Copwatching is a form of direct action in which autonomous, loosely affiliated groups set out to observe and document police activity as a way of preventing police misconduct and brutality. Using their presence, written documentation, and film, communities can exercise their rights and advocate for the rights of others.
Copwatch in some form or other has been most frequently taken up by marginalized communities who are most vulnerable to legal and state repression.
Learn some of its history as a Black and indigenous led response to police violence and how to copwatch to:
- Protect the rights of others, particularly those vulnerable to police repression,due to race, housing status, gender, or sexual orientation.
- Reduce racial profiling, sexual assault, and other forms of abuse of power by police.
- Present evidence in support of a person wrongfully targeted, arrested, or otherwise harmed by police.
- Educate the public about police misconduct and normalize community self-defense.