Tuesday, May 02, 2017
New documentaries mark the 25th anniversary of the LA riots that occurred after the police beating of Rodney King. It was a watershed event because a civilian with a video camera recorded police brutality. Since then, with miniaturization and the rise of cell phones, video of events has exploded. Police are not the only ones being watched. So too are criminals. It is hard to think of an incident now in which there is no video. Police departments are handing out body cameras to patrolmen and analyzing their actions. It is part of community PR to have video to defend oneself or to prosecute cops for bad behavior. Still it doesn't prove or disprove absolutely what has occurred. Actions are often obscured during stops. A policeman can claim a person was reaching for a gun, and it is hard to prove that didn't happen even if no gun is found. Video, however, gives a new set of eyes on police behavior and that is welcome.