I can’t remember the last time we went a solid week without a news story chronicling an unfortunate collision of cops and cameras. Every time I scan my feeds, there’s either a think piece on the legality of American citizens recording the police in public, or a specific report in which a confrontation between officers and a smartphone-wielding bystander turns either ugly or tragic.
Let’s set aside for a moment that A) recording the possible misconduct of a public servant occurring in public is not only perfectly justifiable but to be encouraged; B) the police must be held to a higher standard than most other citizens and “policed” accordingly; and C) making the recording of police officers doing their jobs in public illegal will do absolutely nothing to deter the practice. Let’s instead focus on the question each new story inspires in my mind:
Knowing at least half the people on the streets have a video camera in their pockets, why the fuck do some police officers continue to not only use excessive force, but also to accost, threaten and even assault the people capturing it — in front of other people, and other cameras?
(image via truthout.org)