The purpose of this blog is to define, document, and expose the routine violence of the Vancouver Police Department, RCMP, and Transit police in the Greater Vancouver Regional District (GVRD). And to expose the institutions of policing for what they really are……
- While we recognize groups take time to develop analysis, and enjoy reading about the harassment the VPD is facing from this group and the work they’re doing that helps victims of police violence, this blog is NOT associated with the liberal, religious, pro-cop (now they’re walking a fine line in between apparently), reformist Vancouver DTES Cop Watch. We think working with the police is a dangerous & collaborative route that justifies the Cops position that the problem is just a few ‘bad apples’ as opposed to the whole institution of Fascist policing. Not to mention the organizers trash talking montreal’s annual day against police brutality & demonizing its participants for defending themselves from the police attacks on their march, and making fun of poor people in the DTES on their group page, calling them drunks, shaking hands with violent police officers, sucking up to steve addison on his abusive beat cop diary blog, having absolutely no security culture, & east van cop watchers comments being erased then blocked from viewing or commenting on their page for challenging them on these things instead of having an open & public dialogue discussion thus preventing any kind of solidarity building between our similar projects.
- Working with the police also justifies their propaganda campaigns such as sister watch or community policing, which we know from experience to be just another road they use to integrate further into our communities & our lives, which negatively effects our own ability to organize and deal with situations as a community. Instead, having it outsourced to ignorant cops from usually more affluent neighborhoods, who harass poor & marginalized people daily for things like sitting on the sidewalk, loitering, street vending or panning, etc. Bringing or supporting nosy, coercive, & systematically +/or physically violent people into our hood is not a good idea.
- Copwatchers can be anyone who decides to hold police accountable for their actions (as opposed to state or internal discipline/investigation-which is corrupted and non-participatory) and there are many different tactics, methods and types of involvement, such as Setting up action + or support networks among your communities to deal with police interference, brutality, or harassment. Documenting incidents of police brutality, distributing information on known violent police in the neighborhood to the neighborhood, keeping an eye out for problems when your around, or stopping to collect information during an arrest and to put pressure on the police to treat that person better than if there were no witnesses…(usually they try and bully people away).
How to effectively document a police incident:
1. Photograph, film or audio record the incident as extensively as possible. Capture the assault/harassment & faces of the officers or anything they say to the “suspect” or you.
2. Write down the location, date and time of the incident. Number of police present and their badge numbers- and names/descriptions if possible.
3. Describe what occurred and what occurs as precisely and chronologically as possible.
4. You can send documented info to firstname.lastname@example.org to be posted &/or post it on Youtube, which can be a good-albeit censored- resource for widespread video & information sharing.
Copwatcher Says: This video is a great example of cop watching. After his friends arrest he follows the police to the transport to make sure he gets there safely…(and to expose it if not). In this case another person filming was pushed by one of the officers while the prisoner is being taken into the vehicle. Then, after the prisoner is secured, more officers arrive who start to get viseably aggressive to the guys filming. Then another officer is seen shoving, pulling to the ground (with the help of other officers ) and arresting the same guy who was pushed minutes earlier by a vpd officer, for no reason. The guy filming gets the badge numbers of all the officers involved on film, and says it aloud a few times….The video is clear, the identity of the assaulting officers is recorded, the dialogue is informative and helpful. And his attitude to the police is not friendly-being friendly to a cop who just captured/assaulted someone is not funny or savy, it empowers them, or overly aggressive- which can often result in assault/arrest/erasure of video. Check it out! ^