Copwatching 101 in current Anti Police Rebellions

Outthere

Copwatchers are out in full in effect as Anti Police Uprisings continue to take place across the bay area. Here are a couple ideas of what to be looking for if you are out in the streets documenting police actions.

1. Before any police actions occur, get the identity of the officers present.
Names, badge numbers, any weapons, and which department they work for can all be very helpful down the line if any misconduct should occur.

2. Film police movements, formations and any police actions such as threats, attacks, or arrests. (this can help in getting someone’s case dismissed)

3. Film police dressed in civilian costumes.
Undercover snatch squads and provocateurs EXIST. Careful not to “Question/Out” someone unless you know they are police, or are clearly acting policishly. (photographing people, photographing people doing “smashy smashy”, talking into their hands etc). This movement is growing, there are a lot of new and ignorant individuals walking amongst us. Not all of them are cops, some are just fools beginning to wake up.

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Person talking into his hand. Very suspicious!

To all the journalists and picture takers.
If you have something stop and think! Should this be put online, could it compromise someone’s case. Examine your intentions of putting it online. There is a very visible balance between protecting people and informing the world of what is taking place. How you bring information to the people, define what your intentions really are.

DON’T film.
Remember video can be seized and subpoenaed.
Don’t film people “expressing” themselves. We don’t work WITH the police, we don’t work FOR the police. We are there to Film the Police, and to be supporters in The People’s right to demonstrate/rebel including and supporting their right to determine what that looks like.

Stay safe out there.

WeCopwatch

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When Undercovers Attack

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As protests and actions continue daily across the bay, police continue to implement new tactics to quell mass mobilizations. As many may know, undercover police officers brandished guns on demonstrators in Oakland last night.

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Photo by Noah Berger

While much is still unclear, reports have been coming in that these officers were agitating the public, one drew his firearm when questioned as another jumped on a seemingly uninvolved person.

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Photo by WeCopwatch

Minutes following this ordeal a Copwatch and Bay Area Intifada contributor was arrested at gun point while questioning the identity of two masked individuals walking down an alley.

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At this point it can be assumed that the use of plain clothes officers at Oakland demos is transcending traditional surveillance. This month alone there has been multiple accounts of officers making their identity more overt, and even making physical contact with people.


http://www.wecopwatch.org/oakland-police-just-join-anti-cop-demonstration/

Support the Bay Area Anti Repression Committee Legal Fund Here.(They Bail our people out)

Support our WeCopwatcher here. (Cause a guy took a hit standing up for the people)

Did Oakland Police just join an Anti Cop Demonstration?

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Are Roy and Devon just two average guys marching with the people?

Or is Roy and Devon really Officer Jaeger and Officer Buford of the Oakland Police Department running an intel operation on demonstrators?

In the video Officer Jaeger, or “Roy”, says he believes the murder of Mike Brown was an “injustice”, but these officers show poor taste showing up to an Eric Garner protest in plain clothes.

Just the presence of these officers was interpreted by many as an act of intimidation.

Perhaps next time police want to express some solidarity, they should go put their bodies on the line and deal with some of these crookkked cops.

Copwatching Nationally on Date of Grand Jury Announcement

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FERGUSON and BEYOND

For those of us living in the Bay Area, it has been an inspiration to see people taking it to the streets of Ferguson against racist and brutal police.

For those of us in who participated in the Oscar Grant Rebellions, and lived through the street battles of Occupy, watching the community of St Louis brace for announcements of false justice is painful.

In 2010, we prepared for months around the date of the Johannes Mehserle Verdict in the murder of Oscar Grant, and then we watched our movement die in the following months from stress, short-sited objectives, and infighting.

In 2011 we watched the threat of impending police raids of our Occupy encampments wear down our spirits, and the perpetual attacks from the police deplete our numbers.

We Support you Canfield.
We Support you Ferguson.
We Support you St Louis.

Learn from us and never give up. The problems with the police don’t end with a grand jury announcement, but hopefully people’s false hopes in the system do.

The police will never hold themselves accountable, and they will never change.
So we need to change, and we need to be there for each other.

ON THE DAY OF THE ANNOUNCEMENT

Are you a Copwatch crew? Are you going to be in the streets in your own city, addressing your own injustices on the day of Grand Jury announcement in St Louis?

While it’s great some people are heading to St. Louis to show love and solidarity for an area in conflict, we should not be overlooking the issues falling out in our front yard.

Copwatchers will be out in force in Oakland, identifying the police before the rally, and documenting their activities and actions against people throughout the event.

If you plan to be out in your own city Copwatching on that date, contact us, [email protected] We’d love to hear about your efforts, and be sure to update us with how it worked with your team, and any issues that came up with the police.

Copwatch is a beautiful idea. It can be a helpful tool in forcing police to be restrained, and it is a project that outlives most FTP movements due to the sad reality that until we abolish the police, we need to be out there, and we need to be watching them. See you in the streets. -WeCopwatch

WeCopwatch To Offer Copwatch / Know Your Rights Course

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2015 you will be seeing a lot of new WeCopwatch projects!

From assisting the growth of Copwatch efforts in Ferguson, to the expansion of Copwatch initiatives nationwide, we are excited to see what the coming months have in store for us.

Know Your Rights Trainings

One of the issues any police accountability site runs into is the immense need for information. On any given day multiple inboxes are loaded with legal questions from people who have been abused by law enforcement, or are interested in forming a copwatch group.

Founding member of WeCopwatch, Jacob Crawford ran into this same issue when he first joined Berkeley Copwatch in 2000. There were calls daily for Copwatch support, and at times, not enough hours in the day to even respond to all of them.

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