Emily Good was arrested for video-taping a police officer--despite the fact that in Rochester, New York, video-taping cops isn't actually a crime. Accordingly the charges were dropped yesterday. Here's a defense of Good's demonstrably illegal arrest:
The action Monday by the District
Attorney's Office showed that "basically it
wasn't a crime," Stare said after court.
Doorley said the decision to drop the
charge should not be read as an indictment
of the arrest.
"The police put their lives on the line for us
every day," she said.
Across the community, people who viewed
Good as an agitator also commended the
police, noting that the streets they monitor
can be dangerous.
In 2009, three Rochester police officers
were shot, though those incidents were not
the offspring of traffic stops.
Rochester Police Locust Club union
President Michael Mazzeo said he worries
that the case could signal to people that
they can interfere with a police stop or
"The last thing we need is people
interfering or distracting officers in the
middle of a situation," Mazzeo said. "It
could turn deadly."
I'm really trying to wrap my head around this: In what world do we defend the right of people to be arrested for non-crimes? Obviously this one. But it can't continue this way. I deeply believe, that in a world of viral video, it slowly erodes the brand and legitimacy of law enforcement.
It's already happened in many black communities, where the police are simply viewed as another power to be contended with. I'm sure, like a lot of you, I've had some talks about my son about how he should interact with the police. "Trust" is a small portion of that conversation.
Oh yeah, and just for kicks
, the cops decided to "put their lives on the line for us" by ticketing a bunch of people who protested Good's arrest. No, seriously. This is bigger than a few bad apples.
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is a national correspondent for The Atlantic
, where he writes about culture, politics, and social issues. He is the author of The Beautiful Struggle
, Between the World and Me,
and We Were Eight Years in Power