On the Fox News program "Fox & Friends" today, co-host Steve Doocy and “America’s Lawyer” Peter Johnson Jr. disparaged Americans who film police with cell phones and other devices.
Even though federal courts have repeatedly ruled that it is legal for citizens to film police, Doocy and Johnson tried to paint an unseemly picture of Americans who legally exercise their rights, reports MediaMatters.org (video below).
In the beginning of the report, they tried to link police watchdog groups such as Copwatch and Cop Block, who have exposed police wrongdoing, to U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder and President Obama who both mentioned racial and ethnic tensions in Ferguson, Mo., noted RawStory.com.
However, there is no evidence that either Copwatch or Cop Block have any ties to the Obama administration.
“I’m calling them ‘cop-catchers’ and ‘police paparazzi,’” said Johnson. “Is this cynicism and distrust of police coming from the very top of the criminal justice chain?”
“Are we creating a distrust, a mistrust, a cynicism about our police?" asked Johnson, who did admit that filming the police was legal.
“Are we creating such an environment for our police officers that we believe their actions are going to be suspect, are going to be criminal? Shouldn’t we have more confidence in their ability to do the right thing?” Johnson later added.
However, Johnson failed to mention why police deserve this "confidence" in a country where citizens are eight times more likely to be killed by a police officer than a terrorist, noted WashingtonsBlog.com.
USA Today reported that about 400 people are killed by police every year, and two black people are killed every week by a white police officer based on numbers that were voluntarily reported to the FBI by some local police departments, but not all, which means the numbers could be far larger.
"After Ferguson, a lot of people were saying, ‘Why don’t police offers wear little video cameras?’ I like that idea," stated Doocy. "But if someone’s just standing next to an officer with a camera saying, ‘I’m not doing anything, I’m just waiting for you to do something stupid.’”
“You’re right,” Johnson replied. “There are studies that say it decreases violence, it decreases police abuse, that it’s good all around. But the bigger question is, how intrusive, how disruptive, how dangerous is it to have squads of Americans going around saying, ‘I’m going to watch you police officer,’ ‘I don’t believe what you’re doing,’ ‘You’re a suspect inherently.’”
Johnson gave no reason as to why police officers shouldn't be suspect, just like any other American citizen, other than the fact they are police officers.