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Nevada Cop Block Will Be Attending Freedom Fest 2017 and the Anthem Film Festival

Freedom Fest Las Vegas Nevada Cop Block CopBlockThis year, members of Nevada Cop Block will be attending Freedom Fest, which is held annually here in Las Vegas. Freedom Fest 2017, which will be hosted by the Paris Hotel and Casino on the Las Vegas Strip, marks the tenth anniversary of the “world’s largest libertarian gathering.”

The theme for the Freedom Fest this year is, “Exploring New Frontiers.” A title that is no doubt inspired by the fact that Captain Kirk himself, William Shatner, will be serving as a keynote speaker this year. Other notable speakers include John Stossel, Steve Forbes (whose 70th birthday will be incorporated into the events), Nick Gillespie, and John McAffee, along with many more. In addition, as always, there will be multiple panel discussions, debates, and breakout sessions devoted to libertarian ideas and theories.

The Police on Trial

What I expect to be one of the highlights will be the mock trial that this year features “the police on trial.” It is described this way on the event site:

What is the state of policing in America? Are the police overstepping their bounds and eroding the rights of citizens? What about the safety of the police officers who have promised to protect and serve? Fox Business host Kennedy, who hosts her own show on Fox Business, is back as the judge in our mock trial, the most popular event at FreedomFest.

This year we’ll put “The Police on Trial,” accused of violating property rights (through civil asset forfeitures), racial discrimination, and using excessive force with SWAT team and individual arrests. She’ll oversee prosecuting attorney Neill Franklin (Baltimore Police Department), defending attorney Larry Elder (popular radio talk show host), and star witnesses Adam Bates (Cato), Daniel Franklin (NAACP), Larry Burns (Las Vegas Police Department), and Dan Bongino (NYPD, Secret Service). Not to be missed.
FreedomFest Mock Trial Police Las Vegas Nevada Cop BlockThat should be interesting. (**Spoiler** Guilty as charged.)

Anthem Film Festival

The other major attraction of Freedom Fest is the Anthem Film Festival, which has accompanied it for the past seven years. The stated goal of the film festival, which includes, documentaries, narrative films, and short features, is to provide a venue for filmmakers who care about individuality and libertarian ideals. In addition to the screenings, each film also features a panel discussion with those involved in making them afterwards.

Of course, if you’ve followed Nevada Cop Block recently you also know that the film festival has special relevance this year for Las Vegas and anti-police brutality activists working within the city. On Thursday, July 20th, at 3:20pm, the documentary “What Happened in Vegas,” by Ramsey Denison, will be screening inside the Versailles 3 Theater.

As I’ve already described several times on this site, “What Happened in Vegas” details the many crimes, corruption, and cover-ups of the LVMPD. Along with other local cases of abuse, racism, and police brutality, it focuses on the murders of Trevon Cole, Erik Scott, Stanley Gibson, and Tashii Farmer-Brown by Las Vegas police officers, as well as the cover-ups that followed them. (See below for the official movie trailer and links to related posts on NVCopBlock.org.)

The post screening panel will also include a press conference attended by the mother and other family members of Tashii Farmer-Brown. This will be the first public appearance by Brown’s family since he was murdered by LVMPD Officer Kenneth Lopera at the Venetian Hotel and Casino on May 14th. Lopera has since been charged with involuntary manslaughter, after the local community reacted with outrage at his actions.

Brown had approached Ofc. Lopera and another Metro officer requesting help. Instead of being treated like someone needing help he was instead treated like a criminal even though he was not suspected of or wanted in connection with any crime at the time. After he became afraid and tried to leave, he was chased, beaten, tased seven times, and eventually choked to death by Lopera.

Personally, I’m looking forward to Freedom Fest and especially to the screening of “What Happened in Vegas” during the Anthem Film Festival. Hopefully, you’re going to be there, too. If you see me or one of the other members of Nevada Cop Block out there say hello.

“What Happened in Vegas” Trailer

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Happy Birthday to Us! Nevada Cop Block Just Turned Three Years Old

Nevada Cop Block Birthday Cake

The original version of this photo (and the cake in it) is courtesy of Greater Cleveland Cop Block.

