I probably wouldn’t worry too much about the local cops. I’ve probably done more accountability work in the last couple years than almost anyone else and outside of the Manchester police department they’ve seemed mostly tame to me. Even if they’re agitated the cops seem to be more or less afraid of anyone with a camera and a backbone. Most of the time they will largely ignore you- but if they don’t they’ll probably flee in fear of being filmed- or even be a little nervous. Just carry a camera and make sure it is charged at all times.
As far as going in they may tell you that you can’t film. It is worth responding to this in such a way as to inform the officer that its never been a problem in the past. If they question it refer to others you associate with. Don’t lie. I’d also recommend bringing another person to film. Ideally somebody with experience and I would not put up with “you can’t film” or “I’ll be filming”. You want your own copy and I would say that in response to such comments. One of the reasons you will want to film any meeting over a complaint is that they may attempt to charge you with false swearing or similar offenses. I’ve personally been involved in this sort of retaliatory action in one incident in which we did film the meeting that occurred. Long story short charges were eventually dropped and officers were even fired. Though the reason they were fired was not directly tied to the retaliation- but rather was a result of an investigation afterward into the officers conduct after certain legal processes occurred that a lawyer made in relation to the case.
False swearing in a complaint against an officer isn’t something they can win on in New Hampshire due to a prior court ruling. Even if the charges had not been dropped they would have been won in the court room. Keep in mind there is a possibility that you could have to come up with a few thousand to cover legal costs to defend yourself depending on the charges and circumstances of a case. You may get lucky though depending on how badly they screw up if they do choose to go after you. There are certain things they can’t do and can be held liable for if its a fundamental violation, but generally they are not liable for conduct in the course of employment.
If you need someone to come and film keep us informed. There are at least a few people actively cop blocking and willing to film a meeting that results from a complaint being filed. If you need help filing a complaint we can probably help with that too. If you have Telegram it would be useful to join our NH cop block group or start a private group if you need help.
In fact I think I had an encounter with the Rochester police department once. An arrest occurred although it was on the behalf of another city. There was a related interaction in a police department prior to the arrest which warranted another complaint be filed. That independent action was a retaliatory action for making an inquiry. This later led to the identification and arrest above. Unfortunately holding the police accountable for such behavior is a challenge the way things are currently. They routinely and flagrantly violate the rights of everyone regularly without justification or reason to suspect a crime has occurred. Most of the time we don’t know about it because nothing comes of it. But as an arrest was made it was obvious what had happened (and we had confirmation from the arresting officer). They were looking to identify us after we refused to identify ourselves (you are not required to in New Hampshire) for the purpose of finding a reason to make an arrest (ie they can then look up your name to see if there are any warrants out for instance), and that was as a result of the inquiry at the police station, which they didn’t like. They tend not to like people filing complaints and I believe part of what we were in there doing was asking about the complaint process. Not because anybody wanted to make a complaint, but because we were making general info inquires to learn about what forms if any were available as we just happened to be in town and were interested in seeing how easy they made the process relative to other police departments elsewhere in NH. There was also a few other questions about why there were so few police out.
Here is that video:
After we left the police station the Rochester cops successfully identified us and the Manchester warrant was found for JP (which nobody knew about prior because the Manchester cops didn’t notify JP about the charges despite having phone and other contact information and of which they even had interactions with him that same week and were basically out for blood and wanted to see him go down) and it happened here after our interaction at the Rochester police station after they made an announcement to the other Rochester cops to be on the lookout for people filming (ie because we were filming cops still the officer started questioning us after we began filming his traffic stop):