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Policing the Police: The Copwatch Movement

8060 ratings | 511634 views
The killing of Michael Brown, an unarmed black teenager in Ferguson, MO in 2014, galvanized a renewed public interest in the concept of citizen policing, but for David Whitt, Michael Brown’s neighbor at the time, it was the moment he decided his community needed a full-time force of people policing the police. Whitt, a father of four and an electrician by trade, has since dedicated his life to working with Copwatch - an activist organization that works to create a consistent and sustained system of citizen police monitoring with cameras or other recording devices as a way to prevent police brutality. Whitt still patrols his neighborhood where police and citizen interactions are frequent, collecting hours upon hours of video documentation in the hopes that this can prevent another Michael Brown. Click here to subscribe to VICE: http://bit.ly/Subscribe-to-VICE Check out our full video catalog: http://bit.ly/VICE-Videos Videos, daily editorial and more: http://vice.com More videos from the VICE network: https://www.fb.com/vicevideo Click here to get the best of VICE daily: http://bit.ly/1SquZ6v Like VICE on Facebook: http://fb.com/vice Follow VICE on Twitter: http://twitter.com/vice Follow us on Instagram: http://instagram.com/vice Download VICE on iOS: http://apple.co/28Vgmqz Download VICE on Android: http://bit.ly/28S8Et0
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Text Comments (2750)
Landin Coker (3 days ago)
All I’m saying is yes police brutality happens but not as much as you think. And also people need to learn their rights and learn to also just stfu. I’ve seen way to many videos when police are detaining people and the crowd around him or her starts chanting bs and things go downhill from there.
Eriko. Oy (3 days ago)
Police profiling and brutality is definitely a thing, but everything has intent behind it. You gotta admit; gangs are more prevalent in minority communities than white ones. Like it or not, it's true. That's many times the only way to survive, is to join a gang, but with a gang comes the criminal activity. This creates a lot of uncertainty because literally, anyone could be a gang member. Then there's also the by-product of the profiling: A black person and a white person will more than likely act very different when confronted by the police, I bet you guess what's the differences... I'm not trying to justify anything, just trying to make people think about why things are how they are. So I would first start to get rid off the gangs, so people don't need them anymore.
Whiskers likes Fish (4 days ago)
cops are class traitors. they exist to keep the working class from revolting and destroying capitalism, which enslaves us.
Evan Adwin (5 days ago)
As someone who is pro-police, I'm mostly a fan of this. Keeping police accountable is great. The only issue I see is them potentially hindering police business. If the police are in a potentially dangerous situation, they could make the situation worse by distracting the police or getting in the way.
milk mon (5 days ago)
My favorite cop watchers, high desert community cop watch, san joaquin valley transparency, james freeman, big nick south florida,
eryn (7 days ago)
As someone from stl who watched the community fall apart but then many unite together to protect the community, this makes me so happy that to this day there are people still pushing for cops to be held responsible for their mistakes.
Stanlley Pajdak (8 days ago)
Michael brown was a criminal
Vanilla Thunder (12 days ago)
Here's an idea: join the police force. Change it from the inside. Being a Monday morning quarterback is easy. Doing the job and making tough decisions is not.
Peter Rod (12 days ago)
listen to this video, a young black woman , a mother of a few kids got multiple summons adding to more than $800 Dollars, if that woman don't show up in court to pay that money she becomes a wanted criminal and warrants would be issue. now cops say more than 75% of civilians in this county have warrants. now you know why !!
Peter Rod (12 days ago)
cop watch needs reflective vest or clothing so they could bee seen especially at night. walk up to a blue isis wearing dark clothing and holding a black video camera and you could get shot. just my opinion.
anthony shores (21 days ago)
Great job you guys are doing in helping to keep people safe.....and making police accountable for their actions ...... it seems the police have gotten away with it for too long.... and now they don't like the scales of justice being levelled.... if they carried out their jobs to the law they wouldn't have to worry about anybody or care about anybody videotaping them ?
tachikoma10101011 (21 days ago)
Micheal brown was not just a good boy that didn't dd nuffin...
fucken loser (28 days ago)
dude looks like childish gambino mixed with binging with babish
Kevin Dunleavy (1 month ago)
That's great,keep up the great work.Take a good look at the big picture,the cops don't care what color ,race,or greed you are,they will still F#CK with you.
