Copwatch (also Cop Watch) is a network of activist organizations in the United States and Canada that observe and document police activity while looking for signs of police misconduct and police brutality. They believe that monitoring police activity on the streets is a way to prevent police brutality.
The stated goal of at least one Copwatch group is to engage in monitoring and videotaping police activity in the interest of holding the police accountable in the events involving assaults or police misconduct.
The main function of most Copwatch groups is monitoring police activity. "Copwatchers" go out on foot or driving patrols in their communities and record interactions between the police and civilians. Copwatchers hope that monitoring police activity will provide a deterrent against police misconduct. Some groups also patrol at protests and demonstrations to ensure that police do not violate the rights of protesters. One Copwatch organization states that it has a policy of non-interference with the police, although this may not be true for all groups. In Phoenix, Arizona, copwatchers have increased efforts of "reverse surveillance" on the police in an effort to document racial profiling. They believe that Arizona...... Read More