Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y., chairman of the Homeland Security Committee, is embroiled in another controversy. King has previously been criticized for anti-Muslim statements and his express support for the IRA, despite its listing as a terrorist organization. Now, King has triggered an investigation after he went along with U.S. Marshals on a raid of a home and gleefully filmed the arrest of a citizen, including what appears footage inside the person’s home. It is the perfect merging of entertainment, politics, and crime. In the land of the blind, the one-cameraed man is King.
King is shown in the video dressed in a black Marshals jacket and part of a raid on the residence.
The U.S. Marshals Service is investigating whether the video violated privacy policies. Ride alongs are not supposed to enter homes and certainly not supposed to enter homes with camera. The video shows King joking around about the arrest of the individual. The video seems to capture how citizens have come to view crime as a form of entertainment — a fun lark on a Friday night to be filmed and posted on YouTube. Of course, the props in this private production are citizens in the midst of having their lives turned upside down — citizens with a presumption of innocence.
King appears to adopt the persona of a reality television host in the Geraldo genre: “There’s a fugitive they’re after; he’s expected to be armed,” King explains at the beginning of the video, after mentioning that he just saw marshals “take down” two people in the Bronx. “He’s high risk. It’s gonna be down on Nostrand Avenue in Brooklyn, just a few blocks from where I went to High School. Anyway, more now from Lenny DePaul and the other guys you may have seen on television in Manhunters.”
Here is the video in question.
Future ride-alongs with King could present some interesting problems if he succeeds in his efforts to make it a crime to come within 1000 feet of a member of Congress or federal official with a gun. How about when a member of Congress comes bursting into your home with a video camera?