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b. dolan
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Joined: 17 Nov 2004
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http://newblackman.blogspot.com/2011/12/who-got-camera-hip-hops-quest-for.html

“Who Got the Camera?”: Hip-Hop’s Quest for Social Justice
by Mark Anthony Neal | NewBlackMan

In his book Let’s Get Free: A Hip-Hop Theory of Justice, former United States prosecutor and George Washington University Law Professor Paul Butler suggest that Hip-Hop has “the potential to transform justice in the United States.” (123) Butler’s simple assertion is that “Hip-Hop exposes the American justice system as profoundly unfair.” (124) The annals of Hip-Hop are filled with examples of artists scrutinizing law enforcement and the criminal justice system, the most famous example being, N.W.A.’s “Fuck the Police,” which begins with the explicit claim, that the group was putting the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) on trial for abuse and misconduct—two years before the Rodney King beating. Too often such moments are reduced to a nostalgia for a so-called more “conscious” era of rap music, yet recent film shorts by B. Dolan and Pharoahe Monch, suggest that Hip-Hop’s critical eye for social justice is as keen as ever.



More than twenty years ago, on the evening of March 2, 1991, motorist Rodney King was stopped by LAPD officers for speeding. King’s subsequent beating was videotaped by passerby George Holiday and quickly became the most famous evidence of police brutality, though the four officers who were charged with brutality were later acquitted of charges. The Rodney King beating was digital confirmation of what many Blacks experienced in relationship to law enforcement in the 1980s and early 1990s, whether exemplified by the choking death of graffiti artist Michael Stewart, the shooting of the elderly Eleanor Bumpurs and of course the beating of King.

In an era marked by the increased presence of law enforcement in Black communities—a by-product of buy and bust forms of policing, that fed the expansion of the prison industrial complex—young Black men were particularly susceptible to blatant forms of police brutality. As such, so called “gangsta rap”—in spite of its problematic narratives with regards to gender, sexuality, and violence—was likely the most organic documentation of police brutality in Black communities. As political scientist Lester Spence notes in his book Stare in the Darkness: The Limits of Hip-Hop and Black Politics, he was “hard pressed to find a single song that was uncritical of the police.” The Rodney King beating highlighted, the power and importance of counter-surveillance of law enforcement in this country—a value that was instilled within the Black body politic twenty-five years before the Rodney King beating, by the Black Panther Party.

To be sure The Black Panther Party (for Self-Defense), with founders the late Huey P. Newton and Bobby Seale, were not the first individuals within Black communities to attempt to hold law enforcement accountable, but at the height of the Civil Rights/Black Power Movement the Black Panther Party became the most visible proponents of the power of policing the police. As Alondra Nelson notes in her new book Body and Soul: The Black Panther Party and the Fight Against Medical Discrimination, the Black Panther Party was founded on the premise of “afford[ing] protection for poor blacks from police brutality.” In its earliest incarnation in late 1966, armed Black Panther Party members oversaw police activities in Black communities from a distance allowable by law. The Mulford Act, which outlawed loaded guns in public, was passed by the California State legislature a year later, in direct response to the activism of the Black Panther Party.

Twenty years later, Hip-Hop culture reanimated this particular activist thread, lyrically reporting on the nature of unfairness of the judicial system and the abuse of power by law enforcement. Yet even in that mode, Hip-Hop narratives seemed to lend itself to visual sensibilities and the coming digital revolution. In his book In Search of The Black Fantastic: Politics & Popular Culture in the Post-Civil Rights Era, political scientist Richard Iton observes that Black Popular Culture became “suddenly, particularly, and violently public…a development that led to a range of gatekeeping responses from those committed to restricting the circulation of certain kinds of information within black communities and maintaining ‘order’.” (104) According to Iton, this heightened visibility and “policing” was coupled with the “proliferation of hand-held and surveillance video cameras, camera phones, and the awareness of these new technologies,” creating the “internalization of the expectation that one is always potentially being watched.” (105)

That sense of being watched was manifested in the popularity of a series like Cops which premiered in 1989, and offered a pro-Law Enforcement view of criminal justice, and represented one of the most sustained representations of so-called Black criminality; Cops was one of the longest running series in television history. Hip-Hop became a natural counter-balance to this dynamic, particularly as the Hip-Hop generation embraced cutting edge technologies from, beepers to hand-held cameras. When Ice Cube recorded “Who Got the Camera,” months after the officers in the King beating were acquitted, he spoke to a generational ethos that reanimated the spirit of the Black Panther Party, armed with cameras and microphones, instead of assault weapons.

