Dave Urbanski 7 hours
Police in Washington, D.C., might have their hands full this week.
First of all, it’s against the law for them to have their body cameras on while they’re just monitoring the throng of protesters expected at the inauguration of Republican President-elect Donald Trump, WRC-TV reported — that is, unless something happens in the crowd that requires a police response.
On top of that, the American Civil Liberties Union is trying to help protesters keep tabs on police behavior. The agency is touting a new app — Mobile Justice — that lets citizens report on police in real time if they believe cops are violating others’ constitutional rights, WRC reported.
“The more people who are watching, the less incidences of collisions between police and protesters,” Monica Hopkins-Maxwell of the District of Columbia’s ACLU told the station.
Presumably unless those people who are watching are police — a scenario Hopkins-Maxwell seems flatly against.
“Those cameras shouldn’t be on. The police shouldn’t be allowed to surveil First Amendment activity,” she told WRC, adding that the group is concerned about “the availability of body cameras, what is done with that data, who looks at that data [and] what that data is used for.”
In addition, the D.C. government also will be watching police during the inaugural.
Michael Tobin, executive director of the District’s Office of Police Complaints, indicated he’ll have teams in the crowd monitoring district police, the station said. The five mobile field teams will monitor parade routes, he said, according to WRC — and will be equipped with audio and video recording devices.
WRC added that ACLU-trained marshals also will monitor police activity during the inauguration.