Cycle of Violence

Of YouTube and bike cops

By Steven Wells
Add Comment Add Comment | Comments: 12 | Posted May. 5, 2009

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“Is it getting to the point where the police are allowed to do this to people and get away with it?” asks one fan in a YouTube posting titled “Bands Assulted [sic] By Cops!! This Is Unfair!!” Could it be that the regularly viewed behavior of police officers in PBVs is teaching young suburban Americans to regard the police with hostility unimaginable in previous generations?

There’s one last lesson to be learned from the PBV phenom: Recording (and/or Tweeting about) brutality isn’t enough.

The most disgusting shot in the naked guy video isn’t the dropped knee to the gut or the frenzied Tasering. It’s a long pan shot of the crowd. There must be at least 100 people watching (or filming or Tweeting or texting) while a defenseless man is brutalized. Many in the crowd are shouting. Some of them sound angry and disgusted. But not one person steps forward to address the police officers directly. No one tries to help. “Festivalgoers Save Naked Man From Out-of-Control Cops” would’ve been a much better video.

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Comments 1 - 12 of 12
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1. lalaw9833 said... on May 5, 2009 at 11:39PM

“The cop groupies and the racist slugs that speak from behind the "Domelights" curtain will unfortunately always be blind to reality. They know it will never happen to them, in their cop land neighborhoods, at their catholic schools, or wherever they congregate. Look at all of the incidents that have occured in the past few months and you know it is an epidemic that has to be address one way or the other.”

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2. Anonymous said... on May 6, 2009 at 06:18PM

“seriously, watching that crowd of drones just standing there with their mouths open, filming a beating and all they can think of is going home later and putting it on you-tube, fucking depressing.

jesus christ, I thought 2010 was going to be cool and look like lawnmower man, or at least really oppressive and 1984/ rollerball / total recall style but really it's everyone's lowest common denominator stupidity jackhammered into our brains 24 / 7

time to move to the woods

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3. Anonymous said... on May 6, 2009 at 11:47PM

“It occurs to me that the crowd stood there and simply watched in horror because they know, in their heart of hearts, that racial minorities and other marginalized groups are not the only people that the police get away with brutalizing. Sure, if they'd interfered and gotten their heads bashed in, there would've been some noise from city and police officials, but at the end of the day, the cops would likely have walked or suffered minimal consequences. The police know it, too, and that's why they're not all that afraid to reveal their true natures.”

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4. fink said... on May 6, 2009 at 11:54PM

“As much as I agree with you, I can't help but think of what would have happened if there weren't any videos of these such events...the cops would say whatever they wanted and get a slap on the wrist. It's hard to overlook/cover up something when there's actual proof on youtube for the world to see.”

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5. Anonymous said... on May 7, 2009 at 12:13PM

“@ fink: Oh, yeah, I totally hear you. I, too, think that having video of these events is helpful, but I can't help but think--because it's happened before and because I'm wary of the police as an institution--that, even with, for instance, the video of these cops' assault on the naked man, someone in charge will determine that there were mitigating circumstances and not one single cop who was involved will really pay for what he's done. But yes, you're right--without that video last year of that NYPD bastard cop knocking that Critical Mass biker off of his bike--unprovoked--he would've gotten away with it. As it stands now, he's been fired and he'll be going to trial for the assault. I can only hope that more of these attacks on civilians will be captured on tape.”

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6. Alfie from the council flat said... on May 8, 2009 at 11:17AM

“I hated this story. Not nearly enough Septic bashing. Come on Steven throw us a bone here. Give those Wankee Doodle Seppos a right thrashing!”

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7. Steven Wells said... on May 8, 2009 at 05:24PM

“Sean/Alfie/Cranky Yank,

A quick question: Given that you hate all British people, which of the founding fathers do you hate the most?”

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8. Fuck Off said... on May 9, 2009 at 01:07AM

“I agree with Alfie! Stewie, you're usually known for your cheap shots and snaps at....well, at the hand that fucking FEEDS YOU! Go back to Englanistan sweetie, the muzzards need you to fight for their cause...I'm sure you'll look great in orange too.”

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9. Fuck Off again! said... on May 9, 2009 at 01:11AM

“Oh, by the way, douchey, the founding fathers of THIS great nation who told your king to fuck off were born mostly in Virginia.


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10. Fuck Off Again and Again said... on May 9, 2009 at 01:20AM

“One more thing Twatski, I think you're a closet case honey. I mean come on "man" your hack article begins with a picture of a naked man....surrounded by UNIFORMED men, who look like they mean business...and then you go into how the men in uniform like to restrain and discipline the uncooperative (usually younger) bottoms.... Stewie, the only thing missing was the figgin cum shot! Carry on dear, maybe for your next article you'll talk about felching......oh wait...never mind!!!”

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11. Lyn said... on Jun 2, 2009 at 02:24AM

“And insinuating that the writer is a closeted homosexual makes you that much more credible, doesn't it?

He's addressing the issue of police brutality (as a whole, not just in the US), and how a large crowd of people couldn't do anything but take videos/post twitter updates/text people. It's a shame that the only thing you could come up as a comment was to request for MORE "septic-bashing" (by the fact that you're "agreeing" with "Alfie"), take a jab at his nationality, and make homosexual remarks. It's going to take more than that for him to go home to "Englanistan".

And if anything, the front image illustrates the issue he's discussing: a single man (regardless of him wearing clothes or not), being confronted and attacked by two police officers (or "uniformed men" as you would say), while a crowd stand by and watch, and do not offer any help, nor protest the action.

But I guess in the end there's no point in arguing with an ignorant person (notice how I didn't say Americans, I said person).”

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12. Anonymous said... on Oct 19, 2009 at 01:16PM

“I watched the event at the TLA go down, I can honestly asure you that I felt the police didn't react excessively at all. the van was parked on a no parking anytime street, the police asked them to move it (the bands were hanging out and drinking outside) Some drunk member of the band just wouldn't give up kept walking out with beer, and the police told him to go (4 times) inside and he kept coming out even more angry and ready to fight. the last time they put him back inside and closed the door behind him...he came barreling out, pushed the cop and went to hit him, at that point things went poorly from his reaction.”


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