June 4th is what I would consider to be the three year anniversary of the founding of Nevada Cop Block, back in 2012. Technically, NVCopBlock.org launched a few weeks earlier on May 25th, when I posted a “Help Wanted” request asking if anybody was interested in getting involved with the website. There were a few other posts within the next few days, but that consisted of police-related reposts from my personal blog, EYEAM4ANARCHY, which I just dumped on the page as filler until I got some actual content ready to post. There had also been some offline actions in the real world, mostly in response to events CopBlock.org had organized and fairly sporadically.

The Motorhome Diaries in Las Vegas

The Motorhome Diaries in Las Vegas circa 2009

However, it was on June 4, 2012 that Pete Eyre formally welcomed us into the Cop Block family (or “Cop Block Network” as we like to call it now) and we were “officially” a local Cop Block affiliate. Prior to that, I had already met Pete and Ademo Freeman during their Las Vegas stop with the Motor Home Diaries (along with Jason Talley) in 2009 and later when they were doing an extended version of that known as Liberty on Tour in 2010 (when I was involved in one of Cop Block’s first call floods), as well as when I went to Porcfest in 2011.

I considered them friends and had a lot of respect for the things they were doing, so I generally did what I could from afar to support whatever projects they were involved in. As a result, I was tangentially involved with Cop Block from somewhat early on, although I hadn’t officially written anything for the site. (I did post a fairly boring video to YouTube using the name “Las Vegas Cop Block,” which was intended more to recruit other people than to impress anyone.) Basically, I had been trying to create a Las Vegas based Cop Block affiliate and doing some filming around town for some time, but that lack of interest from others had kept me from formally announcing one.

Then on December 12, 2011, a friend of mine from high school, Stanley Gibson, was murdered by Jesus Arevalo of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department as he sat in his car, unarmed and in no way posing a threat to anyone. That, along with the typical cover-up that soon followed, complete with the smearing of Stanley by those within the LVMPD, was the proverbial final straw and I decided that I would start a Nevada Cop Block affiliate even if I had to do it all by myself. Fortunately, that turned out to not be the case and the formation of a local Cop Block chapter actually attracted others. While, even to this day, I do the vast majority of the writing for this site, NVCopBlock has a fairly good sized group of members and associated groups within Las Vegas that support and contribute to the actions we do around town. In fact, within the past year Reno Cop Block has even joined the ranks of Cop Block affiliates.

banner-square storeOver the past three years, Nevada Cop Block has been one of the most active affiliates partly because Las Vegas area police keep right on killing people and refusing to hold any of their officers accountable, no matter how outrageous the circumstances. We’ve held protests and vigils for the many victims of those murders, including Stanley Gibson, Erik Scott, Trevon Cole, D’Andre Berghardt Jr., Michael Nida, Danielle Willard, Mike Brown, Oscar Grant, Freddie Gray, Antonio Zambrano-Montes and many others, including a dog named Bubba. Most of those have involved using chalk to write messages and tributes on the sidewalks around the places where the protests were held, something that we originally adapted from the national Cop Block, but that soon become “our thing.

And much like what happened in Manchester earlier, in August of 2013 five of our own members (myself included) were arrested on ridiculous graffiti and “conspiracy to commit” graffiti charges. Fortunately, the charges themselves, as well as the monstrously inflated clean up cost of $1550 to wash chalk off a sidewalk, that was used to justify those charges, made it glaringly obvious that our arrests were nothing but an attempt to intimidate us and retaliate against us for the attention we were bringing to Metro’s lack of accountability and affinity for murder. The charges were soon dropped amid a pretty large uproar and the actual effect of those arrests was to bring even more attention to the many, many problems within the LVMPD and other Las Vegas area police departments and their wasteful budgets.

All in all, I think it’s fair to say that NVCopBlock has had a good amount of success and positive influence within Las Vegas and even outside of Nevada, during various trips around the country. Although there were many other groups involved the attention that we helped bring to Metro’s crimes and wasteful spending no doubt played some part in former Sheriff Doug Gillespi deciding not to run for re-election and the subsequent defeat of his attempt to raise the sales tax in Clark County (which is largely comprised of Las Vegas and the surrounding area), in order to fund even more cops to harass, beat, and kill people, without any fear of consequences.

