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The best cop vs. citizen confrontation video you may ever see

Technically Incorrect: A Washington, DC cop wants to disperse a group of teens. It ends in a battle. A dance battle.

Technically Incorrect offers a slightly twisted take on the tech that's taken over our lives.


danceoff.jpg

They danced. And they both won.

Adore Liyah/Facebook screenshot by Chris Matyszczyk/CNET

The FBI believes videos of police behavior posted to YouTube are negatively affecting policing.

The White House disagrees.

Ordinary citizens, though, are using their cell phones to film interactions with police on a seemingly routine basis.

This week, as in so many other weeks lately, we've seen disturbing video of a South Carolina police officer interacting aggressively with a member of the public -- in this case, a teen at school. (The officer was fired.)

But then there's this. A video that has captivated many on Facebook and YouTube. A video that shows that's there's a touch of hope in the quagmire of despair.

As the Washington Post reports, a Washington, DC, cop was trying to stop a fight between two groups of teenagers. This isn't an easy thing to do.

Suddenly, 17-year-old Aaliyah Taylor reportedly took out her phone and turned on some music. It was "Watch Me (Whip/Nae Nae)." She began dancing, but the officer seized the moment not to confront, but to join in.

A dance-off ensued, filmed by bystanders. The deal was that if the officer won, the kids would have to leave. But if Taylor won, the kids would stay. Some might think this a dangerous bet. But watch the video and see that the officer has some Nae Nae moves.

Oh, Taylor won, to any objective"So You Think You Can Dance" eye. The true result was, though, that they called it a tie and everyone went home apparently happy. (The DC Police Department wasn't immediately available for comment, but the officer reportedly prefers to remain anonymous.)

"Instead of us fighting, she tried to turn it around and make it something fun," Taylor told the Post. "I never expected cops to be that cool. There are some good cops."

There are many good cops. Generally, they're the ones you don't hear about, except in times of disaster.

The problem is that when videos highlight the excesses of some, it's easy to feel it reflects on all.

This isn't to belittle the genuine problems some police departments have with their local communities. It isn't to belittle how difficult and dangerous the police's job can be, nor how some believe their cell phones are their only protection against police excesses.


Filming and immediately posting the result to YouTube is what people do. Because they want instant support and vindication. There are even cases where video -- whether from police bodycam or civilian cell phone -- isn't interpreted at all the same way by each party.

Still, there's a pleasant glow that comes from footage posted by a teen showing an interaction with a police officer that is so fundamentally hopeful.