Video of cop harassing Black Lives Matter protest is still available on YouTube and has been viewed thousands of times
A California cop attempted to prevent a Black Lives Matter activist from uploading video of an incident involving a police officer playing Taylor Swift’s “Blank Space” during the interaction, claiming that YouTube copyright detection would block the song’s ping and therefore block the video from being downloaded online. Well, his sinister plan backfired, causing the video to go viral instead.
Oakland-based Anti Police-Terror Project (APTP), a group that aims to hold police departments to account, met at the Alameda Country courthouse in Oakland before a preliminary hearing for former police officer Jason Fletcher . Fletcher is charged with the murder of Steven Taylor, a black man, at a Walmart store last year.
The video captured an officer from the Alameda County Sheriff’s Office confronting one of the APTP protesters, James Burch, asking him to remove the banner from his group. Burch can be seen challenging the request, asking why the banner should be taken down. It was then that the cop, identified as Sgt. David Shelby, pulls out his phone and starts playing the song Swift.
Burch, confused, can be heard saying, “Are we having a dance party now?” The officer finally confessed: “You can record anything you want. I just know it can’t be posted on YouTube. I play my music so you can’t post to YouTube. Shelby was referring to YouTube’s automated copyright system. The system is intended to detect and remove unauthorized copyrighted material, such as popular songs and other content, from downloading.
Cop plays Taylor Swift to stop sharing videos of him harassing protesters ️
A cop demanded that we move # Justice4StevenTaylor banners. We asked him why. He pulled out his phone and played a Taylor Swift song.
“You can record anything you want, I just know it can’t be posted on YouTube.” pic.twitter.com/avpf1LUvCd
– Police anti-terrorist project (@APTPaction) July 1, 2021
After Shelby admitted that he was trying to prevent the video from being posted to YouTube, Burch asked him, “Is there a bylaw for this right now?”
“Not to my knowledge,” Shelby replied.
“Is it a procedure? Burch asked him.
“I’m just listening to music, sir,” Shelby said sarcastically.
Unfortunately for Burch, the video was not only successfully shared on YouTube, it has now gone viral.
lmao, this cop didn’t know every taylor swift goes viral. big week for the california police departments who play themselves. https://t.co/BILRqJXjwb
– trish (@trishwithapen) July 2, 2021
“This video of a police officer taking advantage of copyright laws to avoid liability is the latest chilling example of a line of abuse stretching back decades,” said Lia Holland, director of campaigns and communications from digital rights group Fight for the Future, in a statement. “The United States must fundamentally reform our archaic and corrupt copyright system to put the interests of artists and audiences first in the digital age. The last thing we should do is give copyright monopolies more power to abuse and cops more tools to escape liability. “
The Alameda County Sheriff’s Office referred the incident to an internal affairs unit for further investigation, the Washington post reported. “The officer was trying to be a little smart, and that kind of backfired on him,” said Sgt. Ray Kelly, spokesperson for the sheriff’s office, told the outlet. “Instead of censoring it, it made it go viral… There is a code of conduct on how we should behave in public. This is not a good idea for the police, ”he explained.
A terrible look, in fact.