There are several ways you can support Nevada Cop Block in our efforts to hold police accountable.

There are several ways you can support Nevada Cop Block.

We’ve had a lot of small victories in these three years and a few big ones. We’ve also made a lot of great connections within the community both local and national. On a personal level, I’m now officially an editor for CopBlock.org and over the past few months the members of the “Cop Block Network” that Ademo has assembled have begun taking the national Cop Block site to a new level that looks to only be headed forward. As a result, I’m actually getting ready to put that “Help Wanted” sign back out there, so I can hopefully find someone to take over some of the day to day activity on NVCopBlock.org.

However, we still very much have our work cut out for us here. The LVMPD has still yet to ever, in the entire 40+ year history of their existence, hold a single police officer accountable for shooting someone, regardless of how suspicious the circumstances are and even when the person being shot was unarmed and completely innocent. That’s not a track record to be proud of, nor is it being a very good “partner with the community.” The police in and around Las Vegas like to talk about how much they are changing, but the results just don’t bear that out. Nevada Cop Block won’t be going away anytime soon. As long as the LVMPD keeps going out of their way to sweep their crimes under the rug, we’ll be there to pull that curtain back.

Liberty BannerHere are some selected highlights from the first three years of NVCopBlock:

(Click the Headline to Go To the Original Post)

June 4, 2012: Pete Eyre Welcomes Nevada Cop Block

Pete Nevada Cop Block ShirtThe debut of Cop Block in Nevada:

The LVMPD, along with other Las Vegas area police departments, has a long and sordid history of beating, killing, and otherwise abusing local residents. Beyond the complete lack of accountability for these actions, the aftermath is often economically costly for the community that they terrorize.

 

Las Vegas: Beware of Gang Activity in Your Neighborhood!

This gang has been very active in downtown Las Vegas recently.

This gang has been very active in downtown Las Vegas recently.

NVCopBlock.org’s first original post:

Most gang members have identifying characteristics unique to their specific clique or gang. Many gang members are proud of their gang and freely admit their membership. Their personal belongings frequently boast the gang’s logo and the member’s gang name. Gangs generally share common characteristics such as the wearing of distinct clothing. However, some individuals on the fringe of gang involvement are reluctant to identify themselves as gang members.

They are usually armed, often unpredictable, travel in overwhelming numbers, and are not above attacking or even killing innocent people that are unlucky enough to be confronted by them. So, interacting with them individually can be very dangerous. If possible, make sure others are present and ALWAYS carry a camera to document any improprieties and ensure a neutral “witness.”

 

 

Sheriff Claims Open Carry is Illegal in Reno

Reno_Open_Carry_ShirtWe don’t actually limit ourselves to Las Vegas:

We bantered back-n-forth a bit and then, when we were about to leave, he said ” If I really wanted to be an ass, I could cite you for open carrying in Reno, because the Reno city ordinance overrides the state law about open carrying in the state of Nevada.” He then went on to tell us we should look it up and probably not open carry anymore and kept saying ”he was pretty sure it overrides the state ordinance.”

When he said that it came off VERY threatening and I wanted to start an argument right then and there, but that probably wouldn’t of been the best idea…

After Henderson Police Beat Man in Diabetic Shock, NV Residents Pay for It

Henderson Police BrutalityA prime example of the lack of accountability in Las Vegas-area police departments:

Once the video surfaced, the people in the community were understandably outraged by the obviously unnecessary nature of the beating inflicted on a visibly restrained man. Clark County District Attorney Steve Wolfson saw it differently, though. In his initial review of the case, he came to the conclusion that it wouldn’t be “in the community’s best interest” to punish Sgt. Seekatz (who has a history of complaints being filed against him predating this case) or any of the other officers because two years had passed since the incident happened.

Not surprisingly, that assessment was met with outrage by the community…

Official Cop Block Press Passes

CopBlockPressPassesWhether they like it or not Cop Block is part of the press:

Over the years, Cop Block has expanded from a small “DIY” style project into a fully functioning independent media outlet with a prominent national online presence and over two-hundred (and counting) satellite organizations located in cities throughout the United States and even beyond those imaginary borders. The establishment of official Cop Block press passes represents the next step in that evolution in which we serve notice to the world that we won’t be marginalized or overlooked, but are asserting ourselves as a legitimate member of the media.

