How to record police encounters without losing your video


How to record police encounters without losing your video

Technologies that can help preserve evidence beyond hostile police encounters.


(Source: Breitbart) 

(Source: Breitbart)

Technology is a double-edged sword.  It has enabled the government to become more intrusive than ever with its online spying capabilities.  However, cheap and discreet recording devices make it much more feasible to hold cops on the street accountable.

Police State USA encourages holding government officials accountable but advises everyone to research the laws in their own states regarding secretly recording audio conversations (Read more: The Reporter’s Recording Guide).  Encounters with police officers in public generally do not fall under such restrictions, particularly after the recent court decision in Illinois.

Here, we intend to look at the technologies that facilitate that recording.

 

Streaming App for Cellphone

Ustream 

Ustream

Ustream is a cell phone application that allows a user to begin recording video and audio — and simultaneously stream the data to an online account — at the click of a button.

If you are in a tense situation with the police, click the app button and the rest is done automatically.  While running, it doesn’t look like a streaming app.

The video files will then be available online when viewing the user’s Ustream account.

Pros:

  • Easy to use.
  • Preserves video even if cell phone is confiscated.
  • Does not give obvious clues that the app is streaming.
  • Reputable app with product support.
  • Video/audio quality correspond to user’s phone capabilities.

Cons:

  • Internet uploads depend on having a sufficient phone signal.
  • May not be compatible with certain phone operating systems.
  • Presence of a cell phone will always draw suspicion of recording.

(Read more about Ustream)

 

Clippable Surveillance Camera

Veho MUVI Micro (Source: Amazon.com) 

Veho MUVI Micro (Source: )

The Veho MUVI Micro camera is popular among sports enthusiasts and those with the need for versatile recording options.  With a convenient clip, it is wearable on clothing or attachable to conspicuous objects — such as a vehicle sun-visor.

Its size and cost make it easy to acquire and keep nearby.  With the largest micro-SD card, the device can record 3 hours of video.  It even has a surveillance option which allows it to sit idle for 36 hours and then begin recording upon noise activation.

The major drawback is that if the camera is confiscated, the files do not have the benefit of being stored to an internet account.  The device is obviously a camera, but it is harder to detect at only 2-inches long.

Pros: 

  • Affordable price.
  • Tiny size. (2.17″)
  • Inconspicuous.
  • Clippable.
  • Surveillance capable.
  • Easy to keep with you.
  • Useful even if there is insufficient cell phone tower signal.
  • Medium quality video.
  • Reputable product/company.

Cons:

  • Has the appearance of a camera unless hidden or masked.
  • If device is lost, evidence is lost.
  • Lower quality audio.

Purchase Keychain Camera:  
Purchase External Memory:  

 

Discreet Keychain Camera

YKS 808 Keychain Camera (Source: Amazon.com) 

YKS 808 Keychain Camera (Source: )

This tiny recording device looks just like a vehicle remote-starter that might be found on your key chain. It’s an inconspicuous option for video and audio recording that is unlikely to be seized by police. To recover the video, the device must interface with a computer at a later point.  The video is stored on a removable memory card.  The price is unbeatable, and with a large micro-SD card it can record for 2.5 hours.

Even if an officer confiscates a a keychain from someone, it is unlikely to be determined to be a recording device and will more than likely have its evidence intact after the keychain is returned.

Pros: 

  • Low price!
  • Tiny size.
  • Discreet.
  • Easy to use.
  • Always with you.
  • Unlikely to be confiscated.
  • Useful even if there is insufficient cell phone tower signal.

Cons:

  • Not easy to aim when the keys are in the vehicle ignition.
  • Lower quality video/audio.
  • If device is lost, evidence is lost.
  • Cheap import item;  Little/no product support.
  • Mixed product reviews.  “You get what you pay for.”

Purchase Keychain Camera:  (Under $10)
Purchase External Memory:  (sold separately)

 

Discreet Pen Camera

Hidden Pen Camera (Source: Amazon.com) 

Hidden Pen Camera (Source: )

Stick this “pen” in your pocket for discreet video/audio recording.  It’s another inconspicuous option for documenting interactions with public servants that is unlikely to be confiscated.  To recover the video, the device must interface with a computer at a later point.  The video is stored on a removable micro-SD memory card.

Similar to the keychain camera or other discreet recording devices, this item is unlikely to be confiscated.

Pros: 

  • Low price!
  • Tiny size.
  • Discreet.
  • Easy to use.
  • Easy to keep with you.
  • Unlikely to be confiscated.
  • Useful even if there is insufficient cell phone tower signal.

Cons:

  • Lower quality video/audio.
  • If device is lost, evidence is lost.
  • Cheap import item;  Little/no product support.
  • Mixed product reviews.  “You get what you pay for.”

Purchase Pen Camera:  (Under $10)
Purchase External Memory:  (sold separately)

 

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