FiveBurfs (1 month ago)
So at the traffic stop at about 10:00 what would they say if the girl pulled a gun out and started shooting and killing the officer?
PassatMrT (1 month ago)
As a white 41 year old male who considers himself to have had all the benefits of a privileged upbringing which culminated in me being a criminal defense attorney, I FULLY support Cop Watch. To those cops who don't like it. I submit this statement that cops love to use: "If you're not doing anything wrong, then you have nothing to fear by being observed...." Just keep your attention on your investigation, remember your training and do a PROPER, CONSTITUTIONALLY SOUND investigation...
justageneraluser (1 month ago)
Good message. Terrible messenger. Michael Brown was a criminal, cop assaulting, menace. Not a hero. That really devalues this type of conversation.
damien knipl (1 month ago)
The Michael brown guy just robbed a gas station. Then beat the hell out of a cop and tried to take his gun from him. Play stupid game's win stupid prizes. He also didn't have his hands up. Tell the whole story not just a 1 sided story. I'm all for cop watch but don't do a 1 sided story and what only the cops do. Let everyone know what led up to what happened before the camera started rolling.
Richard Thomas (1 month ago)
Would have shot Brown for stealing my cigars .Not just a box of cigars it’s how that store owner feeds his family
Burned Aura (1 month ago)
I agree with the dude driving at 12:22. Might be an unpopular opinion but i think that no cop watcher or civilian should ever interfere with a cop while he's working. It can create tense situations and some might get hurt. Just let the officers do their work and record. No need for some unnecessary commentary that won't help a situation. if they do some fucked up shit, upload the uncut original video on social media.
Fabzil (1 month ago)
One of those copwatch collegue student looks like a undercover cop xD
Ezekiel Goldberg II (1 month ago)
Look at the crime rates in Ferguson, they need a strong Police force. These moron are enabling criminals.
nunya beezwax (1 month ago)
Wow. Do these guys have a family and job. Seems like this would take alot of their time.
NAS (1 month ago)
Why dont cops have streaming bodycams?
MooseT (1 month ago)
Cops aren't the problem. You should follow black males. That would make a much safer America.
Leonel Lomas (1 month ago)
I’m all for filming the cops and putting your foot down and even giving them the middle finger every now and then, but the whole Michael Brown narrative is a bunch of bullshit and I also know that a cop has a right to defend himself as Darren Wilson did that day. Let’s not make this a race case but make it about police accountability.
TrudI Osler (1 month ago)
Bloody brilliant! You are an inspiration to your kids. A real gentleman.
darrel robinson (1 month ago)
Ok these cops are killers with badges it don't matter if u not snitching in those or not that's a cop that can kill u legally and not have any second thoughts about it
Tina Borys (2 months ago)
Keep up the good work!
Valorene (2 months ago)
Well yeah, if you actually get in the cop's face and act aggressive they're gonna get defensive. It's fine if you observe.
MrBartekG9 (2 months ago)
I lost brain cells watching this. No factual basis on anything. All opinion based.
Layla OBrien (2 months ago)
I don't agree with a lot of VICE videos, but holding law enforcement and your government accountable is a good thing for ALL communities! Great job on this one, VICE.
K'Bella HOOk (2 months ago)
We've been laying down for far too long for nothing. Meaning there's no reason to be afraid if one is held accountable for their actions.
