OUR CAMERA IN YOUR FACE!!!!!” yes he is a public servant, but not a politician for god sake.

    he broke policy, he made a mistake i could see myself making if i wasn’t feeling comfortable in that situation. but he is upheld to this humiliation about it, implying that he is evil and a ‘bad cop’ that wants to hurt people… really, its just wrong. where is the humility.

    and for those who say he has ill intent because he was covering up his name, i would like to remind you of a very boingboing argument – just because we sometimes like to have to protections of anonymity online doesn’t mean we are trying to do bad things (as some like to suggest).

    • That_Anonymous_Coward says:

      Well if you planned on violating peoples rights and breaking the rules to protect your misdeeds then I am glad your not going to be a cop.
      If you planned to be part of the big blue wall of silence, where the cops close ranks to protect those who break the law, violate citizens rights, and well pepperspray people to be a dick… I am glad your not going to be a cop.

      Had this officer not been spotted trying to do something that is suspicious and only allows him to remain anonymous while in a position of a authority, where peoples rights are being violated quite often, no one would have been up in his face.

      Can you name 1 good reason for an officer to cover up his name and badge number that does not involve him getting ready to do something that does not involve him trying to hide from misdeeds?

      • Roxanne says:

        What this cop did was inappropriate, but this action alone does not an evil man make. Case in point — just because OWS protesters in Oakland may be gathering in numbers doesn’t mean they are all out to vandalize, loot and steal, or cause any trouble what so ever. I think you make a serious error in judgment to say that because he was covering up his name, automatically his intentions were evil.

        * Yes, it was against policy for him to attempt to cover his name
        * Yes, he was probably being cocky and self-righteous about it (I was married for years to a jailer, I know how cops and jailers can have god-complexes)
        * Yes, he ignored you until you sought a superior and had the situation rectified

        What I also know is:
        ** this man likely gets paid squat to go out every day and RISK HIS LIFE for the safety of you and your family
        ** this man does a job that most of the rest of us would never want to do – long and stressful hours, dealing with, typically, the worst society has to offer
        ** even a dick can have good intentions, and,
        ** EVERYONE, including cops, are human; they have families and personal interests and reasons for doing everything they do. Not all of those reasons are good, not all bad.

        The bottom line is, while we need to keep our government accountable, think of the far worse atrocities that the OWS itself is attempting to represent. Perhaps we should stay focused on the purpose and the message. That police officer has been just as underrepresented in this society as all the rest of the 99%, and on top of it, he risks his life on the job! How many of you can say that? Give him a bit of slake, make him accountable by reporting the incident to his superior, by why humiliate someone who has yet to do anything but “look suspicious”. 

        Seems to me that behavior is no better than the police officers who have far more obviously taken law into their own hands. Focus on those who ARE guilty, and don’t prosecute someone who likely was just trying to protect his interests from media-hungry cameras like this one.

        Sadly it is sites like BoingBoing (which I completely enjoy and don’t blame particularly) that prop up these types of videos, encouraging people who are likely just like me, living hundreds and even thousands of miles from this situation. These people judge a situation they really know nothing about (he didn’t respond to the question about why he covered his name, but it would be interesting to know the truth), about someone they know even less about. I’m just as guilty at times, but the issue here is — when will the media become less about the drama of an incident, as if everyone lives in a made-for-TV reality show, and more about the humanity of our society and our lives. I believe we have become a society of sensationalism, and humiliating this cop on camera is just indication of how far people are willing to fulfill their own “instant fame” yearnings.

        • EH says:

          Who called the officer evil, besides you and Zooey?

          At OPD, covering your nametag is a misdemeanor.

        • Antinous / Moderator says:

          ** this man likely gets paid squat to go out every day and RISK HIS LIFE for the safety of you and your family

          ‘Police Officer’ isn’t even in the top ten most dangerous jobs. Farmers, fishermen and pizza deliverers take a higher risk when they go to work.

        • That_Anonymous_Coward says:

          And I quote myself…
          “Can you name 1 good reason for an officer to cover up his name and badge number that does not involve him getting ready to do something that does not involve him trying to hide from misdeeds?”

          And between yourself and Zooey the only response has been to say I called him evil.  What is a good enough reason for the person charged with upholding the law to violate it himself?

          The officer does not have the option to protect himself from media-hungry cameras, he is in public in uniform doing his job.  He is in the process of breaking the law by covering up his badge.  The fact you blithely accept there is some justification that places him above the law is the same mindset that looks the other way when the police put the beat down on a “criminal” and violates the criminals rights.  He was a bad person, he deserved it…
          Either we hold them accountable everytime, or we accept they can choose where and when to follow or enforce the law, and our rights happen at their whim.

          • Roxanne says:

            I mostly agree with everything you say. My point is that you’re ignoring the human factor, and assuming that his intentions must have been purely “bad”. What I’m saying is, maybe the guy just didn’t want media-hungry journalist-wannabes to use his name in any way shape or form to get their kicks.

            YES, he should be held accountable
            YES, he should not be above the law
            YES, he should follow the rules he enforces

            Perhaps his intentions was to discourage retribution to his family if his name showed up on an amateur YouTube video, for ANY reason, while he was doing his job.

            This man performs his job and is accountable and legally required to show his name, and show his position as a police office, WHEN ON DUTY, and for the individuals with which he is conferring, or working.

            Let me ask you — if someone were recording your every move, good or bad, while at work, every day, whether you like it or not, AND, you didn’t know when, or whom, was recording what, or at what time, how would that feel? Would you feel self-conscious about your actions and behaviors? Whether it be taking 5 minutes longer to return from lunch or chatting with an office mate at the water cooler when you are supposed to be working, don’t you think you’d feel strange about that?

            Now what if you add to the mix a highly charged environment, in a situation in which, perhaps, your life could be in danger, or you could get hurt. 

            I am NOT justifying this man’s behavior or breaking police policy or, perhaps, any laws. What I’m saying is this is unusual, and we are living in unusual times. When the law (if it is a law, I still believe it is likely police policy/rules, but isn’t strictly a law) was created, I wonder if the idea of nationally televised viral joe-blow videos were considered.

            Again, I say, for me this isn’t an issue of him having broken the rules – HE DID! He is guilty, guilty, guilty, and the supervisor corrected the situation. What I’m saying is, does the man deserve humiliation and mistreatment? Is that how we respect the law, and those who risk their lives and swear to protect us?

          • EH says:

            What I’m saying is, maybe the guy just didn’t want media-hungry journalist-wannabes to use his name in any way shape or form to get their kicks.

            It’s illegal for him to make that decision. Why are you trying so hard to reason your way around this?

