Much like he’s been lying about his racial identity his entire life, Shaun King, the male Rachel Dolezal, isn’t one to hesitate before lying for his political ideaology too. In addition to being the “senior justice writer” at the New York Daily News, the activist has maintained a high profile and leadership role in the Black Lives Matter movement.
Here’s his latest claim: police officers are propping up the hoods of their cars when pulling people over so their dash cameras can’t film the encounter.
Interesting how in the two cases pictured, neither actually shows a cop car pulling someone over. And of course, that’s because neither of the vehicles pictured in King’s tweet are pulling over people. King’s research into the photographs included nothing more than seeing a viral poorly punctuated Facebook post (a chunk of which is written with CAPS LOCK on), and reposting it onto his Twitter.
So what was actually pictured? As Twitchy reported: Snopes contacted the Danville Police Department for statement where they explained that they have to raise the hoods when the patrol cars idle for any length of time to prevent the engine from overheating (which makes perfect sense):
We contacted the Danville Police Department to ask whether the department had such a policy in place (i.e., allowing officers to obstruct dash cams) and inquire about the images circulating on social media, and the officer with whom we spoke was aware of the photographs and stated that no such policy in Danville permitted police to deliberately obstruct their vehicle dash cams. He also told us that the photographs were taken during the investigation of a civilian vehicle that had been “shot up,” adding that the investigation took place over the course of an afternoon as police spent several hours combing the area for evidence such as shell casings Since responding vehicles remained at the scene for several hours, he said, officers lifted their units’ hoods as a preventive measure to protect against overheating. (Weather records demonstrate daytime temperatures in Danville ranged from the mid-80s to the 90s during the week of 24 August 2016.)
In a separate e-mailed response, a representative from the Danville Police Department affirmed that circumstance and provided a more detailed explanation about why police vehicle overheating is a common issue:
“The amount of electronic equipment required in a Patrol vehicle causes a substantial amount of heat to build in the engine compartment. If you notice in the photos of the Police cars there are also cooling louvres on the hoods. This was the first attempt to stop the overheating issues which were disabling our vehicles and causing very expensive repairs. Our cars are in use 24 hours a day and the photo of the two patrol vehicles was on a day with temperatures nearing 100 degrees. The hoods aren’t opened unless the car is expected to idle with the emergency lights running for an extended period of time. The officers are equipped with Body Worn Cameras so there is a back up to an in-car camera that captures any citizen encounter far better than the in-car camera. There are video systems for inside and outside the car, an emergency light bar, Mobile Data Terminal, police Radio, printer and normal systems running off the heavy duty batteries in the cars. This generates a tremendous amount of heat which damages the engine electronics.
The accusations that this is being done for any nefarious purpose are completely false. We have had zero complaints from local citizens.
The problems are well known to Chevrolet. May I suggest contacting Chevrolet directly and demanding a remedy and retrofitting of the correction at their expense.”
Perhaps a bigger question is why officers would want to block their dashcams, when more often than not, it vindicates them (such as in the shooting of Keith Lamont Scott in Charlotte). Think we’ll see an apology from King anytime soon? I doubt it. In fact, I think his Tweet will remain up so long as he knows he can fool some people with it.
[Note: This post was authored by Matt Palumbo. Follow him on Twitter @MattPalumbo12]