N (2 months ago)
Didn't forensics show Michael Brown was reaching for the cops gun when he had his thumb blown off? (https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/new-evidence-supports-officers-account-of-shooting-in-ferguson/2014/10/22/cf38c7b4-5964-11e4-bd61-346aee66ba29_story.html?utm_term=.1735895b1bb7) And wasn't this just minutes after he attacked a convenience store worker and robbed them? Why do they struggle so much to have a solid example case of police racism if it's so pervasive? Every video they push as an example you see the 'victim' is clearly resisting arrest or reaching for a gun they had (illegally) or reaching for the cops gun.
jrthebody (2 months ago)
🎥 you self and see the stuff human do
jrthebody (2 months ago)
Wow its so simple what you think you don't need cops
jrthebody (2 months ago)
Hey why human check them self
Zachary Schellinger (2 months ago)
I wish more people would pull out cameras when they are witnesses to crime rather than pretend not to see anything. Filming Police is safe physically and politically hence all the back patting comments. If the same zeal were used to keep some insidious neighbors honest perhaps the police presence wouldn’t be needed in St Louis. Communities have agency use it for good and watch what it can accomplish.
coolio diablo (2 months ago)
Such horse crap that "innocent" kid Michael Brown they're trying to make a martyr out of was trying to take the officers gun and that's why he was shot and killed, had he just followed the instructions the cop had said he'd still be alive. The cop was investigated and they found forensic evidence proving everything the cop had said was true. I'm so tired of the black community rallying to arms over criminals getting killed for being dipshit criminals, 99% of these so called Innocents weren't innocent at all, the only one that may of been actually minding his own was Trevon, and it wasn't a cop that killed him...
Scuba Steve (2 months ago)
Typical left wing one sided reporting...
The Man X0 (2 months ago)
Everyone needs to see the entire story..... not just the couple bad cops out there.... they leave out the hundreds of thousands of good cops out here doing thier jobs correctly... they just focus thus on the small few of dirty cops.... How about you guys try doing thier job for a day, week, even a month..... it's alot harder than it looks.....
Stanlley Pajdak (2 months ago)
Brown was a criminal
David Andre (2 months ago)
Doesn't mean he deserved to get killed. Stop trying to justify violence boot-licker =)
Bomnuk Don (2 months ago)
This is a healthy way .. but don't make it racial police killings are not racially based .. that myth has been busted .. in 2017 457 white guys were killed by police and 223 black people were killed. In Some of those killings innocent people were killed both blacks and white . Police kiiling innocent people is a problem. It shows a lack in training and competence of officers. The problem is not racial. Let's not make it racial.
MTL- assassin (2 months ago)
thats stupid....everything for content he
Larry Ellivremmus (2 months ago)
Local patrolman and highway patrolman only in four statues of ordinance our organization enforces will all the only law of the land which is the Constitution we are the real police and the real law enforcement officers of this country our position is the highest position recognized in the country to enforce the Constitution and the Patriot Act as Lawn forsmann officers
Larry Ellivremmus (2 months ago)
Until the people create constitutional law enforcement public officials and employees and elected officials will continue to violate their rights well we are constitutional Law Enforcement Officers we arrest all elected officials appointed officials and employees of our government we protect the fan and enforce the Constitution protect defend and enforce the Patriot Act on all opposition against the Constitution or the people of our country known as the Americans our jurisdiction is both state federal and Highway we registered in several States and I here to protect the people legally by incarcerating public officials who violate their rights
Queen K (2 months ago)
We need cop watchers EVERYWHERE in America 💯
Buttermaker 010 (2 months ago)
🖕🏻F••• all the bad cops🖕🏻
Nacki (2 months ago)
such an intense look he has when listening.
Skeptic2006 (2 months ago)
I have one question. Who is funding Copwatch? With no funding this will end. Would it be so crazy to have a cameraman to always be with cops like in the show Cops?
