Story Archive

Shake it Off(icer)

Once posted on Facebook, the video instantly went viral, getting nearly 12 million views in the first 48 hours, not counting countless copies others re-posted. The video purports to show a Dover, Del., police officer, Master Cpl. Jeff Davis, in a dashcam video that the department happened to catch “while reviewing in-car cameras,” as it notes at the start. Davis lip-synchs and dances in his seat to Taylor Swift on the radio in a rousing edition of “Shake It Off” (“I keep cruising / Can’t stop, won’t stop moving / It’s like I got this music / In my mind, saying it’s gonna be alright / Cause the players gonna play, play, play / And the haters gonna hate, hate, hate / Baby I’m just gonna shake, shake, shake / Shake it off!”) But it was all staged: Davis, shown waving at other motorists as he patrols, is really in a “secluded parking lot.” The video was recorded in two takes over 15 minutes, hitting the lyrics right on, thanks to Davis having a 10-year-old daughter who likes Swift. “When you drive around in a car all the time listening to Taylor Swift,” the 19-year veteran officer said, “you get to know all the words and like her songs.” Dover Cpl. Mark Hoffman suggested the video, and the specific song, and Davis was happy to play along. “We’re trying to humanize police officers,” Hoffman explained. “People tend to look at us as robots with uniforms and gun belts so we wanted to a show a lighter side of our force.” (RC/CNN) ...Sadly, we’re already familiar with faked video evidence. What else you got?
Original Publication Date: 18 January 2015
This story is in True’s book collections, in Volume 21.

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