TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Re: Camera Phones Focus on Police Misconduct on Los Angeles

Re: Camera Phones Focus on Police Misconduct on Los Angeles
16 Nov 2006 13:17:26 -0800

Jill Serjeant wrote:
> Some Los Angeles grass-roots groups are training citizens to use
> cameras, video cell phones and the speed and Internet sites like
> YouTube to get their voices, and pictures, heard.

The danger is that a partial video or picture can be very misleading.
I've personally seen cops get attacked by troubled people and it's not
pretty. The attackers are disturbed and not rational, they do not
obey commands to stop and keep violently flailing away at the
officers. The cops have no choice but to use force to subdue the
person for their own protection. Showing only the second half--which
is what usually only gets filmed--is not accurate. Not all suspects
are quiet and cooperative. (Our area had a suspected drunk driver in
handcuffs still steal a cop's gun, kill him, and shoot other people in
a hospital emergency room.)

Some police departments have placed cameras in police cars. They have
captured motorists attacking a cop who pulled them over.

A second danger is such amateur videos could work in reverse and hurt
innocent civilians. It could become a 1984 Big Brother situation.

Sadly, race politics played a role in this as well. Our local news
had a video -- a full one from start to finish -- showing a cop
clearly abusing a civilian bystander for no reason. But since they
were the same race no one cared and nothing happened.

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