Solvaz (2 months ago)
If a cop is making an arrest or whatever and you are close,yea they will look at you and they will tell you to backoff because u become a potential threat to them, when a crowd surrounds u and shouts u all kinds of insults this becomes a threats so yes they will be more aggressive because they have a family too, im not saying all cops are good but most of them are good and honest people, u guys are just civilians u don’t know the whole story so why make a scene out of it because 90% of the time u dont know a dam thing of what is going on,wake up people stop being so hard on our police forces, their the one u call when no one is there to help u, treat them with respect and they will do the same
Stuff To Think (2 months ago)
Good cops nothing to fear. Bad cops, they're at risk. The grey cops - those are the evil dudes who try to frame people for their sick fantasies. Kudos for the people who document and work with community and legal system.
Tony Dinh (2 months ago)
Cops are a fucking organization of corrupt murders. I know cops but not this era
butch bragg (2 months ago)
Most of these guys jus do jfto puss the cops off to get them to do sumthin and if a cop patrols in a black neighborhood its not profiling fucktards its pulling ppl over
Bungle (2 months ago)
we need the black panthers back
key brize (2 months ago)
we got footage of him robbing the store ??????
key brize (2 months ago)
if we ignore that it means pc culture gone mad
Jefrey Hamilton (2 months ago)
Less tax $ for their corporate death-squads. More money for things actually *Needed* in our community
Ed. Sawyer (2 months ago)
Stop the hate and believe in that
Slice my soup (2 months ago)
hold. police. accountable.
Jenny Ren (2 months ago)
You could be distracting authorities that should be focused on dangerous situations. These people filming may get hurt or get other innocent bystanders hurt. Why not help police by patrolling dangerous areas by filming criminal activities like drug deals, etc. Help them focus their attention on people you want out of your communities.
Goofy Snookims (2 months ago)
Stones Jones (2 months ago)
This is what the the REAL Black Panthers did back in the day. It all started for that reason. Good to see these men doing what men do! Someone needs to in that sick country called the USA.
Levi K (2 months ago)
Lmaooo the beginning is so dramatic and corny 😂
Dean Moore (2 months ago)
I watched vice from the jump.. WTF are u all doing. leaving the whole story out now. need a new young vice channel now.
Dean Moore (2 months ago)
leave the facts out... come on vice..
Matt Orfalea (2 months ago)
3:00 Cop Watch Guy
Hubert Harrison (2 months ago)
It's funny how people in the comment section likes to point out the DOJ report about Mike Brown but not another DOJ report that came out the same day after the report of Mike Brown detailing rampant police abuse and racial discrimination against the fursegon population by the police. Mike Brown grow in a police state where he and his fellow neighbors were subjected to constant harrassment and penalized because of their race.
Larry Young (2 months ago)
Ok guys, I have a SUGGESTION ... Why don’t you film how the drug dealer operates ? How gangs members intimated some neighbors ? How many people instead of work hard and support theirs families, smoke weed on any corner ? Instead of film police officers, record what’s happening on your neighborhood everyday ! Later show all those videos to the community and try to change the world around you Guys......BE MORE RESPONSABLE AND BETTER CITIZENS
TheRamboBeast (2 months ago)
Excellent short documentary. Raw and authentic. And highlighting important solutions to a major problem.
Mizik (2 months ago)
Cop watch starts with good intentions then over time it turns into a violent gang, watch...
Kulak (2 months ago)
Oh but now that the vast majority of cops have body cameras and it turns out that the overwhelming majority of force used by cops, lethal and non-lethal, is highly justified, suddenly context is racist. Right on.
JDM Cody (2 months ago)
Part of us as a black community is to take this Gentleman's Mantra. "Don't fuck with them. Let them do their jobs." That also includes not breaking the law. Nonetheless, it doesn't account for the fact that a scared, gun-happy 23 year old white cop encountering a culture he's unfamiliar with, in a notoriously dangerous area who's already generally intimidated, predisposed to expect violence and in a position of power, could result in a dire situation. Luckily, our justice system has slowly but surely been holding these officers accountable and began handing out just sentencing. Let's all hope it gets better. I can't explain 150 years of systematic black opression, which exists whether you like it or not, but we can do what we can to mitigate a negative response and stop giving these radical right, white republicans any reason to twist our narrative in their favor and minimize the struggle. Stay Blessed, everyone.
tim master (2 months ago)
Did they ask who's paying the guy doing the copwatching??
