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US Officer plays Taylor Swift song to avoid being videotaped

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Police brutality is quite a harsh reality within the US. And camera footage has helped somewhat in exposing officers who do inflict excessive force. However, police officers are also getting quite creative in avoiding being videotaped. For instance, this one police officer even tried a method that involved Taylor Swift.

Related: Ma’Khia Bryant: Police training & alternate outcomes when a Police Officer does nothing

Police officer thought playing Taylor Swift would prevent his videotaping – ends up going viral

US Officer plays Taylor Swift song to avoid being videotaped
Republic Records ©

According to reports, a US Police officer found a unique way to avoid being filmed by activists. He would play Taylor Swift songs on his phone so that if they try to upload the video on YouTube, the platform would take it down. It sounds like an incredibly smart move, however, the officers’ efforts went in vain. The encounter took place in Oakland, California, and ironically went viral on YouTube.

Members of the Anti Police-Terror Project (APTP), a group that strives to “eradicate police terror in communities of colour,” filmed the police officer. They were protesting outside the courthouse where the pre-trial of a San Leandro police officer was taking place for the manslaughter of an African-American man. However, while protesting, they tried to film a cop, and that’s when things took an unexpected turn. In the video the officer said:

You can record all you want, I just know it can’t be posted to YouTube.

When asked if the Taylor Swift song he’s playing is part of some procedure or not, the officer responded:

I’m playing music so that you can’t post on YouTube.

This bizarre way of avoiding accountability found its way on YouTube and aptly went viral. It looks like the algorithm understood what the officer was trying to do with Taylor Swift. Since the video went online, it has amassed over 180,000 views and still remains on the platform without any copyright strike. Furthermore, the sheriff’s department said:

We have seen the video and referred it to our internal affairs bureau. This is not approved behavior. It will not happen again.

Here’s the video of the incident:

Officers used this strategy in the past too, and it worked

However, this is not an isolated incident. Vice also previously reported that some California-based police officers would start playing Beatles songs to avoid being filmed. They may not have used Taylor Swift’s songs, but the strategy was the same. But, how effective is this method in getting videos taken down from the platform? Well, YouTube’s copyright management tools says:

Videos uploaded to YouTube are scanned against a database of files that have been submitted to us by content owners.

Then, copyright owners decide if they would like to block the content, monetize it, or track it. And it turns out that according to research, YouTube has taken down some Black Lives Matter videos with recognizable music. It said that police officers just:

need only make sure that copyrighted audio is present with sufficiently recognisable clarity and volume in the background of a protest or other event.

And that would all it take to take down crucial evidence against police brutality. So, should YouTube alter their copyright laws to make sure such instances do not happen? Let us know in the comments below.

Related: Taylor Swift praises activists for their fight against discrimination in honor of Pride Month

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