Plus, they look really cool! (BTW, we now have Nevada Cop Block T-shirts, also.)

Las Vegas Metro Police: Chalk Washes Off, But Injustice Never Will

Chalk Washes Off, Injustice Never WillThis was the beginning of the path that eventually led to five of our members being arrested for writing with chalk:

In an obvious and ridiculous attempt to intimidate them into ending their efforts to bring attention to the history of abuses, corruption, and outright murders by Las Vegas area police and a total lack of accountability for such by those that oversee local police departments, three members of the Sunset Activist Collective were given citations for “graffiti” based on writing with washable sidewalk chalk. (See below for video of the incident.)

J.R. Dazo, Kelly W. Patterson, and Ballentine, who have since been dubbed the “Sunset 3” were participating in Nevada Cop Block‘s monthly anti-police brutality protest and vigil known as “Second Saturdays” in front of the LVMPD’s headquarters…

Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas: The LVMPD’s Killer Reputation

Las Vegas Metro Lack of AccountabilityAt the end of this post I tried to warn the LVMPD that it was even in their best interest to hold cops accountable for their crimes. Ironically enough, they arrested me and four other members of NVCopBlock later that day:

Throughout their history, the LVMPD has consistently rated among the highest statistically nationwide (even when compared against cities with much higher populations) in times they have shot at people while on duty and in the level of fatalities resulting from those shootings. Stanley Gibson was just one of the latest names in the laundry list of the victims of Las Vegas police that includes Erik Scott (whose murderers were later given an award for bravery while gunning down someone from behind and then unloading their guns on him as he lay already dying on the ground), Trevon Cole, Orlando Barlow, Tanner Chamberlain, Deshira Selimaj, and Henry Rowe, among the 150+ shootings just since 1990.

Yet not one singular time in the close to forty year history of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department has a Las Vegas area police officer ever been charged for shooting someone, regardless of whether the person shot was unarmed or even completely innocent of having committed any actual crime.

LVMPD Employees Kidnap/Cage Kelly Patterson & Brian Ballentine for Victimless Action

Arrested for drawing with Chalk

Arrested for drawing with Chalk

And this would be the post about us getting arrested for telling the LVMPD they should hold murderers accountable (although two of us were arrested initially, eventually charges were filed against five members of Nevada Cop Block):

Kelly Patterson & Brian Ballentine were kidnapped last night by employees of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department (LVMPD) and are now caged at the Clark County Detention Center…

To be clear – Patterson and Ballentine caused no victim. This is a free speech issue. The pair had been outside the headquarters of the LVMPD to participate in the monthly chalking done on the sidewalk to bring attention to the double-standards afforded to some predatory individuals who wear LVMPD badges (for example – in the history of the LVMPD not one employee has been found by internal investigations to have been in the wrong when involved in a shooting).

No “More Cops” for the LVMPD. They Aren’t Needed and They Aren’t Wanted.

Metro displaying just how shorthanded they are on Fremont Street. (Notice the massive, unruly crowd being held back behind them.)Soon after being released we joined with other local groups to fight the “More Cops Tax,” which, as the name implies, was a proposal to raise the sales tax, in order to hire even more cops, in spite of all the wasteful ways they spend the money they already get. It was eventually defeated.

 

A Video Compilation of Las Vegas Police Brutality

Not once, in the entire 40 year history of the LVMPD, has a cop EVER been charged for killing someone, Even when that person was unarmed and or completely innocent.The LVMPD Gone Wild (which is actually kinda their default state):

The video at the bottom of this post, consisting of a compilation of various videos showing past instances of police brutality by members of the LVMPD, was submitted by Jason Nellis and uploaded to his YouTube channel in order to encourage Las Vegas residents to attend a January 21, 2014 Clark County Commission meeting, in which a vote will be held regarding Sheriff Doug Gillespie’s and Commissioner Tom Collins’ continued attempts to force through an increase in the county sales tax to hire even more cops.

Did Las Vegas Police Retaliate Against Nevada Cop Block for Local Activism?

