Barking Dog, a downed Dallas cop and the limits of body-camera transparency

By Eric Nicholson - Dallas Observer

A pair of Dallas cops — assisted by a passing middle-schooler — move to block East Dallas activist/photographer Avi Adelman's view of a police officer who collapsed on the Santa Fe Trail in March. (photo: Avi S. Adelman)

It's been more than five months since Barking Dog Avi Adelman, formerly of Lower Greenville, currently of what we'll refer to as Greater Junius Heights, raced to the Santa Fe Trail to take pictures of a cop who collapsed. The cop revived, spent a couple of weeks in the hospital, and was released. The earth has completed nearly half a circuit around the sun. Spring turned into summer, which is now less than two weeks from giving way — on the calendar, at least — to fall.

But while the rest of the world has moved on, Adelman has not. He is still flogging the incident as evidence that DPD officers still don't have a solid grasp of the public's right to photograph police, notwithstanding its new public-photography rules. One might be inclined to ignore Adelman's complaints and cut the cops some slack for being a bit touchy about some guy with a camera snapping pictures of their comrade, but this would be a mistake because a) the fight highlights several unresolved issues, including tension between enumerated rights, particularly vis a vis citizen photography, and how much additional transparency those new police body cameras will provide; and b) watching footage of Adelman self-righteously bickering with equally self-righteous cops is premium entertainment.

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By Avi S. Adelman under Public safety , Safe streets