in Digital Rights

A Video That Every Potential Juror Should See

I’ve written before about the use of police bodycams, mainly looking at what the first person perspective might mean for the way we will see (police) violence in the future.

The ACLU has written an blog post about a video that clearly shows the level of manipulation that is possible for the police around their own footage. The third person viewpoint of a public surveillance camera made that clear in this particular case in point.

Last year I wrote about “acting and directing with police body cameras” — how police officers are likely to increasingly learn to manipulate the photographic record that their cameras create. A stark case study in that kind of manipulation can be found in video of a 2014 arrest in Florida that was released in January and recently came to my attention. It’s the kind of video that everyone should watch in order to become sophisticated and properly skeptical consumers of video evidence.

Source: A Video That Every Potential Juror Should See | American Civil Liberties Union

Update (d.d. 4 April 2016): The New York Times has put up an interactive site that allows you to see the same footage of standard policing situations from different points of view. Do check it out. The main lesson? What we see in police footage tends to be shaped by what we already believe.