Las Vegas Metro RetaliationA Week of Oddly-Timed “Coincidences”

Two months ago, on March 5th, I was struck by a hit and run driver while walking in downtown Las Vegas. Anybody that’s familiar with Las Vegas traffic knows that in itself isn’t exactly an unusual event. However, a string of incredibly oddly timed and interconnected events surrounding my own incident, including another local activist being hit by a car the previous day, have made many within the local activist community wonder if there wasn’t more to it than just a random car “accident.” In fact, some have even classified it as an assassination attempt by the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department

Personally, I’m putting this out there because I feel that it’s important that people know about it and that there be a public record of it.

LV Constable John Bonaventura Ordered Cover-Up of Illegal Data Searches

John Bonaventura, the Most Corrupt Man in Las Vegas

John Bonaventura, the Most Corrupt Man in Las Vegas

Yeah, the corruption runs deep in Las Vegas:

With the amount of corruption that takes place on a regular basis within Las Vegas area governments, it can be hard to stand out. However, (soon to be former) Las Vegas Constable John Bonaventura and his deputy constables have actually managed to distinguish themselves among the roll call of corrupt officials in Clark County politics and even among the notoriously unaccountable members of Las Vegas law enforcement.

Bonaventura‘s latest scandal involves his cover up of the improper and illegal use of the Lexis Nexis “Accurint” database service to look up personal information on porn actresses by Deputy Chief Dean Lauer.

LVMPD Beat a Man for “Not Moving Fast Enough”

Members of the LVMPD beat a man in downtown Las Vegas because he supposedly didn't walk fast enough.

Members of the LVMPD beat a man in downtown Las Vegas because he supposedly didn’t walk fast enough.

This was later ruled within their policy. (It’s OK though, because they promised not to do it anymore):

Officer Glowinski apparently wasn’t happy with the pace at which a man, named Dominic Generino (possibly spelled differently), was moving and decided to arrest him.

What happened next is that all of the other Metro police in the immediate vicinity dove on and began beating Generino. In particular, one of them, identified as Officer Kolkoski, begins jabbing his nightstick into Generino’s body (the descriptions indicate he is hitting him in the legs, but it’s not real clear exactly where he’s being hit on the video because of the number of cops involved) with such enthusiasm that he looses his balance. The fact Kolkoski knocked himself down and appears to almost injure himself by hitting his head against a nearby table doesn’t seem to diminish that enthusiasm very much, as he subsequently has to be pushed away by another (as of yet unidentified) officer, in order to prevent him from resuming his attack with the nightstick.

Convictions of Sister Megan Rice, and the “Y-12 Three” Overturned

Sister Meghan RiceThe “pacifist terrorists,” who shut down the country’s nuclear weapons storage site were freed:

On May 8th, an appeals court overturned the convictions of Sister Megan Rice, Greg Boertje-Obed and Michael Walli, members of the “Transform Now Plowshares” movement, on sabotage crimes relating to their acts of civil disobedience against nuclear war and in favor of peace. They also ordered that they be re-sentenced for a lesser crime of “injuring government property,” which was upheld. (They were in fact released with time served.)

Las Vegas Metro Cop Joins the Growing List of Police Pedophiles/Rapists

Patrick Taylor Facing Child Porn Charges

Patrick Taylor Facing Child Porn Charges

It’s getting to the point where it’s hard to even keep up with:

On Wednesday (May 27, 2015), Patrick Taylor turned himself in on charges involving child pornography, stemming from a March 19th raid on his house after investigations by the LVMPD’s Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force and Internal Affairs Bureau. According to Metro, he is being charged with a single count of possession of child pornography and two counts of distribution of child pornography. In spite of the seriousness of those charges, he has been released without bail after his initial court appearance at the Regional Injustice Center in Las Vegas, which took place Wednesday morning. The only conditions being that he promise not to contact his victim or to access the internet or social media.

Anybody that has been paying attention in recent times undoubtedly has noticed that one of the many crimes on the rise within the ranks of police officers are sex crimes. It’s getting rare when even a week goes by that CopBlock.org isn’t posting a story about a cop being caught using their position to rape or in some other way sexually exploit someone. In fact, this isn’t even the only time in recent history that a Las Vegas cop has been caught.

