Turns Out Police Were Pretty Pissed at the Officer Who Played Taylor Swift

Last month, Alameda County sheriffs deputy David Shelby began blasting Taylor Swifts Blank Space from his phone while speaking to activists outside a courthouse. It seemed strange until the officer explained on camera that he was attempting to conceal himself online using a failsafe tactic.AdvertisementHe told the person filming that he could record whatever he wanted, but it couldn't be uploaded to YouTube. He was referring a common tactic: Some people use copyrighted songs, and YouTube's automated copyright flagging will remove the video. Shelby didn't see the posts on social media by other officers involved in the same act. He also did not anticipate that publications could embed their video and that copyright flags can be challenged. This video has been viewed nearly 740,000 times on YouTube.Instead, the episode set off the Streisand Effect from a livid but amused public on YouTube comments and Twitter. His colleagues didn't like the look. They communicated this in emails that Motherboard received via FOIA request and shared with Gizmodo.WHYYYYYYYYYYY? sergeant Miguel Campos sent an email to his colleagues, with a link and a quote by Shelby. Sheriffs Deputy Phillip Corvello responded that I am at loss after watching the video.Ugh! Sergeant Ray Kelly, public information officer, wrote an email to Deputy Sheriff Tyronea Maria Modeste. Modeste replied, SERIOUSLY ?AdvertisementAnother was written by Deputy Sheriff Henry Montigue: Keep it professional, and don't play Taylor Swift! It's unbelievable...AdvertisementCaptain Timothy Schellenbergs directed officers not to play the video at roll call. He pleaded: Please do not PLAY THE VIDEO AT MUSTER!AdvertisementProtected rights exist! Captain Melanie Ditzenberger wrote this in an email widely circulated. Our protection of laws must not override these protections.AdvertisementSergeant Ray Kelly, public information officer, said that the incident was unacceptable and not good for law enforcement.Sergeant Roberto Morales appealed to the office to do a good work so that no one would have to resort to Blank Space. It doesn't matter if we are publically recorded. We will always be the best if we do the right thing and for the right reasons. This type of media coverage is not necessary. We don't need to be YouTube or Media Famous.AdvertisementThe Taylor Swift policy was adopted by the office just weeks after the story broke. It prohibits agency personnel from using or broadcasting any copyrighted work in a way that could adversely affect the professionalism, performance, and productivity expected of peace officers or professional staff members.AdvertisementGizmodo was told by Ray Kelly, public information officer, that it is unclear whether the department will take any disciplinary action against Shelby. However, Kelly assured us that Shelby has experienced the pain through social media. Perhaps it isn't enough punishment, but we can enjoy the knowledge that Google search results are not forever tainted.