Arguably, the hyper-visibility of Hip-Hop and Black Popular Culture since the mid-1990s—in the context of celebrity culture—has functioned as a form of surveillance, which has diverted attention away from the ways that power and finance has been consolidated in the past generation. The amount of scrutiny that Kanye West and Russell Simmons generated in response to their appearance at #Occupy protests is evidence of how effective this surveillance has been; there are a generation of Americans more knowledgeable of the net-worth of Lebron James, Shawn Carter, Tyra Banks and the Real Housewives of Atlanta than they are of the Board members of the most powerful financial institutions in this country, many of whom were complicit, if not direct agents, in the financial collapse that instigated the #Occupy Movement.

The brilliance of recent projects by B. Dolan and Pharoahe Monch is that they re-purpose the very technological platforms that have increased the surveillance of American citizens and literally adjusted the frame to offer counter-surveillance and critique of American institutions like law enforcement. The presence of social media and accessible technology has allowed such projects to circulate in ways that were unimaginable even a decade ago. Neither project needed, for example, 106th and Park or Hot 97, for example, to find their audience.

B. Dolan’s song and video for “Film The Police” featuring Toki Wright, Jasiri X, Buddy Peace, and Sage Francis is an update of N.W.A.’s classic “Fuck the Police,” which in light of the visible abuses of law enforcement in the past few years—Sean Bell and Oscar Grant immediately come to mind—is more than timely. Yet there is a more specific context for “Film the Police,” as law enforcement organizations have sought to criminalize the filming of police officers.



Such efforts came to the forefront a few years ago when a Simon Glik, videotaped with cell phone, Boston police offers beating a man. Police officers arrested Glik, an immigration attorney, and charged him with an obscure wiretapping statute, which was quickly thrown out of court. Glik and the ACLU filed a countersuit against the police department and in August of 2011, the First Circuit Court of Appeals concluded, “that Glik was exercising clearly established First Amendment rights in filming the officers in a public space, and that his clearly-established Fourth Amendment rights were violated by his arrest without probable cause.” Propelled with a documentarian sensibility, “Film the Police” is as much offering evidence of police brutality and misconduct, as it is a call to “point and shoot”—an open declaration of the right of American citizens, in the midst of militarized crackdowns on public dissent, to hold their institutions accountable.

Concerns about police misconduct also inform the short film for Pharaohe Monch’s “Clap (One Day),” which was the featured single from Monch’s stellar 2011 release W.A.R. (We Are Renegades). Directed by Terence Nance, who also shot the short film Native Son for Blitz the Ambassador, and starring Gbenga Akinnagbe (The Wire’s Chris Partlow), “Clap (One Day)” is set on a Brooklyn morning in the aftermath of a cop shooting. An informant provides a detective with information—in a cash and carry exchange--about where the shooter’s family resides, cautioning, that the shooter is rarely present there—and presumably wouldn’t be so, if he is suspected of the shooting. A SWAT squad is dispatched to the apartment complex, and though the officers rush into the wrong apartment—1B instead of 1D—and accidentally kill a black child who was using the bathroom, there is every indication that such a fate would have been met by the family of the cop shooter. In either instance, the confrontation draws attention to the general lack of regard for life by law enforcement officers charged with policing—or occupying—Black neighborhoods; the death of the young boy would be viewed by some within law enforcement as simply collateral damage.



“Clap (One Day)” resonates in the aftermath of the accidental shooting death of seven-year-old Aiyana Stanley-Jones, who was sitting of the couch with family member, when members of a Detroit SWAT team bumrushed their apartment—with reality TV cameras in tow—and officer Joseph Weekley fired a single shot to Stanley-Jones head. Weekley was recently indicted on charges of involuntary manslaughter.

