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Cop Harassing Activists Caught Playing Taylor Swift So Bystanders Couldn’t Post The Recording Online! Shady AF!!

Police officers have been put under a microscope over the past few years, but some have found sneaky ways to avoid being looked at closely.

On Tuesday, during a confrontation with a citizen who started recording him, a cop admitted to playing a Taylor Swift song in an effort to keep the video off of YouTube.

The incident went down as James Burch, policy director of the Anti Police-Terror Project (APTP), was standing outside the Alameda Courthouse in Oakland, California to support the family of Steven Taylor, who was killed by San Leandro police officer Jason Fletcher while having a mental health crisis at Walmart.

(Fletcher was later charged with felony manslaughter.)

Related: Police Arrest Man For 2013 Campus Assault After He Confesses On Facebook

Burch was listening to the pre-trial hearing with members of the Justice 4 Steven Taylor campaign when an officer approached him and asked him to move a banner. As the two began to argue, one of the activists whipped out their phone to record the incident. Burch was heard in the recording asking the cop:

“You’re saying there’s a genuine concern we have that someone’s going to trip on this banner?“

The sergeant responded:

“You can’t keep twisting this…”

Once the sergeant noticed he was being filmed, he pulled out his phone and started playing Blank Space by Taylor Swift — prompting Burch to ask:

“Are we having a dance party now?”

The officer replied, “No, sir,” causing another APTP member to wonder:

“Are you playing pop music to drown out the conversation?”

After the sergeant replied, “No,” Burch put it together, saying:

“He doesn’t want you recording so he’s playing music in the back.”

Yup. The cop was trying to exploit copyright take-downs to keep the video off YouTube (which would make it easily and widely shareable) — something he confessed a second later, telling the activists:

“You can record all you want. I just know it can’t be posted to YouTube.”

See the frustrating moment for yourself (below).

Wow. WTF?

Sadly, this is becoming a tactic by officers to prevent people from sharing recordings of police — which, by the way, bystanders have a First Amendment right to do. Although playing music in the background of a video isn’t exactly against YouTube’s rules, it can set off the platform’s automatic take-down system.

So basically, cops are using T.Swift to keep themselves unchecked — and that’s so not okay!

Burch said just as much in a statement to The Verge, sharing:

“The fact that these members of the Alameda County Sheriff’s Department would go to such lengths to deny us the ability to publicize their actions speaks volumes to how they perceive their relationship with the People of Oakland.”

Sadly, this isn’t something we can just shake off, as police need to be held accountable for the way they handle situations with members of the public.

Save the playlists for when you’re off duty, officers!

[Image via Avalon/WENN]


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