A cop was recorded playing a Taylor Swift song during a clash with protestors in an attempt to get any footage of him pulled from YouTube for copyright infringement.
Protestors gathered at the Alameda County Courthouse in Oakland, California yesterday (July 1), where the pre-trial hearing of San Leandro Police Officer Jason Fletcher was taking place.
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He is facing voluntary manslaughter charges for killing a Black man called Steven Taylor in a Walmart store last year. Fletcher had already tased Taylor, who was accused of trying to steal an aluminium bat and a tent, when he shot the man in the chest.
Sheriff’s Deputy David Shelby had reportedly been arguing with the Anti-Police Terror Project’s policy director James Burch about whether a banner was a “tripping hazard” or not. Aware that the interaction was being filmed, Shelby took out his phone and played Swift’s ‘Blank Space’ on it.
“You can record all you want,” Shelby said after Burch asked him if they were “having a dance party now”. “I just know it can’t be posted on YouTube.”
Cop Plays Taylor Swift to Prevent Video Sharing of Him Harassing Protesters ‼️
A cop demanded we move #Justice4StevenTaylor banners. We asked him why. He pulled out his phone & played a Taylor Swift song.
“You can record all you want, I just know it can’t be posted to YouTube." pic.twitter.com/avpf1LUvCd
— Anti Police-Terror Project (@APTPaction) July 1, 2021
As Consequence of Sound reports, YouTube has a Content ID system that scans videos for copyrighted materials that have been uploaded without permission or ownership of the copyright. Shelby appeared to think that by playing a song he didn’t own the copyright to, the platform would pull any footage of him that was uploaded in its routine scans.
However, video footage of Shelby’s actions is still available to view on YouTube and other social media sites. A spokesperson for the Alameda County Sheriff’s Office told ABC7 News the incident had been referred to internal affairs, who would determine if the officer had violated their code of conduct.
Meanwhile, Swift’s first of two collaborations with Big Red Machine was released earlier today (July 2). ‘Renegade’ will feature on the band’s upcoming second album, ‘How Do You Think It’s Gonna Last?’.
The group’s Aaron Dessner, also of The National, has teased the second team-up with the pop star. “There’s another song called ‘Birch’ that’s really, really stunning that she sings and is a big part of with Justin [Vernon],” he said. “Justin sort of leads the charge, but she’s a huge part of it and it’s a duet.”