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Official Cop Block Press Passes: Take Your Activism to the Next Level

Now you can get an official Cop Block press pass

Now you can get an official Cop Block press pass

Whether you are a regular contributor to Cop Block, an activist; who knows the value of keeping a camera handy when dealing with police and other government officials, or simply a fan; who wants to demonstrate your support for what Cop Block does and spread the word to others, there is a new tool available to make it easier for you to do so.

Official Cop Block press passes are designed as a multifunctional option for anyone involved with Cop Block, as well as a convenient and attractive way to support Cop Block’s goals of holding law enforcement accountable for their actions. They act as both a visual indicator that you value your rights and a prominent warning to anyone that might want to infringe upon them.

Over the years, Cop Block has expanded from a small “DIY” style project into a fully functioning independent media outlet with a prominent national online presence and over two-hundred (and counting) satellite organizations located in cities throughout the United States and even beyond those imaginary borders. The establishment of official Cop Block press passes represents the next step in that evolution in which we serve notice to the world that we won’t be marginalized or overlooked, but are asserting ourselves as a legitimate member of the media.

Cop Block Press Pass

Official Cop Block press passes are available for the national CopBlock.org network and any of the local Cop Block affiliates located in over thirty different cities.

Plus, they look really cool!

Keep reading below for more detailed reasons why you need and/or want to get your hands on a press pass (and additional pictures) or just order one right now and keep it within reach, along with your camera. If you have any issues with the Paypal “shopping cart”, you can send the payment using the email address [email protected] Also, if for some reason you can’t (or don’t want to) use Paypal, send me an email and we can work out some other option.

The press pass prices are:
$15 for a press pass
$20 for a press pass along with a lanyard that enables it to be worn.
$5 for just a lanyard

***Unfortunately, I do have to charge a $5 extra to ship to addresses outside the U.S., because the post office charges me extra***

I do accept Bitcoin now. The BC wallet address = 1JaQEAyPS71GW2JPPCMqMN53mTGMjVqctT (If you want to pay by Bitcoin send me an email letting me know that you did, so I can confirm that I received it.

Get Your Cop Block Press Pass

Fill-out the information below, attach your picture and click the "Submit" button. **You will be taken to the shop page, which will allow you to pay for your order.** (You can also add other merchandise from the shop before checking out, if you'd like.) Paypal, as well as Bitcoin, Litecoin, Dogecoin, and several other "cryptocurrencies," can be used for payment, via the shopping cart. Checks and money orders will also be accepted, but they must be mailed and have to clear the bank prior to any orders being sent out. Just send me an email for the address to send it to. I'm also open to accepting gold or silver. E-mail me if you want to arrange that. (Essentially, I will take anything I can spend.) Press passes cost $15 and are created biweekly, so you should receive your order within about 2 weeks (typically sooner).

Why You Need an Official Cop Block Press Pass
The days of blogs primarily being a dumping ground for photoshopped cat pictures and tales of teenaged girls’ frustrations with their BFFs have long since passed. What has come to be known as “citizen journalism” has evolved into an important element of the media. Many of the scandals and abuses by public officials in recent years have been exposed by bloggers. Absent potential conflicts of interest created by political or sponsorship concerns, grassroots journalists can and often do report the things mainstream outlets are unable or unwilling to.

Press passes are two-sided featuring your info on the front and the Cop Block logo plus a authorization statement on the back.

At Cop Block, members have varying reasons for being involved and levels of availability. However, those of us that understand the critical need for accountability for police take this responsibility very seriously. As a result, we want to  encourage others to add their own unique skills to the mix in as easy and safe a way as possible.

Safety can be an important consideration when confronted by an armed, aggressive, and at times violent person. This is, of course, why we encourage filming the police in the first place. Whether you are simply creating an unbiased record of your own interactions with badge wearing government employees on a random encounter or while actively seeking to confront official abuses, having a press pass can provide an extra layer of security.

There are several important protections afforded by the First and Fourth Amendments to the Constitution in regards to documenting the actions of public officials. Citizens can’t be forced to stop recording police activities in public places, nor can cameras, photos, or film legally be confiscated. Even in the event of an arrest, such items must be returned intact and can’t be searched without a warrant.