          • Roxanne says:

            It is also illegal for protesters to declare any space they choose as a camping setup, disrupting commerce and requiring hundreds of thousands in tax-payer monies to deal with it. Peaceful protests are legal, but camping in public space without permission is not. Neither is disobeying police requests to disperse. Shouldn’t the citizens of the OWS groups be held accountable to the same laws and rules as the police officers? 

            What I’m saying is, once again, he was wrong, he was told to rectify the situation and did, should we continue to humiliate him with a viral web video?

          • EH says:

            Don’t change the subject.

          • That_Anonymous_Coward says:

            The fact he had to be told to stop breaking the law is the story.

            It was illegal for blacks to march in the south, and they did.  It cost lots of money to have the police come and beat them for daring to challenge the law they felt was unjust.  Police told them to stop marching, and they kept going.
            https://secure.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/wiki/Martin_Luther_King_Jr#.22Bloody_Sunday.22.2C_1965

            So in your mind he is a criminal and we should ignore that what is was protesting was right and just.  That he should have just accepted the law and stayed in his place.

            https://secure.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/wiki/Selma_to_Montgomery_marches

          • That_Anonymous_Coward says:

            “Let me ask you — if someone were recording your every move, good or
            bad, while at work, every day, whether you like it or not, AND, you
            didn’t know when, or whom, was recording what, or at what time, how
            would that feel? Would you feel self-conscious about your actions and
            behaviors? Whether it be taking 5 minutes longer to return from lunch or
            chatting with an office mate at the water cooler when you are supposed
            to be working, don’t you think you’d feel strange about that?”

            I do not work in a  public setting.  I am not paid with public funds.  I do not have a list of rules governing my appearance when I am in uniform.  Trying to spin this into I should feel sorry for a cop openly breaking the law because if it was done to me I’d be angry really is a cop out on your part.  You want me to experience empathy for someone breaking the law while employed to uphold it.  I don’t care if he was having a bad day, or was grumpy, or was worried about his family, or any of that.  I care about him being in direct violation of the law while firmly wrapped in the protection of his position.

            Maybe if OPD had not put 2 veterans in the hospital, forcing one to crawl on his hands and knees while in pain from his spleen being ruptured and left in a cell while it bled because he was unable to walk I might experience empathy.  Maybe had OPD not turned their raid into a complete clusterfuck, and then LIE TO OUR FACES ABOUT WHAT WE SAW ON VIDEO, I might have some respect for them.  An OPD officer is on tape, BREAKING THE LAW.  Maybe if they respected the law and our rights I would give them more respect.  They put on a uniform, swear to protect and serve, and then break the law.  Is this cop guilty of anything other than covering up his badge?  I have no idea.  What I do know is someone with power and authority decided to break the law, why do you expect me to respect it anymore than he did?  What I do know is when the situation is tense this officers best idea was to cover his own ass, screw the law.

            To borrow some information posted earlier…
            “Each officer shall wear a badge, nameplate, or other device on the
            outside of his or her uniform or on his or her helmet which bears the
            identification number or the name of the officer, as required by Penal
            Code § 830.10.”

    • Antinous / Moderator says:

      …just because we sometimes like to have to protections of anonymity online doesn’t mean we are trying to do bad things…

      That would be a valid argument if it were possible to tase or teargas someone over the internet.

      • grs says:

        …just because we sometimes like to have to protections of anonymity online doesn’t mean we are trying to do bad things…

        That would be a valid argument if it were possible to tase or teargas someone over the internet.

        Be careful next time you open your CD/DVD drive.

        In response to topic:  Bravo to C. Wong. There’s no need to speculate on the motives of J. Hargraves for covering his name. It was wrong, it was rectified, but there could be dozens of legitimate and illegitimate reasons for covering the name. Regardless, it was wrong.

        Also, if look around the 17 second mark, the officer standing on Wong’s left (screen right) doesn’t have a visible name either. The camera pans rather quickly, but even with the quick pans, you can see other officers names are not covered (even though you can’t read the names do to quick pans).

      • travtastic says:

        I’m guessing if you haven’t figured out how to by now, it’s not possible.

    • franka_645 says:

      The police officer starting salary here in Oakland is $71,841, and bus drivers aren’t issued guns.

      http://www.opdjobs.com/salarie

    • joeposts says:

      “i don’t know what other working class public servants are subjected to that kind of public injustice.”

      I don’t know what kind of jobs you’ve had, but where I live, transit drivers are routinely videotaped and treated rudely. Lots of people really seem to hate them – they’re well paid union workers, and that’s a terrible thing, nowadays.

      I work in health care, have had to put up with all kinds of rude people, sometimes violent ones, and it’s not always the patients. I know several educators, if they upset the wrong parents they inevitably face legal or employment threats, sometimes worse. Then their union gets in trouble for defending them, people get down on teacher unions, etc. etc. etc.

      What can you do? It’s not just police who face this problem, it’s just usually them complaining about it. Why should they have a right to anonymity when other professionals with less power to abuse don’t have that right?

      • Phil Fot says:

        Treated rudely? I can think of any number of times I was treated rudely while I was a member of the US armed forces. And I can guarantee you, those in the enlisted ranks make significantly less than the rookies in the oakland PD.

      • This bus driver analogy is dead now, please. If a bus driver had the lawful authority to arrest me, detain me, ruin my reputation, give me a permanent record, to carry weapons such a guns, batons, and pepper spray, then we might have something to compare. 

        The difference here is that the police officer in the video is not just an ordinary citizen doing an ordinary job. He has sworn to serve and protect the people of Oakland. He has been given authority and has been armed with weapons to enforce the law. He should know the law, observe it and be an example of a lawful citizen.  If he doesn’t like it, then he’s not suited for the job and should switch careers. I don’t think it’s wrong to hold people in positions of authority to a high standard. 

        And I think you know this, but in the current environment of the protests, with videos like this (and much worse) popping up as evidence of the police misconduct, , you can understand why covering up his name badge is a red flag.  Why else would he need that anonymity? 

        Lastly, anonymity on the internet is an important but separate issue . People are concerned about government and corporations viewing their personal data without their knowledge or consent. Or maybe they just aren’t interested in having companies profit off their data by selling it.  Plus you know, avoiding spam, spyware, etc…

        • joeposts says:

          “This bus driver analogy is dead now, please.”

          I didn’t mean to insinuate that the people asking the cop to wear a badge were “rude,” so I should have put that better. All I meant was that just about anyone who works with the public puts up with abuse – in response to this idea that police are somehow special and need us to walk on eggshells when they’re around.

