Police accountability has been enjoying surprising strides in recent times through the efforts of online activism and social media. That success has been followed by a number of spiteful statists working to undermine those efforts.
One of the largest groups, Cop Block (http://www.copblock.org/), has received particular amounts of negative attention. Earlier this summer, the activists from the group was featured prominently on Fox News and mocked for filming police officers during traffic stops.
This week, anti-accountability agents have created an online White House petition to ask President Obama to “Officially label and classify any variation of ‘CopBlock.Org’ members as Domestic Terrorists with DHS.”
The petition alleges that Cop Block — a group which has evolved into a national grassroots network of activists — is “applauding and encouraging violence towards law enforcement officers and their families” as well as “committing terroristic acts by inspiring, inciting, or taking parts in acts that are designed to take human lives in cold blood for political gain.”
The majority of Cop Block affiliates’ tactics involve recording public servants while on duty and bringing awareness to various abuses committed by police around the country. While perceived as annoying to law enforcers, this author knows of no evidence to support the serious claims that Cop Block supports terroristic acts. The petition provides no examples of said behavior.
The petition might be brushed aside as a stunt, but as of this writing (9/22/2014), it has over received over 2,500 signatures. It has also been promoted by several large police advocacy pages, including Law Enforcement Today, which boasts 360,000 fans on Facebook. Its followers include a plethora of official police department pages.
This appears to be an effort to both encourage the federal government to suppress free speech and to demonize activism through baseless accusation.
The petition expires on October 19th.