The family and neighbors in “Clap (One Day)” would not have such recourse, as they take retribution into their own hand. Whereas a term like “Clap” invokes gunfire in many urban communities, Monch uses the term as a metaphor for the deep knowledge that many possess in Black communities regarding the misconduct and abuse of law enforcement officers; community members literally break out into rhythmic clapping whenever they confront the offending officer, who not so surprisingly, lives in the very neighborhood where the killing occurs. That the officer (portrayed by Akinnagbe) lives in a working class community is a subtle reminder of the economic status of many officers as municipal employees; an irony that has not been lost on many who have witnessed officers on the frontline of abuse of #Occupy protesters.

Whether employing a documentary style or the conceptual art, “Film the Police” and “Clap (One Day)” offers further evidence of the critical role that Hip-Hop culture continues to play in the pursuit of social justice; a reminder of the power and responsibility that individual Americans also have in that pursuit.

***
Mark Anthony Neal is the author of five books, including the forthcoming Looking for Leroy: (Il)Legible Black Masculinities (New York University Press) and host of the weekly webcast Left of Black. Neal is Professor of Black Popular Culture in the Department of African & African American Studies at Duke University.
Post Sun Dec 18, 2011 7:23 am
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mortalthoughts
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Joined: 12 Dec 2002
Posts: 11616
Location: MI
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puhhhlease release this as a 12''
Post Mon Dec 19, 2011 5:27 pm
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SFR announcement



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Posts: 921
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Hmmmm. Got me thinking now. How about a 7'?
We were thinking of doing a series of limited edition 7"s in 2012. Do you think people would be down for that?

In other news, Urb.com just added to the pile of people and organizations helping out in the viral campaign:

http://www.urb.com/2011/12/19/b-dolans-film-the-police-goes-viral/

I'm glad to see this staying alive. We're at 70K views right now. I don't think it's farfetched to shoot for 100K by Christmas.
Post Mon Dec 19, 2011 6:06 pm
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mortalthoughts
LAME KID


Joined: 12 Dec 2002
Posts: 11616
Location: MI
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SFR announcement wrote:
Hmmmm. Got me thinking now. How about a 7'?
We were thinking of doing a series of limited edition 7"s in 2012. Do you think people would be down for that?

I .


release a limited edition box set of 7 inch of exclusives and unreleased b-sides featuring SFR artists

id spend some cheeze on it
Post Mon Dec 19, 2011 11:45 pm
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zeem



Joined: 29 Apr 2003
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Location: elsewhere
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only 7" i own.
Post Tue Dec 20, 2011 2:36 am
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Limbs



Joined: 04 Feb 2011
Posts: 902
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Saw this on reddit today.



Yes to 7".

And I didn't use it as a euphemism for Dolan's dick.

That's how serious I am about it.
Post Tue Dec 27, 2011 9:12 am
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xxdr. mad69xx



Joined: 03 Apr 2009
Posts: 384
Location: Salt Lake City
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I'd buy a 7" too. I'm also trying to get that House of Bees vol.2 already!
Post Thu Dec 29, 2011 4:26 am
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lacezilla



Joined: 08 Jun 2006
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Location: brockton,ma
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I want 7 7-inches.
Post Fri Jan 06, 2012 4:16 pm
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Sage Francis
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Joined: 30 Jun 2002
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This video I posted online yesterday received about 21,000 views in one day. It shows a RI cop kicking a woman in the head. This happened in 2009 but it's just going to trial right now.



#FilmThePolice
Post Sat Jan 07, 2012 1:52 am
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Jesse



Joined: 02 Jul 2002
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(1) Yo did you check that reporter's name at thirty seconds in??

(2) These people don't know how the word "alleged" works. It's not a video of an "alleged" assault - it's a video of an assault. You could call it an "apparent" assault or I guess if you want to super hedge it, "what appears to be an assault," but it's a video of the thing that happened. If it's unclear that the accused officer is the one in the video, then the "allegation" is that he's the perpetrator, not that it happened.

