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Beware Barry Cooper’s “Never Get Busted” video

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At first I hesitated to discuss former police officer Barry Cooper’s new Never Get Busted Again video, so as not to give more free publicity to the video than it has already received.

However, more important to me than avoiding giving the video inadvertent free publicity is to give important food for thought (some of which has been addressed on other websites) to those considering buying and viewing the video, including:

– Before plunking down $25 plus postage and handling for the video, FlexYourRights already has provided the excellent free online Busted video (Feb. 19, 2007, update: the full-version online Busted video has moved here); Busted is prominently linked to our blog and to most pages of our website  (Feb. 19, 2007, update: after the full-version online Busted video moved here, I took down the links to the video on our website other than on our blog and rights page, because it will be cumbersome to change the link on multiple webpages each time the link changes). Will Barry Cooper’s perspective as a former cop be any more beneficial for viewers than the free online Busted video? Busted‘s high quality suggests it was produced with very good consultation from criminal defense or civil liberties lawyers. Busted‘s narrator is former ACLU national director Ira Glasser.

– For those who want to wait and see about the video, Loretta Nall is a marijuana legalization activist who has ordered the video and promises to provide an online review at https://nallforgovernor.blogspot.com. (Granted, if I ordered and viewed the video, I would have more to say about it).

– What is Barry Cooper’s motivation for selling this video beyond making money? His website and YouTube videos do not convincingly explain why or how he switched from making legions of drug arrests to now showing drivers how to minimize drug arrest exposure.

– Does Mr. Cooper fit within the mold of once a cop always a cop? If so, why trust and rely on him with this video?

– On his YouTube videos, Mr. Cooper seems to show more dissent from the marijuana war than from the rest of the drug wars. However, any efforts his video makes to help minimize marijuana arrests and convictions will presumably apply to all drugs. Why, then, has he produced this video, beyond the money-making motivation?

– Nobody would buy this video if Mr. Cooper had not been a former police officer. Some consumers will feel discomfort about helping Mr. Cooper earn a buck in this fashion, particularly before knowing whether he truly is convinced against the drug war, and whether this video even delivers ten percent of what it promises.

For whatever it is worth, Law Enforcement Against Prohibition has distanced itself both from Mr. Cooper and his video.

By the way, the purpose of the Fourth, Fifth, and Sixth Amendments is to protect everyone’s rights, whether or not they have violated the law. That puts the free online Busted video ahead of Mr. Cooper’s video, because Busted addresses the broader Constitutional rights of everyone, whether or not they have violated any laws. Jon Katz.

ADDENDUM: I blog further on this videotape here on February 13 2007.