At the 27-minute mark, he presses for more details about why he was arrested. From his tone, he sounds surprised to learn that MIT is pressing felony charges.
Swartz: “So they said that I broke into MIT, is that it?”
Officer: “Yeah, they charged you with two counts of B&E in the daytime, to commit a felony.”
Swartz: “At MIT?”
Swartz: “Huh. I mean, walking into MIT isn’t breaking-and-entering, right?”
Officer: “I have no idea what the circumstances are, man.”
Most people aren’t at their best when being booked by police. Swartz was exactly at his best: asserting his rights in a casual, shlumpy posture that disarms his opponents without insulting them. Able to defy authority one minute, and joke around with it the next, the booking video is an exhibit in miniature of the qualities that made Swartz such an effective activist, and makes his loss such an enduring shame.
“You seem like a good kid, man,” the booking officer remarks, near the end of the process.
“I think I am,” says Swartz.
Friday, April 11, 2014
Aaron Swartz Booking Video
Wired has obtained lengthy video of the booking of the late Aaron in 2011 which started his downward slide.
is author of a dozen books (click on covers at right), including the new "THE TUNNELS: Escapes Under the Berlin Wall and the Historic Films the JFK White House Tried to Kill." He was the longtime editor of Editor & Publisher. Email: email@example.com. Twitter: @GregMitch