    • MinistryOfInfo says:

      MOST likely he is a decent guy just trying to avoid having his name on the news or protect him and his family from being sued….
       i don’t know what other working class public servants are subjected to that kind of public injustice. “PARK RANGER, BUS DRIVER, WHAT ARE YOU TRYING TO HIDE, HUH??? SHOW YOUR NAME TAG TO OUR CAMERA IN YOUR FACE!!!!!” yes he is a public servant, but not a politician for god sake.

      No.  It’s not comparible.  If someone has legal power over me and can haul me away in handcuffs, I demand that he’s fully identifiable and accountable.  If he’s uncomfortable with that, I’m afraid he’s in the wrong job – it’s a fundamental principle that law-enforcement officers need to be identifiable, and I’d be astonished if he didn’t know that when he joined up.

      Incidentally, here in the UK police officers display numbers on their shoulders, not name badges.  There’s a problem with riot officers concealing ther numbers, of course….

      • Zooey says:

        I think my argument was lost… I STRONGLY believe police officers MUST be identifiable, and it is for ALL of our protection. My own mother got arrested once for insisting a police officer tell her his name. She went to court for years fighting that cops need to wear identification for public safety. Trust me, I am NOT arguing against this!

        If that is what came out of this video/article was that, ‘police officers SHOULD BE REQUIRED to wear identification’, and ‘its for our safety,’ then I would be cheering!

        But it wasn’t that. 

        My argument was against
        1. cheering on humiliating a working class person
        2. crucifying him in the media and
        3. declaring him guilty of wanting to hurt people!

        “This how to properly engage with police…”

        The ‘upstanding citizens’ DID the right thing by going to the LT and getting his name tag uncovered, but they treated him with such… indignity. That isn’t how you ‘properly’ treat anyone.

        Its a shame to see my peers, educated people, who are protesting unethical economic policies and financial institutions… really believe they have every right to publicly shame a working person on the job for not what he did, but what they are implying he would have done.

        • Frederik says:

          It’s because police officers so often get away with being unidentifiable and breaking the law when they do that.
          They only power citizens have to fight back against that behaviour is to make it public.
          If police officers were always friendly and proffesional during these peacefull protests, you’d have a point. But they are the ones misbehaving and this is the consequence of that.

        • Daniel says:

          We’re talking about a policeman who broke a law.  Why are you trying to excuse a law enforcement officer for breaking the law?  He’s supposed to enforce it, not break it.

        • 1) He’s a working person, yes.  But if he’s covering his nametag, he’s not doing his job and should be held accountable.  He deserves a bit of humiliation, the same as any other working-class public servant who is flagrantly shirking his or her duties.

          3) I would declare him guilty of not wanting to be held accountable for any hurt he may inflict.  It’s a fine distinction, but you’re right, it’s important.

    • Everyone's Grudge says:

      He didn’t just break policy, he broke the LAW. 

    • Warren_Terra says:

      not to say he wasn’t wrong, obviously he was. but MOST likely he is a decent guy just trying to avoid having his name on the news or protect him and his family from being sued for the likely ~30K starting salary a year job.

      The second of these claims is just ignorant, in every conceivable way – the officer has the backing of both his department and his union, and in any case he isn’t individually liable for the performance of his officially sanctioned duties. Not to mention that it isn’t a 30k salary job (you’re off by at least 100%, not counting overtime), and that no-one would bother to sue him individually if he hasn’t any money. They might press the DA to prosecute, perhaps, but would hardly bother to sue.

      As to the first of your claims, your fears are worth addressing. But this is a case for big, visible badge numbers, not for anonymity. Numbers can preserve accountability (perhaps better than names;  how much good would the name tag of an officer Smith, Jones, or Lee serve?) while diminishing some of the risk of harrassment; you can lodge a complaint against officer number 1234 without knowing their name, and without discovering where they live quite so easily.

      • Zooey says:

        Agree with the large badge numbers, that is a great resolution!

        However - “The second of these claims is just ignorant, in every conceivable way -”

        Thanks for the vote of confidence. But see quoted salaries below in comments also researched by other commenters – both Oakland and NYPD starting salaries were in the $30k range.

        Also an estimated 30,000 police officers are served with civil suits every year. (Civil suit is a suit specifically against the officer with compensation from his/her assets, not the department, in which the officer is determined not to have immunity from his/her police duty. For example, most police officers are not protected in cases of civil rights, etc., which is likely what someone would charge in the case of OWS.)

        • Von Haus says:

          Ok seriously now. Acknowledge the existence of inflation and stop it with your $30k figure. From the US inflation calculator a salary of $34.5k in 1995 (so the average for the figures you gave) would be equivalent to a salary of $51.36k today. That is not the poverty line. That is far from the poverty line.

          • Zooey says:

            Perhaps you misread. 

            “…The little I know about cops salaries is from NYC, which I knew a few years ago from the papers was something  like $22K in their first year, and there was some uproar about it bordering poverty level…”

            $22K salary in NYC in the year 2005 is bordering poverty level.

          • Nonentity says:

            Why is it you keep using a salary figure from the NYPD, from several years ago, to defend an officer who was clearly breaking the rules in a completely different city today?  Kind of odd, especially since your figure just happens to be immediately after a big cut in pay was put in place in the NYPD… so if we looked at just a year earlier, or possibly something more recent, it might not look nearly so horrible.

            That’s ignoring the fact that you’re looking at rookie pay from several years ago, which would not be what the police officer in question would be making even if he were in NY.

        • mikenon says:

          Civil suits require proof to be won. There is nothing stopping anyone from filing frivolous civil suits, but there’s a way to guarantee the plaintiff goes home empty handed: Don’t do something worthy of being named in a civil suit over.

          Nobody was humiliating the officer in the video. The camera man wanted answers, and the officer wasn’t giving them. He stood there with a smile on his face, unresponsive. The next logical step is to ask the person who the officer reports to, which is exactly what they did. There was no disrespect on the part of the citizens. They asked polite questions, explaining the situation thoroughly, that’s it.

          This video was made possible by an officer showing contempt for the law he swore to uphold.

    • Rebecca says:

      This asinine tangent is – exactly that. Since all of what you said is stupid, I’ll just highlight a few key parts. 

       ” i don’t know what other working class public servants are subjected to that kind of public injustice.”How about whenever someone get’s mowed down by a bus? Or Bart cops? they SHOULD essentially be the same thing as a park ranger, but like all police figures up here, they take it too far. Mall cops, they’re on camera too. The reason why cops are so frequently on camera is because they’re the ones who are frequently fucking up. 
       “he broke policy, he made a mistake i could see myself making if i wasn’t feeling comfortable in that situation. but he is upheld to this humiliation about it, implying that he is evil and a ‘bad cop’ that wants to hurt people… really, its just wrong”
      This officer broke policy intentionally, knowingly. He clearly had the intent of fucking people up and not getting caught. I can say this because (and I doubt you where there getting beat with batons and gassed by these assholes) I was there. He might not have been responsible for my broken ribs, but he sure as fuck is an accomplice.

