The Chicago Supreme Court has struck down a plea from attorneys hoping to ban citizens from filming police officers in public because being on camera is making many unphotogenic cops feel really uncomfortable.
The decision came after judges decided that the filming of police by citizens was protected under the first amendment, regardless of whether or not those in uniform were self-conscious about their physical appearance.
The Chicago attorneys, working on behalf of unphotogenic police officers, have been pushing the “no-filming” legislation ever since last May, when anti-war protests broke out during the Chicago NATO Summit.
Many cops were captured on cellphone cameras, pummeling ornery protesters with batons and firing tear gas and rubber bullets into the protesting masses. To the dismay of the less camera-friendly law enforcement, many of those videos ended up going viral.
“We have a lot of cops feeling really insecure with being on camera while interacting with the public and arresting citizens,” said Chicago State Attorney Regina Hernandez, the architect of the “no filming” legislation. “With advances in cell phone camera technology, it’s not fair to our unattractive officers.”
Many police officers in favor of the filming ban, are speaking out about the issue, on radio news programs of course.
“People watch movies where guys like Denzel Washington and Jake Gyllenhaal play cops and that creates an unfair expectation for a lot of us,” said Chicago Police Officer Wendell Simms, who has been struggling with weight issues since he was just a high school cadet using the ROTC program to avoid showering with the boys in the regular PE class. “I understand that an unmonitored police force is a threat to a true democracy, but do we have to be monitored in HD?”
Officer Simms is planning on starting P90X this month, in hopes of looking fit in time for next year’s Occupy Movement Anniversary Bash, an annual event where riot-police use batons to bash Occupiers celebrating the anniversary of their movement.
“Because of my bone-structure I don’t have very good facial symmetry and my mustache and aviators still don’t do enough to hide it, “said Sergeant Greg Schultz of the CPD, who was suspended with pay after a concerned citizen used a cell phone to capture footage of Schultz tasing a 2 year boy. Schultz claimed the toddler became difficult after he issued the toddler a littering citation for soiling his diaper.
Unfortunately for Schultz, video of the encounter ended up making rounds on YouTube and many social networks. Schultz claims he feels victimized by the video because it wasn’t taken from his good side.
Cops like Simms and Schultz are worried that if the “no filming” law doesn’t pass next time around, 3D technology could soon become standard on smart phone cameras. And then things could really get ugly.