Tags: Ferguson in Crisis | Gun Rights | Homeland Security | NYC Police Shot | Arlington | Texas | police

Pro-Gun Group Uses Cameras to Police the Cops in Texas Town

Friday, 02 Jan 2015 09:44 AM

Armed with guns and video cameras, a group of open-carry gun activists are aggressively patrolling the streets of Arlington, Texas, but they are not looking to catch criminals in the act. They are policing the police.

Every night they can be found hitting the pavement in safety-yellow reflector vests, keeping police officers in the sights of their lenses, leading to potential confrontations with the local force, according to The Daily Beast.

With cameras rolling, the watching-the-watchers organization says it is holding police accountable for their actions, even in such minor cases as cops handing out tickets for motoring offenses – a strategy that was first introduced during the troubled days of the Black Panther movement in the 1960s.

But in the wake of the controversies surrounding the police shooting death of unarmed Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, and the chokehold death of Eric Garner by an officer in Staten Island, New York, the patrols have taken on extra meaning.

The group has even adopted the “Hands Up, Don’t Shoot” slogan used by protesters nationwide as they call for a crackdown on the alleged police profiling practice of targeting young blacks.

Bartender trainer Kory Watkins, who runs Open Carry Tarrant County and hosts the Internet radio show Open Carry Cop Watch, heads the group, consisting of OCTC members and Cop Block, which is also made up of libertarian-leaning, anti-law enforcement activists.

With the help of police scanners, they respond to 9-1-1 calls in real time and show up at DUI checkpoints and speed traps to warn motorists of the dangers that lie ahead. Carrying signs that say “Film the Police,” the group sometimes just follows cops and records them while the officers are simply driving around on patrol.

Watkins, who often carries his AK-47 assault rifle while on cop-watching duty, says his force makes up to 20 recording sessions a night, reported The Daily Beast, which noted that the “patrols” have been going on for a year, well before the deaths of Brown and Garner.

“The police department in Arlington is out of control and keeps wrongfully arresting people for doing things that are well within their rights,” Watkins said. “It’s wasting taxpayer money and it’s violating the rights of the people.”

The problem for police is that the group has been accused of inciting an anti-police environment in the Texas city by taunting cops with “bacon references” and wearing police hats with pig ears attached, according to The Daily Beast.

Jacob Cordova, 27, an Air Force veteran, was recently arrested while “on patrol” for the Tarrant County Peaceful Streets Project on charges that he interfered with public duties.

“When you see somebody being aggressive, interfering with a stop, and armed with a deadly weapon, the officer can’t just ignore that,” a police spokesman told the website.

But Watkins responded to Cordova’s arrest by posting a video on Facebook, in which he says: “You disobey the oath that you took and you kidnap and harass citizens who are well within their rights, and this is what you get: pissed-off patriots. And it ain’t going anywhere.”

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Armed with guns and video cameras, a group of open-carry gun activists are aggressively patrolling the streets of Arlington, Texas, but they are not looking to catch criminals in the act. They are policing the police.
Arlington, Texas, police, carry
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2015-44-02
Friday, 02 Jan 2015 09:44 AM
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