Police Officer Plays Taylor Swift Song To Block Protest Video

by : Niamh Shackleton on : 03 Jul 2021 11:53
Police Officer Plays Taylor Swift Song To Block Protest VideoPA/Anti Police-Terror Project/YouTube

An American police officer tactically played a Taylor Swift song while being filmed by protestors in a bid to stop them uploading the clip online.

Officer James Burch could be heard playing Swift‘s Blank Space while speaking to members of the Anti Police-Terror Project (APTP) who were in Oakland, California, protesting outside a courthouse. The pre-trial hearing of an officer charged with the manslaughter of a Black man was taking place inside.


Speaking to APTP members, Burch can be heard saying that he was playing the song so they couldn’t upload the video of their encounter on YouTube.

Police Officer Playing Taylor Swift ( Anti Police-Terror Project/YouTube) Anti Police-Terror Project/YouTube

YouTube frequently removes videos that break music copyright laws, and other examples of officers playing songs to avoid being uploaded to YouTube have also been reported.

In the clip, Officer Burch says, ‘You can record all you want, I just know it can’t be posted to YouTube.’ The officer is then asked if this is normal procedure for officers to do while being filmed, to which he replies, ‘It’s not specifically outlined.’


Burch’s efforts were in vain however, as the clip has since gone viral and generated more than 382,000 views on YouTube at the time of writing.

Sharing the clip on the APTP YouTube channel, the group wrote alongside it:

APTP policy director James Burch was at a hearing for the cop who murdered Steven Taylor, when a sheriff deputy started to hassle him and others about where they placed a banner. In the middle of their conversation, the deputy took out his phone and started playing Taylor Swift music. He openly admitted that he did this because he knows the video recording of the interaction would get taken down from YouTube. We’d heard about this phenomenon but now we have it on video.


Alameda County Sheriff’s Department has since issued a statement regarding the video and insisted that officers are not encouraged to do what Burch did.

‘We have seen the video and referred it to our internal affairs bureau. This is not approved behaviour. It will not happen again,’ the statement said, per BBC News.

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Niamh Shackleton

Niamh Shackleton is a pint sized person and journalist at UNILAD. After studying Multimedia Journalism at the University of Salford, she did a year at Caters News Agency as a features writer in Birmingham before deciding that Manchester is (arguably) one of the best places in the world, and therefore moved back up north. She's also UNILAD's unofficial crazy animal lady.

Topics: News, California, Now, Police Officer, Taylor Swift, US News, Viral, YouTube


BBC News
  1. BBC News

    US officer plays Taylor Swift song to try to block video