      Stick to your law & order and your simple understanding of law enforcement and remain ignorant.

    • EvilSpirit says:

      If only police could be allowed to operate with greater secrecy, they wouldn’t suffer the anxiety that comes with public scrutiny. A sort of secret police, if you will.

    • I hear what you’re saying but we’ve gone past the point where we should worry that doing the right thing might hurt somebody’s feelings.

    • Trey Roady says:

      The problem isn’t just that he wants to maintain a level of anonymity. The problem is that he has a potential to wield force. It goes beyond public servitude to the basis that you don’t want to allow someone who exercises that much power to be unidentifiable. Social Psychology has shown that when people feel they cannot be identified, they respond with more force than they would otherwise. What we’re attempting to do here is to keep and honest man honest. Without the accountability, it’s even easier to get swept up in the moment and do something stupid and brutal.

      I can appreciate the misgivings about being watched, constantly. However, that’s the price of carrying a badge and a gun. I think that the people in this video may even be a touch disrespectful, if I were to call it. They’re right, though. It’s just very important to remember that they’re people too: with faults and strengths like all of us. They’ve put themselves in a difficult role and deserve respect for it *and* our attention to keep them responsible for that role.

    • OtherMichael says:

      And what does salary vs. the cost of a an education matter? Am I only allowed to demand that police follow the law if I make less than they do? Thank g-d I can still challenge every member of congress under that rule….

    • Marc Mielke says:

      Most of us can’t shoot people in the face because we’re anonymous. A policeman concealing his badge kind of can. So screw that guy; if you want to be able to arrest, taser, and on rare occasions shoot people you don’t get to be anonymous. 

      Bad cops are the most damaging and dangerous criminal; practically immune from prosecution, able to bully and harm others with impunity, and by their mere existence reducing any respect citizens have for the police.

    • mikenon says:

      Oh boy, where to start? By answering your first question/accusation, I suppose. “oh god, who would ever want to be a police officer and have to go through that though, cameras shoved in your face demanding to know your name, accusing you of being evil.”

      There are a few types of people that are interested in being law enforcement officers. They breakdown into two categories, people who truly want to protect their community, and people who enjoy having power. If this officer didn’t want to risk being called out he shouldn’t have ignored the rules set by his employer.

      General responses to the rest of your comment…

      1: Nobody accused him, directly or not, of being evil. A citizen, whose money employs the officer, asked why he was concealing his identity.

      2: His employer protects him from liability in most cases of wrong doing, save for doing something completely reprehensible. Covering his badge to protect himself from lawsuits is much less effective than not doing something that could result in a lawsuit.

      3: When viewed in the context of being on protest patrol, officers covering their identifying marks is a silent gesture that shows their willingness to commit acts worthy of punishment. The police love to use the line “You’ve got nothing to fear if you have nothing to hide.” wrt search requests, and the same applies here: “You’ve got nothing to fear if you aren’t committing crimes.”

      4: Police are servants of the citizens of their communities. Not the other way around. Far too many of them, and the public, have this mixed up. It’s time to fix that, and this video goes a long way to show it.

    • It’s fine to want privacy and anonymity.  But when you’re on the clock, in a position where you’re expected to interact with the public and serve the public interest, well, you can want whatever you like.  But you can’t have it.

    • Gerard van Schip says:

      Yeah imagine that, having a camera watch you and being accused of evil… Wait a second, is that not exactly what is done to use with CCTV, fingerprinting, body scanners, profiling, data logging, phone tapping, internet behavior logging etc etc.

      Here in Japan a CCTV camera is a rare thing, when there is an accident or a criminal being arrested the police will do their best to cover the victim and even the criminal with blankets so the media can’t take photos or videos.

      Police officers are there to enforce the law, seeing we do not have another level above them to make sure they do the right job they need to be transparent.

    • Anna Clover says:

      Park rangers and bus drivers do not carry weapons that can seriously injure and kill people. 

  7. Christian Buggedei says:

    pfft.. at least, there is an obligation to wear those badges and at least they usually do so. Watch this video (in german) where the speaker of the police union is ranting against the newly introduced name tags – which have sharp edges that might be used as an impromptu weapon against the force!  Enjoy the demonstration how that deadly nametag is employed to cut up meat…

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DWFhkK5yylA

    • Phil Fot says:

      I have been associated with military police and shore patrol. One of the first things they are told is to remove their ribbons (the badges that represent awards and medals) and nametags. Because in the even of an altercation, people have pulled those items from the MP/SP’s short and cut them up pretty well. The ribbons and nametags are held by little spikes that fit into a removable backing, similar to an earring backing.

      Having one’s face and arms sliced up sucks. No one likes bleeding.

  8. Øyvind says:

    OK, so the cops are a-holes and make up rules as they go along. Fine, that’s wrong, and they should be called out on it.
    But my dog, the smugness and self-righteousness of the OWS people is unbearable! Not just the ones in this video, but a substantioal amount of the ones showing up on camera/in the media. I support their outrage, but part of me still want to hit them.

  9. Zooey says:

    So according to your rationale, wanting to remain anonymous for any reason means you plan on hurting people? Interesting stance… wait, Anonymous Coward!??

    COPS! Arrest this man. According to his own logic, his public desire for anonymity means he definitely WILL hurt people.

    Look, he could have had bad intentions. He could have been planning on pepper-spraying everyone up as hard as he could. Probably he didn’t. Just like you are innocent until you start hurting people and then hide behind your anonymity.

    He is a public servant, and like all people on the public payroll, he needs to be held accountable. He didn’t follow policy, and he should be punished. But jumping on any old officer and declaring them of INTENDING to hurt people… it just isn’t right. These are people too, and they should be treated with the respect we ask ourselves. Who are we to treat a working class person like that, and to crucify him in the media? 

    • Trey Roady says:

      Zooey, part of the problem is that even if he isn’t planning on carrying out anything untoward and only desires that his name not show up somewhere, in the event that he has to make a decision or react, he will now be more likely to reply with excessive force.

      Intention doesn’t have to exist at the beginning (and likely doesn’t). That’s the problem. In his mind, it’s likely not much of a difference, but when it turns into a tense situation it makes all the difference in the world.

    • mikenon says:

       Re: Your second comment, are you being serious? I haven’t read the rest of your justifications down the page yet, but you can’t be serious. Right?

      Not only have you misinterpreted the comment you’re responding to, you’re telling us comments on a website are as dangerous as wearing a gun to a protest?

      Here’s the key difference you’ve neglected to consider: That_Anonymous_Coward isn’t anonymous. By commenting here they’ve left several identifying marks. He can be tracked down if he commits a crime, and all it takes is a search warrant.

