Privacy SOS

Police surveillance against police turns up routine abuse, leading to the termination of an entire Miami PD unit

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Here's a warning to law enforcement officers: ubiquitous surveillance can cut both ways. 

Miami police officers learned that lesson the hard way after the internal affairs division, acting on an unknown tip, turned common police surveillance tools against police officers and uncovered serious abuse of power. The investigators used surveillance cameras and GPS trackers to monitor a unit's behavior, finding that instead of responding to calls for service, officers were making out with their girlfriends, drinking coffee, going shopping, and spending hours just hanging out. 

In one particularly damning video from the investigation, one of the now unemployed officers ignores a service call to attend to a five month old child in need of immediate medical attention. He never shows up at the scene, but he lies and says he did on his daily activity log.

Take a look at the CBS news report embedded above to watch the shaky, hand-held surveillance video of the now disgraced cops. Police officers should be aware that the surveillance society they routinely deploy to incriminate and lock up other people can be just as easily turned against them. 

Abuse of power comes perhaps doesn't come as a big surprise, but it's rare that we can watch it on video.

© 2021 ACLU of Massachusetts.