Everyone who pays attention to the news these days is aware that law enforcement officers are under intense scrutiny by those looking for any sign of misconduct.
This movement took off in 1992 with the dramatic footage of Los Angeles police beating Rodney King and the violent upheaval that followed the officers' acquittal.
Technology targets guardians of the peace
The reason this case stood out was that onlookers were just beginning to videotape police stops. In those days a video camera was still unusual, and police were surprised to have that evidence turned against them.
Today, with nearly every citizen equipped with video capabilities on their cellphones, and increasing numbers of cities and counties requiring police to maintain cameras on their person and in their squad cars, the amount of available video is vast and dismaying to officers who feel they are being watched every minute of every hour.
Cameras don't lie?
The danger to police officers is that actions they take can lead to charges of police misconduct - and while "cameras don't lie," video can be powerfully misleading unless placed in context.
In addition to unnecessary violence, the video has been used to charge officers with coercing false confessions, intimidating citizens, false arrest and imprisonment, planting evidence, spoliation of evidence, police perjury, witness tampering, corruption, profiling, illegal searches and unjustified confiscation of property.
Not an easy job
In short, this is a hard time to be a cop. They are routinely blamed for everything that goes wrong. They are scapegoated and stereotyped till they are no longer recognizable as the persons they are.
All of this explains our commitment at Houlé Law to shielding California cops from false accusations. Just as you are there to protect and serve the populace is this time of conflict and anger, we make it a focal point of our practice to protect and serve you.