      • Zooey says:

        No, I wasn’t being serious. I was being sarcastic.

        ‘That_Anonymous_Coward’ accused me of wanting to “violate citizens rights, and… pepperspray people to be a dick…” as a cop.

        Because I said I could never be a cop. 

        Because I said that I, personally, would want to help people, but that I imagine it must suck to be a good cop (not necessarily the guy in the video but) and then be constantly vilified as wanting to hurt people. 

        The guy in the video MAY have wanted to hurt people. But we don’t know that, and it just seems weird that I’m the only one who feels its wrong to convict him in a public forum as intending to hurt people.  He is guilty of covering his name tag, there is no defending him or other thousands of cops that are covering their name tags. But there is no defending implied guilt of horrific acts on an (as far as we know) innocent person either.

        I’d rather see more public shaming and crucifixion of Wall Street executives and police who actually did hurt people, already (in real life).

        • mikenon says:

          The message included with the video, in its entirety, is:

          This how to properly engage with police when they do suspicious things. We were riding by on bikes and noticed hes hiding his name and has no badge number. SO we decided to ask him. He did not answer, we asked a ranking officer is that policy? The LT. quickly went about fixing his attitude. This is a common practice among cops at occupy’s around the US .That way he/she cannot be named or referenced if he participates in police miss-conduct . Its in most police departments policies that all officers in uniform must show some form of identification. OPD does not wear badges with #’s, how do we hold anyone accountable?

          THANKS OPD LT C.WONG for stepping up and holding the officer accountable on camera! 

          The sentences, I assume, you find fault with are: “This is a common practice among cops at occupy’s around the US .That way he/she cannot be named or referenced if he participates in police miss-conduct .”

          The first sentence is a fact with plenty of video evidence.  The second sentence is also a fact with videos that back it up. What’s absent is any wording that says the officer in the video may want to hurt people. Your interpretation of the message is far more telling than the message itself.

        • Nonentity says:

          ‘That_Anonymous_Coward’ accused me of wanting to “violate citizens rights, and… pepperspray people to be a dick…” as a cop.

          Actually, he accused you of wanting to be part of the “big blue wall of silence, where the cops close ranks to protect those who” perform those acts.

          You know, kind of like how you’re currently trying to defend a policeman who covered up his nametag, in violation of the conditions of his job…. an act which strongly implies a desire to not be accountable for anything he does from his position of authority.

          You’re not being accused of wanting to commit evil directly.  Just being part of what makes it possible for others to do so without accountability.

          • Zooey says:

            Perhaps you misread??

            “you’re currently trying to defend a policeman who covered up his nametag” 

            My exact quote: “He is guilty of covering his name tag, there is no defending him”

            “…but there is no defending implied guilt of [violent] acts on (as far as we know) an innocent person either.”

          • EvilSpirit says:

            Yes, I see that you said you’re not defending him. Unfortunately, *saying* that you are not defending the guy is not the same as actually not defending him.

          • Nonentity says:

            “you’re currently trying to defend a policeman who covered up his nametag” 

            ? Perhaps you misread.

            Perhaps you’ve forgotten some of the other things you’ve written:
            “MOST likely he is a decent guy just trying to avoid having his name on the news”
            “he could have had bad intentions. [...] Probably he didn’t.”
            …and I’m not even going to try to quote your repeated talk about what his pay might be, which is completely irrelevant.

            Yes, you’ve been trying to defend him.

            By covering his nametag, he’s explicitly trying to avoid accountability for his actions.  Saying things like “oh, but he probably didn’t have bad intentions” is being part of the problem that allows police to get away with doing this sort of thing and then proceeding to make use of their lack of accountability.

          • Zooey says:

            I’m defending myself, actually. I’m being repeatedly accused of defending this guy covering his badge (among other ugly accusations and name calling) when I’ve repeatedly said covering his name tag is that he was guilty, wrong, and should be held accountable.

            However, I understand the confusion, and the high emotions involved. Police brutality is a serious, serious problem in America, and in the OWS movement. I am extremely close to the movement, and if someone were defending police brutality and the misuse of power we are fighting against… in ANY way… I would be completely inflamed… I don’t think I would be able to keep my emotions in check either.

            PLEASE understand, I am not defending this! While I was playing devil’s advocate because I felt bad the public forum was insinuating this random police officer had plans to violently attack innocent civilians, I have NEVER DEFENDED IN ANY WAY this or any officer covering their badge identity. And I repeat, I think he SHOULD be prosecuted for covering his name tag. (In fact personally I think the law should be that any officer who conceals his/her identity, particularly in a riot situation, should lose his job. Common sense if you ask me.)

            However, to be clear, WHAT I AM DEFENDING – is that IT IS A TOTALLY SEPARATE ISSUE to then prosecute an individual human being  in a public forum for something he DIDN’T ACTUALLY DO (as far as we know) –  which is to inflict violence against the innocent public. 

            If you were accused of being a terrorist because you looked suspiciously like a terrorist might act, I would still stand by you and say it is wrong to publicly prosecute you as a terrorist unless you actually did ANYTHING other than suspiciously LOOKING LIKE one of the guys that ACTUALLY COMMITTED ACTS OF VIOLENCE.

            Maybe he was going to do something bad. But we DON’T KNOW. 

            What we do know, is there are those that ARE GUILTY. The police officials and heads of department should answer to the institutionalized polices of subverting civil liberties, and to all officers who actually DID commit violent acts against the public. THEY should answer, and THEY should pay.

          • Nonentity says:

            Maybe he was going to do something bad. But we DON’T KNOW.

            My, but you’re hopeless.  No, we do know he was doing something wrong.  He was explicitly trying to hide from accountability of his actions, and many people have pointed out laws against this.

            No, we don’t know what those actions might have ended up being, but that’s not why he’s now documented in a video.  He is documented in a video because he is one of many who have been hiding from accountability, and because there is a real problem of police committing violence and avoiding responsibility by doing this.

            It doesn’t matter whether this particular officer had done or would do something bad while his tag was hidden.  Hiding that namebadge isn’t a minor thing in these circumstances, and it is something that needs to be clearly documented.

            Asking him, politely, why his badge is covered isn’t treating him like he’s a terrorist.  Doing so on camera, and documenting his refusal to respond or correct the situation on his own, is not treating him as though he is guilty of anything else.  It is raising awareness of a serious problem, which this officer is taking part of… regardless of whether he did anything else, whether he’s a “decent guy”, and whether his pay is good.

  10. pigpen23 says:

    silly liberals, covering your badge IS policy. i’ve seen plenty of lines of riot cops with tape over their badge numbers. it’s not individual cops, it’s the social role and institution.

