Police killing unarmed citizens is nothing new in America, but the events that occurred in Ferguson, Missouri this past April brought about a huge shift in public discourse surrounding such matters.
[author image=”https://pbs.twimg.com/profile_images/549444245174513664/h68OTx8y.jpeg”] Josh Line, a military veteran seeking to educate citizen journalists in photography rights and government accountability.[/author]
The shooting of Michael Brown has revealed a new America, divided between #blacklivesmatter and #bluelivesmatter, the hashtags associated with Michael Brown supporters and those in a support of police officers.
The social media firestorm is still burning strong in many online forums and is forcing people to take sides. In many cases. more people are on the “third side” of the Ferguson debate, favoring police accountability than what we are led to believe.
Advocating in favor of police accountability is not a crime.
While there have always been pockets within the media and society that try to uncover the truth when horrible situations like this arise, now more than ever people are fighting to make this voice heard.
It is a well known fact, that police have the luxury of a double standard in punishment when comes to criminal charges.
What is new, is the fact that more and more people are taking notice and interest in their rights when it comes to police interactions. Much like the embedded journalists in Iraq, America watched Ferguson unfold in real time.
The police response to the media and peaceful protests did not help them de-escalate the situation, it only emboldened the media to bring more scrutiny on the police tactics used.
What we are left with now is an ever growing public more informed on issues of police abuse. Seeing the tragic events play out in front of us helped many to realize the police are there to protect and serve…..themselves.
Will it take another Ferguson to happen to have the majority realize that the law enforcement is there to serve their own interests?
No, it would take something much larger for people to realize this because there have been numerous similar cases like Akai Gurley, Aiyana-Stanley-Jones, Charly “Africa” Leundeu Keunang and Tamir Rice. Those are just a few that top the list of killings that police have yet to be held accountable for.
While I will surely be labeled a “cop hater” from anyone who refuses to acknowledge a doubled standard in police accountability, nothing could be farther from the truth.
I don’t hate cops. I hate corruption.
I hate those who abuse their power or position, I hate unjust laws that serve only lawmakers.
We need police, but we also need to fix what we have and one way of doing that is through media. Not through corporate media that puts a spin on the partial story, through real, independent media that seeks accountability.
The people like you who are tired of seeing injustices happen around them.
If you have a cell phone you too can be the media.
You don’t need a press pass or a degree, you just need a desire show the truth as it happened.
Get out there and be prepared to video what goes on around you, to video record not just for likes but for your ability to tell the truth.
Get out there and “Be the Media.”