Troy Evitt (2 months ago)
Copwatching when incidents begin to happen: Good. "Auditing" municipal facilities-Stupid, attention-seeking conduct.
Yung Fake (2 months ago)
Lmao this is so cringe. "Cop Watch College" lmaoooo
Melanie Dixon (2 months ago)
Police watch us.......... who watches them tho??? Oh yeah the cameras they have that they delete and obstruct the videos unless it helps their agenda. Also don’t be mis fooled young men and lady’s these Nazis dont care if your white or black...... they don’t care. It them VS us bro. That’s crazy bro
Shadorian Gatson (2 months ago)
F*** the police I protect and serve me and my family💯 and I don't care who don't like it.#BIGFACTS
Max Powers (2 months ago)
They do that shit here in south florida too im sure in every other city in america
Progressive Viewer (2 months ago)
The police are hired to enforce the law, maintain the peace and to serve and protect all residents within their jurisdiction. Irregardless of colour, race, age, religion or income level.
caligsi (2 months ago)
Should have rode along with Tom Zebra
He just wants clout
miss millies (2 months ago)
Copwatch is good point blank period.
Ben White (2 months ago)
There once was a thug named brown who bum-rushed a cop with a frown six bullets later he met his creator Then his homies burned down the town.
Matt Brown (2 months ago)
All about blacks because we all know that the black population are only ones being harassed and killed by cops. Vice is a racist media outlet.
Jason Donovan (2 months ago)
Brown is a bad example to use.
MrHillfolk (2 months ago)
9:00 just stand back and observe. Yea a lot of em do that, it’s the cop that comes up and starts the confrontation to begin with.
MrHillfolk (2 months ago)
Technology is great! We are seeing what’s been happening all along and couldn’t be documented before, and there’s still skeptics out there.
chris lowden (2 months ago)
The police could care less if u film them. Dont make this into some great resource. Its unemployed people With nothing better to do.
Clay Bailey (2 months ago)
This is such bullshit
Mestyq (2 months ago)
Blacks = crime .. see the statistics im sorry.
KingCanon (2 months ago)
Fellas ... invest in safety vests so you r easily identified.
Issac F (2 months ago)
This is an excellent way for the black community to take back their communities.. it’s a start! Good job!
Lancelot2000Lps (2 months ago)
That women would in germany not allowed to drive this shitty car without windows and i can understand the cop for giving here an ticket and i think that is very nice of the cop here in germany your car would stay by the police and you can walk home!!! But i must say i have never saw someone in germany without windows in his car driving!!!
Lancelot2000Lps (2 months ago)
I get it maybe because i am from germany and here we have cops that are ok, I think that the Usa is ill in so many ways, in every big debatt is the land split in two, that is crazy because you have so many people that use it to empower themself and that destroys your country!!!
Bringer Of Chaos (2 months ago)
Sociopaths. Learn HOW they work
Dani Lima (2 months ago)
These colonizers with badges need to be watched too many times they have abused their power and their racism is ballant.
The Lone Wolf (2 months ago)
A lot of racist bootlickers in the comment section.
AuntiJen (2 months ago)
I was arrested and suffered a seizure while in custody. The 2 officers stood over me while i was helpless & in agony, & laughed, saying 'oh, DAMN! she's got the spirit" called me "Shake & Bake". Classy.
itsKarlDesigns (2 months ago)
i was hit in the face by beyonce, rihanna stood over me while i was down, laughed and spat on me. classy.
Brad Cochran (2 months ago)
85% of the black community wants to be known as gangsters. Act like there gangsters. But can't understand why your treated as such!!!!!! They all look up to the rappers that are all talking about shooting,robbing the dope man, selling dope, being down for your neighborhood..... But can't understand why cop's are so fast to shoot!!!!!!!!
james kendo (2 months ago)

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