    • Everyone's Grudge says:

      This is actually a violation of California Penal Code § 830.10. It’s even in Oakland’s Crowd Control and Crowd Management Policy (pg. 5, Section III, C3). http://info.publicintelligence.net/OPD-CrowdControl.pdf

      “Each officer shall wear a badge, nameplate, or other device on the outside of his or her uniform or on his or her helmet which bears the identification number or the name of the officer, as required by Penal Code § 830.10.”

  11. Zooey says:

    Wow that’s amazing, so high, geez. Thanks for the info! The little I know about cops salaries is from NYC, which I knew a few years ago from the papers was something  like $22K in their first year, and there was some uproar about it bordering poverty level. I did hear though that outside of the NYPD police get paid a lot better. Looks like now NYPD get $41K in their first year, a lot better. http://www.nypdrecruit.com/benefits-salary/overview

    According to this paper, the average starting salary between 1990-2000 was around $34k-$35k, guessing around when this guy started. http://bjs.ojp.usdoj.gov/content/pub/pdf/pdlc00.pdf

    • franka_645 says:

      Interesting!  From that link it looks like police officers are one of the very few professions in the U.S., outside investment banking of course, whose salaries have actually risen over the rise of inflation over the last ten years. 

      I think that OPD salaries are so high as a combination of danger pay and just plain incentive.

  12. Christian Buggedei says:

    For the record: The police has a hell of a job, which surely isn’t easy. I’m all in favour for giving them the best education possible, good work conditions (ie decent equipment and hours) and a very decent salary. After all, those folks are there to protect me, so I want them to be well-adjusted and prepared for that job.

    BUT: There is the possibility that, on occasion, they are somehow in a position where they are opposed to me. Issuing a traffic ticket, trying to maintain order during a demonstration, or investigating something where I might end up as a suspect (even if I’m truly innocent, they might not know that at that point. And I want them to be watched and controlled when they do that. I want to be sure that if they overstep their bounds, they get corrected. And for that, nametags are a must.

    I hold the police to a much higher standard than the average citizen. I’m willing to give them perks (as a good salary for instance) in return, but that higher standard needs to be enforced.

  13. Zooey says:

    It was more of an esoteric argument against ‘desire for anonymity implies ill intent’. 

    Yes, bad things can mean tear gas, but it can also mean things non-physical that are possible online, including hacking and doing harm to massive amounts of people.

    • elix says:

      If you are given a gun to carry during the course of your duties at your job, I DEMAND the ability to identify you by a nametag or other similar piece of visible identification. End of story.

      This does not imply that I expect you to shoot me out of turn, but that gun is a big responsibility, and responsibility goes hand in hand with accountability.

  14. ultranaut says:

    I am willing to arrest myself for $70k a year. POE

  15. Jonathan Moy says:

    If their weren’t cops,  society would be anarchy.  The question is how to make them have greater sense of ethics. 

  16. jarrett nichols says:

    if a cop asks for your name you have to tell them its only fair it works the other way to also no ones saying anything about the good cops if your truly trying to protect and serve why on earth would want to hide your identity these people are the police we trust them to enforce the law and protect the people  if you have that kind of responsibly then you need to be held accountable for actions if you abuse the position the only way that can happen is if all officers are identifiable in my opinion the only reason for covering your name is that you plan on doing something that you dont want to be caught doing 

  17. framkewerk says:

    “My argument was against 
    1. cheering on humiliating a working class person 
    2. crucifying him in the media and 
    3. declaring him guilty of wanting to hurt people!”

    1. The man in the video is clearly asking politely the cop why he is covering his badge.

    2. The media is CNN, FOX News, etc. Everyone with a cellphone has a camera these days…that doesn’t make them journalists or the media. And again he politely asked why he was covering his badge twice, which the cop refused to answer. Cops are public servants, who are supposed to serve the public, in public. 

    3. Nowhere in this video did he accuse the police of wanting to hurt people.

    • Zooey says:

      Insert video here – We walk into your job and took of you doing something suspicious.

      Blurb - Upstanding citizen shows you how its done:
      “This how to properly engage with framkewerk when they do suspicious things. We decided to ask him. He did not answer, we asked his boss, is that policy? We showed him our cameras. His boss quickly went about fixing his attitude. This is a common practice for people like framkewerk, that way he cannot be caught if he participates in misconduct and work-place violence.”

      1. Posting in online, millions of people have now seen this video. Are you humiliated? How about your family? Is your career going to be affected?

      2. Let’s say you are a school teacher. You are a public servant. You don’t answer the question we ask on our rogue video, does that make you guilty?

      Millions of people have seen the video, and its been published in one of the most famous blogs in the world. That isn’t media?

      3. We never SAID  in the video that you hurt people. We just said in the text below that people who do suspicious things LIKE what you were doing participate in violence. 

      Commenters online proceed to imply you were going to tear gas people, etc. 

      I’ll repeat. I think my argument was lost… I STRONGLY believe police officers MUST be identifiable, and it is for ALL of our protection. Trust me, I am NOT arguing against this!

      Its just a shame to see educated people who are protesting unethical economic policies and financial institutions… believe they have every right to publicly shame a working person on the job for not what he did, but what they are implying he would have done.

      • Nicholas Tuzzio says:

        No, sorry, he deserved the public shaming that he got because what he had already done (cover his nametag) was unequivocally wrong.  Not because he was a cop, not because of a media witchhunt, not because it implied he was going to do violence later.  What they had already caught him doing was wrong, and that is where the shame comes from.  His response just makes it worse.

      • Your argument would hold up if police officers have no power. They do, in fact they wield significantly more authority than just about anyone else you will meet on the street. The price they pay for this is to lose their anonymity while on the job.
         “With great power comes great responsibility” may be cheesy and trite at this point but it gets at exactly the issue. We cannot force police to be responsible, but we at minimum force them to be accountable, and thereby encourage responsible behavior.

      • framkewerk says:

        Here’s the point I’m making, don’t do the crime if you can’t take the punishment. Unfortunately we live in an age where everything is monitored, easily accessible in terms of our “privacy”. I think most would agree the officer knowingly took the risk himself of exposing himself in public. There’s a difference between making an honest mistake against a policy and knowing better but still going against policy anyway. So if an officer knowingly hides his identity, he faces the same risk like any other public servant wether be politician, president, etc.

        The bigger picture to this is that for centuries, there have been many cases of injustices, abusive power of authority by public figures against citizens who are innocent/law abiding.  Through exposure and public awareness of this kind of behaviour you begin to solve its problem. This officers hiding of his identity is just an example of this.

      • dude, it’s part of his job requirements to show his name badge. it’s part of his freaking job. 

