Is video recording police violence making a difference? | The Tylt
There's no doubt that social media has helped shape the national conversation on race and police brutality. Part of the reason is because social media has been increasingly used to record videos of police interactions, including tragic videos of Black people dying at the hands of police.
The recent police killings of Black civilians Alton Sterling and Philando Castile were caught on camera like so many others from the past—including the deaths of Walter Scott and Eric Garner. But some question if the videos of police killing civilians is helping in the efforts to reform the criminal justice system.
Is video footage of police killings doing enough to hold police accountable for their actions?
Cop Block's Film the Police states:
Documenting the actions of police employees can help protect you and others because it creates an objective record. You have the right to record anything in public – including, and some would say, especially – police employees.
Beyond the national conversation on race—video footage of police killings has pushed the actions of the Black Lives Matter network and the Movement for Black Lives—which is a table of Black liberation organizations. In the shooting of Walter Scott video truly did make a difference. White police officer Michael Slager fatally shot Walter—while he was running away—from behind eight times in April 2015, and tried to plant evidence on a slain Walter. But eyewitness video shot by Feidin Santana captured the tragedy and helped a grand jury indict the officer in June 2015. Michael faces trial on Oct. 31, 2016.
On the other hand, some worry after many tragic Black deaths that the videos aren't doing enough to hold police accountable for their actions. The example in Walter Scott's case is rare. People are tired of seeing so many videos of Black deaths shared with no regard for who might become traumatized or how the family may feel about broadcasting their loved ones' last moments. There is also a fear that sharing these videos could desensitize people. These are real human lives that are being snuffed out before their time. April Reign points out that the previous video recordings of Black people dying at the hands of police have not changed anything. Those who choose not to believe there is a systemic problem will find ways to explain the situation away. She writes that sharing these images only serves to dehumanize black bodies and serve as a “perverse entertainment.” It does not change minds.
And yet, many would say it's a great defense and the best chance at justice.
What do you think: #FilmingPoliceHelps or #FilmingNotEnough?
Is video recording police violence making a difference?
Police officers need to be equip with some form of a video recording device or something to monitor their actions.— Brendo (@Brendan_Barnes1) July 6, 2016
How is video proof not enough .. Ppl are putting up videos of police brutality streaming it live to social media, how is that not enough .— Nene Tanai (@ohmynene) July 7, 2016
None of these white police officers that brutally kill unarmed black men including kids ever go to jail even when there is a video recording— Governor (@Ari_Gold99) July 7, 2016
I guess a video of a man getting shot by the police is not enough evidence of a man getting shot by the police— Tassala Attai (@SassyTassy1234) July 7, 2016
Almost every police killin is caught on video these days but somehow it's not enough evidence.— ℤأØℕ ℝ∆Ƨϯ∆ℳ∆ℕ (@SuperNjoro) July 8, 2016
Don't ignore what's going on. Don't desensitize yourself to whats happening. Educate yourself, love one another, & just pray for this world.— doma (@domadelrey) July 8, 2016