In the wake of James Boulware's attack on Dallas police headquarters, one of the local police unions is sort of blaming the media and a nameless man who once filmed police and is not shooter/would-be bomber Boulware.
The Dallas Police Association released a statement shortly after the attack on Saturday that begins reasonably, warning officers to be extra attentive and describing a recent shooting attack on a Houston officer. What is motivating the attacks? For answers, the DPA statement quotes Frederick Frazier, its vice president. "With the often inaccurate and negative portrayal by law enforcement by the media and the violent rhetoric used by anti-police instigators, the narrative has been set that it's open season on our officers across the country." Negative portrayal by law enforcement by the media? I guess this is what happens when you negatively portray the McKinney cop who tackled an unarmed teenager, America.
The DPA also asks for more security at its substation parking lots, which are open to the public. Why should the public not be able use the publicly funded police station parking lots? Maybe for legitimate security reasons, but the DPA only vaguely alludes to an anonymous cop watcher. "In recent weeks, an unidentified man was caught videotaping officers in the parking lot of the Northwest station," the association says.
That's an apparent reference to an extremely awkward encounter between a cop-watcher and two DPD officers last week, captured on the cop watcher's YouTube. His video clip doesn't have much action, just some quiet images of the Northwest station until the police show up. "What are you doing?" one asks. "Filming," he responds.
"This is private property dude," responds the officer in a super chill tone. The cop-watcher likewise remains unusually calm for a cop-watcher. The officer wants his ID, but he doesn't have it.
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"I'm just a journalist," he tells the police. The cop later tells him it's probably OK that he's filming, after all, but that he should warn the police inside the station first. "It's not a big deal that you're out here doing it, but like, they end up having to put these signs up, that's why you've got this big response, coming out here on this, because we've had like that ISIS stuff and everything," the officer says.
"I'm not part of that."
"No, no, I know that."
The cop-watcher says he will cross the street. "This is all city of Dallas property," the officer says. "This is public right-of-way," the cop-watcher corrects him, adding that he doesn't see a private property sign. Nobody raises their voice, and they eventually all agree the man can film if he crosses the street. The officers make a few more attempts to get his name as he crosses but are unsuccessful. All in all, not the best example to argue for heightened security. In the past, DPA's President Ron Pinkston has indicated he understands that filming officers is perfectly legal. Though, as some rabid Arlington activists have learned, it's definitely not legal or polite to film officers while also cussing at them and announcing that you have a gun.