On December 16th, a Springfield resident, who wishes only to be identified as John, came home to a troubling sight – his security camera and peephole covered with tape.
At first, John thought that it was a prank committed by his neighbors, who he says, “have pure disdain for us because we have a camera and they are offended by it.” However, after watching the video, John discovered that the culprit was someone even more disturbing.
In the video, obtained by Ye Olde Journalist from an anonymous source, two Springfield Police Officers drive up to the complex that John lives in with his wife, who wishes only to be identified as Mary. After knocking several times and receiving no answer – John and his wife were not home – one of the officers becomes frustrated and covers the camera and peephole with tape removed from a sign that read “Security Camera.” In the video, the officers never attempt to identify themselves as police. After covering the camera, the officers can be heard knocking on a neighbor’s door.
“I get the feeling that the cops were pissed and thought we were inside; to be smart asses they covered our lens in an attempt to see if we would react,” says John, adding, “we felt scared and threatened, still do. Every knock brings stress now.”
John and his wife have filed a complaint with the Springfield Police Department and are awaiting a response.
In my opinion, John and his wife have every right to be upset about the officer’s conduct. As someone who has been trained as a police officer (my POST certification just recently expired), I cannot think for the life of me why an officer would cover up the camera.
Even if John and Mary had been inside and saw that the police were knocking on their door, they would have been under no obligation to answer it. You don’t actually have to answer the door for the police (unless they have a warrant, in which case they will probably answer the door for you). The only purpose I can see behind the officer’s actions are an attempt to bully the residents into a confrontation.
Furthermore, imagine the liability the Springfield Police Department would be under if someone had burglarized John and Mary’s home after the officers left – by tampering with the video camera, a vital piece of evidence would be missing. In fact, in the video, a very stressed John can be heard saying that the door was unlocked.
As for John, he sees the tampering as a criminal act. “We feel as though the police can do whatever they want. Hell, it would of been easier if we looked at the video and discovered a random civilian tampering with it; that kind of evil around here we are used to, but the Police outright committing a crime against us, that evil we are very afraid of. Criminals with a bad intent I can handle, criminals with a bad intent and a badge? Well, that is a whole different beast.”
You can watch the video of the officers here:
[Image: Wikimedia Commons | Video: YouTube / used with permission]