Police batons are tools of intimidation, right?
Not anymore. Russian artist Dmitry Morozov has designed a police baton that texts the officer’s mom every time he or she uses the baton to strike someone.
Police batons have had an infamous history of being used against protesters or suspected criminals in order to suppress or threaten the subject. But now with this invention, Morozov uses irony to draw our attention to the fact that police batons are sometimes used for nothing more but exerting domination.
Speaking to Metro, Morozov explained the idea behind the police baton invention.
“As the standard methods of control are ineffective, this project suggests maternity as the last stronghold of human kindness and responsibility. I’m not an activist, but I do think art could help to stop it, or even just raise awareness through irony.”
The text of the message is oddly similar to the opening line of Queen’s famous song “Bohemian Rhapsody,” with the word “killed” in the original substituted with “hit”. The message reads as follows.
“Mom, I hit a man!!!”
Check out the trial run of the prototype police baton in this video.
Morozov, who is also an engineer and musician besides being a media artist, has been previously known for being the first batch producer of music and video synthesizers in post-Soviet Russia, according to Future Everything. He regularly creates audiovisual art installations to parody popular state mechanisms, and his police baton, though strictly not digital art, comes as another addition to his ever-growing inventory.
Morozov attributes his decision to create the police baton as a response to the growing reports of police brutality, especially in the previous twelve months.
Homeless woman could get life in prison for picking up an LAPD nightstick while a man was fatally shot by police http://t.co/JcQH9Yeh8x
— Jon Swaine (@jonswaine) July 23, 2015
Police batons are used extensively by police all over the world, with many assaults emerging from the United States and Europe. Very recently, a woman was sentenced to 25 years in prison because she used a dropped police baton to attack a policeman.
In a YouTube video, Dustin Ries, a police officer from St. Louis, can be seen thrashing a young individual with a police baton on suspicion of the man carrying drugs. That video can be seen here, but be warned that the footage is disturbing.
Whether Morozov’s police baton will deter police officers from using one of their most prized possessions remains to be seen, but with this sardonic invention, he has at least managed to incite the debate around police violence.