      • mikenon says:

        1. Posting in online, millions of people have now seen this video. Are
        you humiliated? How about your family? Is your career going to be
        affected?

        I’m probably humiliated. But I also recognize I was in the wrong and caused the whole episode to begin with. I can’t fault someone for pointing out my blatant disregard for official policy. If my family is affected it is nobody’s fault but my own, the same is true of my career. The facts are simple: I broke the law, and the people who caught it on tape were fully within it. Playing the blame game isn’t going to do any good.

        2. Let’s say you are a school teacher. You are a public
        servant. You don’t answer the question we ask on our rogue video, does
        that make you guilty?

        It makes my motives suspect, as is only fair. I purposefully subverted the rules and was caught with my pants down. Then I refused to comment. Maybe I broke the rules for no reason at all, or maybe I broke the rules for reasons that I don’t want caught on film. My silence left interpretation up to the viewers.

        [#]. Millions of people have seen the video, and its been published in one of the most famous blogs in the world. That isn’t media?

        It sure is the media, and soon it will hit the old media, and I’ll get to relive the shame I brought to my profession.

        3.
        We never SAID  in the video that you hurt people. We just said in the
        text below that people who do suspicious things LIKE what you were doing
        participate in violence.

        Recent videos of police using gas and rubber bullets show officers who’s tags have been covered with black tape. There is certainly cause for suspicion when I covered my tag, and didn’t have a good reason for doing so.

  18. andygates says:

    Yay for the Internet. Even with a badge covered, cops are easily identifiable. 

    Sousveillance in your face, Officer Blank.

  19. The better to thump you with, Grandma!

  20. olaf says:

    Well, in Germany police shows no sign of identification, not even a number. When one German state wanted to introduce a plastic number sign in the recent past it was rejected by the police as being to dangerous because it could be used as a cutter against the officer by criminals. An officer even demonstrated that on camera by slicing a well cooked piece of traditional german beef called “Eisbein”. Of course they did not demand sewed signs, but rather no signs at all. Amnesty International is running a campaign against German police violence, missing German police officer identification and lack of proper investigation of police violence in Germany. So consider yourself lucky if you live in Oakland. ;-)

    • Warren_Terra says:

      In my very limited experience of living in Germany for a year a couple decades ago, most of the young people I met were very anti-authoritarian, anti-militarist, and would never consider joining the police – but the subset of people who bucked that trend and wanted to join the police really seemed to get off on the power. Seeing them swaggering around, especially rousting the winos in the train station late at night, gave a powerful impression. And the ticket proctors on the streetcar were practically cartoonish caricatures of authority-mad petty martinets.

  21. Stefan Marjoram says:

    I wish his name had been Wight

  22. daneyul says:

    A little OWS PR recommendation for others filming police encounters (these guys were much better than many btw).

    When filming a verbal confrontation, ask your question no more than enough times to make it clear you have been heard, and the cop is not going to respond.    Then seek another cop/supervisor if possible. 

    If you do find another cop who also fails to respond, do the same thing–film the question, but don’t repeat it over and over and over and over in increasingly shrill tones.  If no cop or superior is available, which is often the case, leave it at that.  Put the video on the web, show it to the press, use it as evidence in a complaint…whatever. 

    Just quit with the Youtube videos of shrill “polite encounters”  which come across as smug douche-bags haranguing working class guys.  Once that starts you lose the narrative of  unresponsive cops and instead make them the sympathetic characters.

    Not. Helping.

  23. Pickleschlitz says:

    And of course the protestors will wear name badges too so they can be held accountable if they do something wrong, right? Everybody stands up as an individual and takes personal responsibility for his actions! No one is anonymous! I think that’s a great idea.

    • Hanglyman says:

      That’s a really obvious strawman. At what point did you make the leap from “the people who enforce the law should be held accountable to prevent abuse of their power” to “nobody should ever be anonymous”?  I really find it hard to believe you think that’s a valid argument.

    • Steve Lord says:

      If the protestors had the legal authority to arrest people, throw them in jail, and respond with force (up to and including deadly force) if they resisted? You bet your pickle I’d want them to be identifiable.

      Football players wear jerseys with their name and number prominently displayed on the back, so fans can easily identify them in a crowd of large, sweaty people. Perhaps we need police officers to do the same during the course of their official duties?

    • CaptainPedge says:

      No, the protesters won’t wear name badges, but the protesters will not handcuff people, drag them half way across town and lock them in a tiny room for 12 hours with no contgact with anyone else and then interrogate them

  24. shortsands says:

    A little fishy don’t you think ?

    Something to hide perhaps?

    Have a nice one..http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=ov8FeODxyXU

  25. ffabian says:

    Edit: this is a reply to warren_terra

    In my experience a german (insert other western european country) police officer is by several degrees more approachable, friendly, open to arguments than a police officers in the US. The attitude is quite different. Everytime I had to deal with cops in the US there was this oppressive “bully” attitude – always the underlying threat of violence, better make no wrong move etc. It’s difficult to describe but here in germany the policeman is more a citizen in uniform than an authoritarian enforcer.

    I know it’s difficult to believe ’cause for many in the US Germany is still Naziland and therefore police must be like  the Gestapo but WW2 is over and we’re a democracy for nearly seventy years now.

    BTW one german state – Berlin – introduced identification of police officers (name or number)

  26. Sparrow says:

    He is not covering his name. He is covering his badge number. 

    The number allows him to be identified by the force if there is a complaint, but does not provide an easy way for individuals to look up his personal information for their own purposes. 

    Without the number he is like an anonymous troll on a message board, but with mod rights that include tasers, pepper spray and guns.

  27. Damien says:

    It’s becoming standard practise in Victoria, Australia, for police to cover-up or remove their names (often attached to uniform with a velcro strip) when things are about to get unpleasant.
    It’s highly illegal, and I’ve never heard of police officers here being reprimanded.
    In fact, about a week ago, when they attached the Occupy Melbourne protest, the tip-off of imminent danger was that so few police were wearing ID. Then came the riot-police, the charges from police on horseback, and the phoney arrests…
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/setaysha/6268257253/

    • Kimmo says:

      Note: This isn’t kimmo, but as he left himself logged on on my computer, I’ll be him for a day. 

      Is it “highly illegal”? Perhaps the law has changed. At the S11 protests in melbourne we were similarly outraged at the removal of name tags so we did some legal research, seeking to back up our outrage. Actually turned out the police here only have to provide ID if they are arresting you. As they were more interested in punching us than arresting us, technically, at least in regards to removing their name tags, they were not doing anything wrong. I wonder if this is not the case in the states as well. 

  28. Tim Drage says:

    Came for the concern-trolling, stayed for the ACTUAL WHITE-KNIGHTING OF FLAGRANTLY ILLEGAL AND DANGEROUS POLICE BEHAVIOUR, wow.

