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First Amendment Auditors YouTube



  • I'm quite a fan of the auditors. The well behaving, respectful, and not crossing the line trolling.

    The ones i've enjoyed the most are when they are simply walking along a curbside, road, or standing still... and get pulled over for ID. They refuse to give ID and are detained because of that, even thought they are not required to produce ID.

    I think people like this shine a spotlight on the mentality and frequently accept abuse of power by the cops. Some really show the tyrannical nature of some police officers. The complete power trip, the abusive demeanors, and the down right lies they tell.

    Most police officers are fine though, and just want to get through their day without any nonsense.

    Given the police brutality that USA seems to have, i think civilian led accountability towards the police force makes alot of sense. These little actions i think help build that.

    Some auditors are trolling too hard though. Nothing wrong with testing your civil rights, but some cross a line and become dangerous.

  • In most countries/states (US), if a police officer suspects someone of committing a crime, they can demand the show of Identification. The same for anyone driving. Now, sure, there needs to be reasonable grounds for that suspicion, but the police can easily enough find a reason for the request, based on the behavior of the suspect. The same with checking ID of someone suspected of loitering. Refusing the police officers demand is hardly doing anything to diffuse the situation...

    Now, I'm sure that some police misuse that authority to check ID and ask what someone is doing in an area.. but honestly, I can't see what the problem with them doing so. So, out of curiosity, why would you find it objectionable that they would ask for ID, and/or check why someone is in a particular area?

  • I think the part about if a police officer suspects you of committing a crime, that's perfectly fine. The 'bad' officers in the published videos don't tend to know which crime they are suspecting.. it very often is a search for some information, or some conversation game to try to the civilian to trip up SO that they can then have more justification for further intrusion into the persons time/freedom.

    I think if the laws in the state they live say that they only have to show ID (which also means historic records once its run through the systems) when a crime is suspected, then that is the only time a citizen should need to show it. Not because some cop doesn't like the person, or feels insecure about their authority in the eyes of the citizen. Someone once told me a sentence that I think captures what appears in many of these videos 'If you don't respect my authority, then I won't respect you as a person'.

    I think since the videos are purely recording the actual events, then the cops who follow the law, and behave well have nothing to hide. They're not entitled to privacy like a civilian is. The bad cops (which are a small number) are often disciplined or have it placed on their records. I think overall this is a good direction to help reform the police force in the states, which will take a century or more.

    The last paragraph you wrote mentioned 'misuse', and 'why someone is in particular area', are both exactly why it needs to be done. Civilians have a right to privacy and to be assumed to be not doing anything wrong, unless there is suspicion of a crime. I tend to think of it as Civilians own society, and the police force is a utility to protect it. So the civilians rights rank above the police power if there is a conflict. Of course, I'm pretty reasonable and I know this is a huge grey area with incredibly complexity of which i cannot begin to guess correct solutions to.

  • I think that in America the courts have ruled that photography in a public place is not grounds to ID.

    ' ... the police can easily enough find a reason for the request...' is troubling however. This is where there is an abuse of power. If the courts have proved otherwise then these people do not have to give ID. Also there is freedom of the press embedded in their constitution.

    if I was walking down the street and I was asked for name, address and DOB, I would not be forthcoming unless I legally had to.

  • The first amendment of the Constitution was the 1939 act that extended the definition of "time of war" in Article 28.3.3° to include armed conflict that the State itself was not a participant in (amended addition in bold):

    3º Nothing in this Constitution shall be invoked to invalidate any law enacted by the Oireachtas which is expressed to be for the purpose of securing the public safety and the preservation of the State in time of war or armed rebellion, or to nullify any act done or purporting to be done in pursuance of any such law. In this sub-section "time of war" includes a time when there is taking place an armed conflict in which the State is not a participant but in respect of which each of the Houses of the Oireachtas shall have resolved that, arising out of such armed conflict, a national emergency exists affecting the vital interests of the State.

    An interesting chapter in Irish history, given that it was signed into law the day after Germany invaded Poland, and allowed the Irish Government to exercise emergency powers during World War II. But it's hardly something that I'd waste my time watching people "audit" on YouTube.

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  • even weirder when you have people in the US and UK doing this.

