An Interactive “War on Cameras” Map

Monday, February 28th, 2011

Borrowing on the map of botched SWAT raids idea I put together when I was at the Cato Institute, “Dr. Q.” at the Cop Block website is working on a similar map plotting incidents in which police have arrested, threatened, or otherwise harassed someone who was trying to record them.

As Dr. Q points out, like the map I put together, he does not claim his map to be comprehensive. These maps are useful and effective at visually demonstrating how common (or rather, “unisolated) these incidents are. They’re also good resource for reporters or activists interested in finding incidents in a particular state or city. So it’s great to see someone expand the idea to another area of criminal justice.

But I always caution against drawing too many conclusions from the map I put together. For example, the maps are much less useful if you want to, say, compare the number of incidents in different areas of the country or different cities. For example, one city may have more incidents than another not necessarily because the police are more aggressive or less tolerant of being recorded, but simply because the media may more likely to report such incidents. Or perhaps the police department in the more active city has a better system in place for citizens to register complaints. On this issue in particular, more populated areas will also present more opportunities for citizens with cameras to interact with police.

My feature, “The War on Cameras” here.

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9 Responses to “An Interactive “War on Cameras” Map”

  1. #1 |  OBTC | 

    I like it.

  2. #2 |  Mike | 

    A story you may be interested:

    AZ state senator has immunity from arrest for domestic abuse.

  3. #3 |  SJE | 

    If they are not “isolated incidents” then “all procedures were followed” or “appropriate action was taken to resolve the matter internally.” ergo, there is not a problem.

  4. #4 |  SJE | 

    Does this map constitute illegal recording of police activity? How about interfering with law enforcement?

  5. #5 |  John Q. Galt | 

    Hey, smart idea here: how about we all promote the technology of geoawareness which will help point to “where what happens.”

  6. #6 |  John Q. Galt | 

    Wow, this tool needs populating with events from Keene New Hampshire. Check this one out:

  7. #7 |  John Q. Galt | 

    This might be the best way to promote Ridley’s value.

  8. #8 |  KBCraig | 

    @John Q. Galt: Copblock is based in Keene, so I’m sure they’re aware. ;)

  9. #9 |  John Q. Galt | 

    That’s wut I meant damn so suck it KBCraig conspriacy. Hates us.