This is not quite as bad as when news sources talk about "the alleged suspect," but it is pretty bad. Have some guts!!
Post Mon Jan 09, 2012 6:58 pm
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SFR announcement



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I think this cop is about to be let off the hook. There will be an update on the news tonight which I will try to post. One funny thing that happened during the trial is the cop said he was off balance during the kick. And then when they showed him the video he said he was not off balance. Haha...that was the news teaser on TV today.
Post Tue Jan 10, 2012 1:13 pm
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FranktheP



Joined: 21 Jul 2004
Posts: 1367
Location: East Coast, Fuck You!
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I watched the video (many times), shared the video (again many times), downloaded the song, put the sticker on my fridge---when do I get to sport the t-shirt?
Post Thu Jan 12, 2012 11:24 am
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Sage Francis
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This thread is getting un-stickied.
Thanks for all the love and shares!
Post Thu Jan 26, 2012 1:06 am
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b. dolan
FBI agent


Joined: 17 Nov 2004
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Sage Francis wrote:

Thanks for all the love and shares!


Post Thu Jan 26, 2012 1:08 am
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TV



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Location: Severna Park, MD
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I saw this in the local paper:

http://www.hometownannapolis.com/news/reg/2012/02/14-08/Judge-hears-arguments-on-deleted-videos-case.html

BALTIMORE (AP) — A federal judge Monday denied a motion to dismiss a suit that alleges Baltimore city officers violated a Maryland man's constitutional rights when they deleted videos from his mobile phone after he recorded a confrontation between officers and a friend.

The suit brought by the American Civil Liberties Union of Maryland challenges as unconstitutional the detention of Christopher Sharp at the Preakness Stakes in 2010, the seizure of his phone and the deletion of video recordings on the phone of the confrontation and his young son.

"These are fundamental constitutional rights. They affect citizens everywhere, not just in Baltimore," Mary Borja, one of the attorneys representing Sharp, said after the hearing. "This is an issue we're seeing nationally. Ensuring that citizens are protected and that their First Amendment, their Fourth Amendment rights are protected is critical."

The U.S. Department of Justice has asked the judge to side with Sharp and find that citizens have a right to record police and that officers violate citizens' rights when recordings are seized without due process. It is the first time the Justice Department has weighed in on such a case, according to a spokeswoman. Two members of the department's civil rights division were in court Monday, but did not speak during the proceedings and declined to comment afterward.

The Department of Justice declined to comment on why it has taken an interest in this case. The ACLU is involved in similar cases in Illinois, Florida, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey.

Sharp and two friends watched the Preakness from the grandstands and later went into the clubhouse, where Sharp noticed one friend being "forcibly arrested," which he recorded on his mobile phone, according to the lawsuit. Sharp said he was hesitant to turn over his phone when officers told him they needed it as evidence, and when he did out of fear of being arrested, all data on his phone was wiped. Sharp was able to restore some data, but even police technicians were unsuccessful in their attempts to retrieve the videos after Sharp filed a complaint with the department, Borja noted in court Monday.

The lawsuit accuses the officers of violating Sharp's free-speech rights and his freedom from unreasonable searches and seizures. It also alleges false imprisonment and invasion of privacy by the officers. The suit also argues that this was just one example of a departmental practice of misapplying the Maryland Wiretap Act to keep people from recording official conduct.

"I really just want to see justice done," Sharp said outside court. "This is bigger than just me."

The Baltimore police department had asked U.S. District Judge Benson E. Legg to dismiss the suit, arguing that relief can't be granted for any of its claims and that the point is moot because officers are now trained to allow recordings.

The judge did not ask the two sides about the department's argument that the claim is moot because it was only Friday that the department made public its new general order informing officers that people have the right to records them performing their duties. Borja noted that she hasn't had time to review the order, but an incident early Saturday in which officers told a man recording an arrest to move along or risk arrest himself for loitering shows that the policy is not effective.

Legg did suggest that both sides consider separating the claims against the officers and those against the department and commissioner so the details of the day of the incident might be explored before the larger issue of department policies, a common course of action in such cases, he said. Borja told Legg that for her, separating the claims is not practical in this case because an understanding of the department's policy would be relevant.
Post Tue Feb 14, 2012 7:50 pm
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