  29. Jaye Thompson says:

    A couple salient points I’m trying to keep in mind:
    Intent cannot be proven nor should it be assumed. The officer in the video broke the law, no question, but we cannot know from just this video why he did so. (Reasoning doesn’t change the illegality of his actions, but it might shed light on further intent to break the law.) We cannot, therefore, presume to know what he “might have done” after this, had his badge/name been obscured. We can infer, we can suppose, we can cite sources that indicate [XYZ], but we cannot assume.

    Being a police officer comes with a badge, a uniform, and a boatload of visibility and responsibility. Asshats are sold separately.

  30. Wally Ballou says:

    But my dog, the smugness and self-righteousness of the OWS people is unbearable!

    My argument was against 1. cheering on humiliating a working class person

    which come across as smug douche-bags haranguing working class guys

    Heh heh heh….. if I’d posted something like this from a right-wing POV, I’d be (probably correctly) pegged as a concern troll.

    The veneer of “working class” is dissolving from the #occupy movement pretty rapidly now.  Aggrieved fine arts and social science majors just aren’t very good at portraying themselves as two-fisted Joe Hill types.  Didn’t sustain very well for the New Left in the sixties, either….

    And FWIW I am totally against police concealing their badge numbers.

  31. Strato Head says:

    Unlike we citizens, who in most places in the US can’t legally “mask up” to protect our ID’s, most LEO who work “riot control” tend to have their faces covered with face shields, and respirator/gas masks…  if they cover their name tape and badge numbers (if their dept issues numbered badges) they we have ZERO recourse against excuses of “rouge bad elements within the force” or “impossible to identify the officer responsible for” shit that seems to SOP anymore.

  32. Bahumat says:

    The look on the cop’s face early on was the face of a man thinking to himself: “You better not hope I catch your ass in an alleyway later, you smug fucking punk.”

    And that is precisely the sort of man who has no fucking business being a police officer. There is *NO* excuse for concealing your identity as a uniformed police officer. NONE.

    Do not just fire that man. PROSECUTE HIM.

  33. Jim Saul says:

    By the way, has the been any identification of the cop who shot Scott Olsen in the head?  

    How about the cop who lobbed a grenade into the group who were trying to save Olsen’s life?

    edit… wait, it just occurred to me that I keep thinking of the identification of the officers to be something done from outside.

    What I should have said is, have the officers stepped forward and identified themselves as firing that shot and throwing that grenade? Because there must be some kind of record when a cop uses a weapon against a citizen, right? Some paperwork at least.

    No? Oh. That’s weird. So a nurse has to fill out forms to give a patient an aspirin in a hospital, but a cop who potentially kills a citizen need not give it a second thought unless someone catches it on film and he is identifiable?

    Something seems wrong about that.

  34. Donaleen Kohn says:

    Everybody should dress like police men.  Then no one can be identified.

  35. lmc56 says:

    I’ve been thinking it would be a great idea to *require* uniformed officers’ uniforms to have a gigantic badge number printed on the back. Yeah, that’ll happen.

  36. Pickleschlitz says:

    Re: Anonymity

    When they were signing the Declaration of Independence, an act of civil disobedience for which they could have been hung, John Hancock signed his name big so the King could read it without his spectacles.

    There aren’t many John Hancocks in the world on either side any more.

    • Antinous / Moderator says:

      When they were signing the Declaration of Independence, an act of civil disobedience for which they could have been hung, John Hancock signed his name big so the King could read it without his spectacles.

      I wonder why they didn’t just arrest him. Surely they could track his every movement with surveillance cameras, cell phone locations, ATM withdrawals and credit card transactions. Those Brits were really lying down on the job.

  37. EH says:

    The videographer forgot to ask for an apology.

  38. Baldhead says:

    If it’s fair for police to assume that anyone at a protest wearing a mask is up to no good (not entirely with some basis is fact) then it is equally fair that any police office concealing their identity is also up to no good. Doubly so because that identification is REQUIRED BY LAW.

  39. ghostbear says:

    Maybe because occupiers have taken that information, hacked computers and diseminated officers personal information on the internet?

  40. Kurt says:

    Why are police duty uniforms (shirts/jackets) not like sports team jerseys, with a name and a large visible number?

  41. Since I read this in the wee hours of the morning before I went to Occupy Houston’s Divestment March, I was careful to look at the police uniforms. No officer had tape on their badge. However,  this was a somewhat chilly morning, the first occupy event I ever went to where the police were wearing jackets.  Guess what? All the jackets are generic jackets with no names or ID numbers.

    Luckily, HPD has been very relaxed with Occupy Houston. By the time we got to the Chase Bank divestment, we had over two hundred marchers. Marchers were allowed to enter the banks in small groups to either close their  accounts or make symbolic withdrawals. The ony time the police cot at all confrontational was when a heckler stopped his car in the street. He was told he needed to move on as soon as the light turned green.

    Overall,  HPD has been highly professional. Though it does bother me a bit that they’re going to be wearing these jackets every morning until it warms up in February.

  42. Marktech says:

    That took me back more than twenty-five years, to the miners’ strike in the UK.  One of the details which persuaded this comfortable middle-class kid that the police weren’t necessarily knights in shining armour was this famous photograph, which shows the holes in the epaulettes where their identifying numbers had been removed.

    That confrontation also taught me something about the media.  The police baton-charged the striking miners, who retaliated with a counter-charge; when the BBC TV news reported this they simply reversed the order of events, and blamed the miners for starting the violence.

  43. D Wyatt says:

    The ONLY reason it worked was because his boss was right there.   IT WAS GREAT TO WATCH BUT A RARE EVENT.

    If you had asked an unwilling officer for his name or badge number you will be ignored or probably even attacked, just a warning to those out there thinking of doing this. 

    The system is failing.
    The system needs to start making sense instead of cents. 

  44. snagglepuss says:

    The real question is, what did those cops do after the camera kids left? Did the cop put the tape back over his nametag and they all had a good laugh at the “stupid liberal”‘s expense? Did the lieutenant write up a report on Occifer Pup? Did the lieutenant chew out the cop in front of the others and ask him if he’s aware of the trouble he just caused him, and then warn him to do a better job of hiding his identity?

    The looks that cop gave the camera holder spoke volumes to me. “You win this time, PUNK…But just wait ’till my superior ain’t around. Your hippie ass is MINE.” was the attitude that I saw…

  45. Maddy says:

    RULE OF LAW, RULE OF LAW they shout when a certain someone didn’t tell a judge about the blow-job he got.  I wonder how our RULE OF LAW people will suddenly feel like “giving a break” to the poor, nice policeman …

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