  • Whereas I don't think that civilians have a "right" to privacy (against the police) within a public space. If, by your behavior, you are drawing the attention of the police, then you should be willing to diffuse the suspicion by producing ID or explaining why you're there. Refusing to comply with a reasonable request, merely adds to any suspicion that the police officer might have (Especially, in many parts of the US where crime is more common). To me, it makes practical sense for the protection of the overall population, that the police should be able to stop, identify and query the behavior of individuals. Which is what the law provides in most cases. It takes very little time to explain your circumstances, so it's hardly any real problem for anyone queried. (your own statement about the police not having anything to hide, extends just as easily to any civilian in a public space)

    I think there's too much interest in tweaking the noses, or showing some kind of misplaced resistance to authority in society today. Looking for trouble so that you can complain about the police being unreasonable. Which is what these kind of recordings often seek to portray, without any real context for how the situation developed.

    As for why it needs to be done, I don't see it the same way. It encourages a lack of trust in the police, and a stereotype that the police are abusing the power entrusted to them. Which is disruptive to society, since it does encourage others to resist the police when they're stopped. Makes far more sense to obey, and clear up the problems involved in a logical/calm manner. And yes, I have been stopped in many countries (the US, Spain, China, etc), and by treating the police with respect, been allowed to go my own way. Three times I've been taken to the station, clearing up the misunderstanding there... and I still don't see any of those experiences as an abuse of power. Rather I feel the police are doing their jobs.

    In how many of these videos you watch, do the people stopped for questioning resist the attentions of the police? (verbally, body language, etc)

  • Except, as I said, under many State laws, you would be legally obliged to reveal that information. If you're doing nothing wrong, then, what's the big deal?

    No idea why you're talking about photography...

    As for an abuse of power... the police are our watchdogs. They're supposed to monitor the behavior of the public, and be ready to respond to a crime. That would include watching and checking the behavior of people in their vicinity. I wouldn't see them questioning the public as being any kind of abuse of their authority. Going beyond questioning, without reasonable suspicions, and/or evidence, would be an abuse.. but how is that proved on a camera? That could only be proved at the police station when the charges are applied, and set to be investigated. No?

  • I watch a few of these on YouTube, Amagansett Press, very respectful and gives respect if he gets respect, fair enough,

    a few of them are downright dicks, swear etc and are looking for a re-action, you have to give Kudos to some of them,

    the reaction and training of some of the police would really question how reliable they are to carry out their duties,

    I've often wondered why as there are so many of these in circulation they dont mandate more training on it so the police

    are doing their job correctly ?? Teach them what the Auditor can and cant do, when they get a call, respect the auditors rights

    and inform the caller regards the law as it stands. Some of these videos show multiple squad cars and officers turning up for 1 guy

    and a camera what a waste of resources

    Have no time for the reactionist seekers though

  • I agree with you. Long Island Audit is the very best I think. Very courageous. Quiet. Respectful. Polite. Never ever raises his voice. And he follows up. Bay Area Transparency does not stand down also. There are other that are a pain. I do like some of the English ones mainly because they come across as witty and quirky.

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  • I like them and it shows the way police in the USA are badly trained and uneducated. American cops are decidedly aggressive and arrogant. I asked a cop in downtown Boston for directions to a Salvation Army store once and he decided I was homeless and threatened to arrest me as a vagrant. He put his hand on his gun and started moving towards but the other cop with him held him back and explained I was looking for the shop not the services. Just wanted some vintage shirts and nearly got arrested and/or beaten.

    One thing these video show is the amount of cops doing nothing when 3 or 4 cars turn up over nothing

  • And another thing they show is how easily the police think that their instructions must always be followed. And that comes from a lack of challenge to their behaviour And some of the auditors do exactly that.

    One video I saw has an officer say (under his breath) to his colleague words to the effect that if they (ie the auditors) did that twenty years ago they would be laying on the ground and missing teeth. This is shocking stuff for a policeman to say. Don't know what happened him but he should be held to account. He was recorded by a fellow policeman as they were wearing cameras etc. The public can request the footage.

  • Yeah saw that one and all the aggression was from the cops. If there were cameras about when I was a teenager there would have been several Gardai charged for assaulting teenagers. There was one who was notorious for it in Coolock until he messed with the wrong kid not knowing who is brother was. Rumour is he left the country and even then had to move a few times.