by Max Brantley
In light of the pummeling a Little Rock cop gave a bar patron who disrespected him the other night — caught in unflattering fullness on video — you can understand the rising resistance around the country by cops to use of recording devices on their actions.
From Georgia to Nevada, police are arresting people who are photographing or videotaping their activities from public space or their own property, seizing their equipment and erasing the images. No one keeps data on the frequency of such arrests. But a spate of high-profile incidents in several states suggests the numbers are growing.
“Nobody should stand for this,” said Lucy Dalglish, executive director of the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, an Arlington, Va., based nonprofit organization that provides legal help to reporters and news organizations.
Problem is, the public is full of too many people who think violent beatings are an appropriate response to speech — whether of children in the home or critical restaurant customers who object to cop treatment. I was stunned yesterday by how many readers believed a cop was justified in repeatedly punching someone in the face if he'd been sassed.