Cops obviously don’t always follow even their own rules, but an official Cop Block press pass serves as a visual warning to them that you know your rights and intend to use them. Even if you are unlucky enough to run across a police officer that completely disregards the Constitution and his legal responsibilities, establishing yourself as a legitimate member of the press reporting on a newsworthy issue makes it that much easier to seek compensation for those transgressions against First Amendment protections later.

Having a professional looking press pass can be your ticket to the opportunity to question those who are able to ensure accountability for public officials

Another important function of a press pass is the access it can provide to important events. In the future, members of Cop Block shouldn’t limit themselves to hacking at the branches of police brutality if there is an opportunity to strike at the root of corruption. Rather than only confronting an individual officer out in the field, if the local sheriff, mayor, district attorney, etc. schedules a press conference or other public appearance, request press access and ask them directly why one of their employees beat, shot, or wrongfully arrested someone in your city and what they intend to do about it.

As a member of a network that advocates for police accountability, you may encounter some initial resistance from those in charge of media access, but the combination of a legitimate, professional looking press pass and a good First Amendment argument can go a long way toward getting you in the same room with those who are supposed to enforce the policies. And even if they aren’t willing to answer your questions, at least you can put them on notice that there is someone watching the watchmen.

Furthermore, something that can help make it easier for you to seek accountability is the perception that accompanies those efforts. One thing that many organizers and activists learn early is that mindsets matter, both in regards to those trying to make change and those they encounter in the process. When you think of yourself as a legitimate, professional member of the media you are more likely to act as such and when you behave in a professional manner people are less likely to resist your efforts to do so.

I can actually tell you from personal (albeit anecdotal) experience that there is a perceptible difference in the way you are received when displaying a professional looking press pass, both by PR people that control access to events and by security and/or police you might encounter. Even in instances where media credentials aren’t required, you are less likely to be questioned about why you are filming and anyone that does question you is more likely to take into consideration legal ramifications that might result from interfering with members of the media.

As already stated, one of the purposes of issuing press passes is to serve notice to those we come into contact with that we are acting as and expect to be treated as an independent media outlet. Additionally, that same intent extends to those wearing the press passes and to encourage them to expect and even demand such recognition.

Yet another benefit to using a press pass when filming in public is that it give any innocent bystanders that might not want to be in a video or photograph an opportunity to get out of the way. This is both a matter of courtesy and a way of avoiding unnecessary conflict with people that aren’t doing anything wrong.

Why You Want an Official Cop Block Press Pass

Official press passes come laminated to protect them from damage and include extra space for a lanyard (not included) to be attached.

Even if you can’t or just aren’t interested in actively participating in Cop Block activities, there are several reasons why you will want an official Cop Block press pass. Not only do they make great souvenirs and gifts, but they are a way for you to show your personal support for Cop Block and police accountability.

Much like Cop Block’s other merchandise, these press passes are a visual symbol of your belief that everyone should be held to the same standard and the act of putting on a badge and certain outfit shouldn’t confer special privileges upon someone.

Wearing a Cop Block press pass also creates an easy opportunity for outreach to others in your community. Cop Block’s logo and URL are prominently featured in the design of the press pass. Anyone who views them will gain the opportunity to be exposed to a site dedicated to holding law enforcement officials accountable.

The official Cop Block press pass + a handy lanyard = ready to go out and seek accountability at a moment’s notice.

Beyond that, the uniqueness of it is sure to serve as a conversation starter and enable you to have discussions with your friends, neighbors, and even random strangers about the violence, corruption, and encroachment on personal liberties committed by government employees and the importance of holding them accountable for such abuses, when they occur.

Plus, each press pass is a unique, personalized souvenir. Featuring your own name and photo, as well as the option of choosing the main Cop Block site or an affiliate in your own town, if there is one (if not, you can always start one). Either way they add up to a great keepsake that will make you stand out in the crowd. Order one today for yourself or as a memorable gift for a fan of Cop Block and what we do to make the world a more just place.

If you are ready to make that leap from activist to a member of the grassroots media ORDER YOUR PRESS PASS RIGHT NOW!

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