CBS 4 grab

The topic of police and the potential misuse of power is common and salient for our times – and a video investigation has resurfaced showing just how difficult it can be to launch a complaint against an officer.

Just last month, West Midlands Police launched an investigation into a video shared thousands of times online that appears to show unidentified officers repeatedly hitting a man.

Across the pond in America, a police officer was sentenced to seven years in prison for killing 17-year-old Laquan McDonald in 2014.

As a result of the increased focus on police officers, an undercover investigation from a few years ago has resurfaced. The investigation was originally put together CBS 4 News and police abuse watchdog group (The Police Complaint Centre) investigators.

The shocking footage shows investigators going into several police departments around the state of Florida and asking about how they can obtain a form to make a complaint about a police officer.

What they were met with was intimidation, threats, demands of where they lived and even arrests.

Simply for asking about a complaint form.

The video has been making the rounds online, with many expressing disgust over its contents.

Facebook user Jason Fowler wrote: “I filed a complaint one time for some cops crashing a concert and ruining some equipment”.

10 min after I filed the complaint there was a warrant for my arrest. Luckily I had 200 concert attendees as witnesses.

Another person advised: “Complaints against officers big or small should be handled by a 3rd party private contractor who specialises in some sort of law or investigations. This is pretty scary stuff".

The investigation showed police officers going on the defensive, and remarkably, of the 38 police stations tested around south Florida, all but three had no police complaint forms.

You can watch the 30-minute investigation here:

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