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Screenshot of Oakland officer who played Taylor Swift song to block YouTube upload

Filmed, US policeman uses song to block video from YouTube

In Oakland, US, a policeman at the trial of a white colleague who had shot a black criminal, was filmed by Black Lives Matter activists. He played a Taylor Swift song on his phone to have the video blocked by YouTube for copyright infringement.

Published: July 6, 2021, 10:46 am

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    Oakland

    The facts date back to June 29. In Oakland, California in the United States, police were tasked with monitoring a demonstration of the anti-white movement Black Lives Matter. This rally took place in front of the city court – on the sidelines of the trial of a white policeman who killed an African-American in September 2020.

    The policeman was filmed by activists of the Anti Police-Terror Project (APTP), committed against police violence, in an effort to intimidate him, even though he was calmly monitoring the crowd. The US agent was caught on camera while he was speaking to another protester.

    Their words are a little inaudible but it could be a question of a banner placed on the ground. Aware of being filmed, the policeman then plays a song on his phone: Blank Space by Taylor Swift. In this way, he tried to make sure that the video would be removed upon posting, by YouTube, for copyright infringement.

    But this video, published by the official account of the APTP, was not censored by the platform. Worse still, it has watched more than 590 000 times. In the comments, Internet users expressed hope that the American singer would in turn support the video. Taylor Swift has notably supported the BLM cause since June 2020. “Racial injustice has long been rooted in our local and federal administrations and that must change,” she tweeted.

    Alameda County police meanwhile told the BBC it was not “approved behaviour” by their officer.

    This is not be the first time that American police have resorted to this type of stratagem. This is sometimes done to prevent their faces from ending up in a video on the Internet without their consent. Newsweek reported that a Department of Homeland Security official revealed that 38 law enforcement officers in Portland, Oregon, alone were doxxed within two weeks amid ongoing protests there. The police chief responded by allowing officers to cover their name badges with tape.

    “Doxxing” is the release of personal information like addresses and phone numbers online in order to threaten public officials. This is done to compromise the safety of officers and their families.

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