All censorship exists to prevent any one from challenging current conceptions and existing institutions.
All progress is initiated by challenging current conceptions, and executed by supplanting existing institutions.
Consequently the first condition of progress is the removal of censorship.
Berkeley Copwatch is based on the idea that WATCHING the police is a crucial first step in the process of organizing. We do not attempt to interfere in police activity or to resist police misconduct physically. It is our hope that, one day, mass outrage at police and government violence will increase to a point where fundamental change in the nature of policing becomes inevitable.
"..highlight the double standard that some grant to those with badges. By documenting police actions – whether they are illegal, immoral or just a waste of time and resources – then calling the police stations involved (ideally while recording and then later sharing your conversation), we can work together to bring about transparency and have a real impact".
"We can't support them unconditionally if they hide from us this critical information about their work," says Trib legal counsel David A. Strassburger about first responders, speaking on behalf of both newspapers and the public...The Senate must not fall for this rollback of transparency masquerading as aid for a victimized group.
This information can also provide insight into additional resources requested to an emergency scene, how long it took those resources to arrive, and the appropriateness of the resources requested. This is important to assure that the most proximal resources needed for the job are the ones being requested and sent.
HB 1174 will allow government agencies to withhold much of this information.
As a public safety professional for most of my working life, I strive to make sure that the job I am doing can be held up openly before the public as an example of conscientious, professional service. I believe that accountability and transparency trump what seems to me to be an over-reaching effort to "protect" crime victims and witnesses. I also believe that there are those who seek the same "protection" whose aim is to conceal from the public examples of less than professional
In the process of researching this bill, I requested comment from the ACLU of Pennsylvania regarding their take on it. Legislative Director Andy Hoover responded, "At the moment, we have no position on this bill but will continue to monitor this legislation and offer our input when appropriate".
Contacting your state senator, and encouraging them to closely evaluate these factors when considering whether to support or oppose HB 1174, is definitely a good idea.