As Albuquerque residents take to the streets to protest against the ongoing slayings of citizens by their local police department, federal agents got into the act by opening fire on an unarmed man Tuesday morning, then seizing cameras from witnesses.
But more citizens with cameras arrived on the scene as a group of U.S. Marshals stood around the victim, Gilberto Angelo Serrano, proving unafraid to voice their displeasure at the trigger-happy culture that apparently has seeped into all levels of law enforcement in Albuquerque.
The tank that led to military police confiscating cameras and deleting photos. Via Wikipedia
Military police in Ohio confiscated cameras from a newspaper photographer after she photographed a tank on display in front of a government-owned plant from a public street Friday, telling her that she was under “suspicion of terrorism.”
At first, they told the Toledo Blade newspaper that they would return the cameras after a “plant security coordinator” would have a chance to review the images, but he wouldn’t be in until Monday, so they would have to just wait it out.
However, the newspaper got a congressman involved who “was able to persuade the military police to release the cameras after they reviewed the photographs,” according to the Toledo Blade.
But when the cameras were returned seven hours later, several photographs had been deleted.
Albuquerque police shot and killed another man Tuesday night after claiming he had shot at them first.
However, video from a witness contradicts this claim.
Within two hours after they had beaten a man to death, Kern County sheriff deputies realized their actions had been video recorded, so they tracked down the witnesses to an apartment and barged in, terrorizing them for hours until they handed over their cell phones.
It was 2 a.m. on a Wednesday and the deputies were not going to leave nor were they going to allow anybody else to leave until they had confiscated the cameras that had recorded them beating a 33-year-old father of four after he had been found sleeping on someone’s front lawn last May.
If you spend any time following police accountability pages on Facebook, you’ve probably come across the viral meme about how use of force incidents dropped 60 percent within the Rialto Police Department after they issued body-mounted cameras to their officers.
The meme is based on a study conducted by Rialto Police Chief Tony Farrar as part of his master’s dissertation at Cambridge University’s Institute of Criminology – in collaboration with Taser, Inc, the company that sells the cameras – which has been highlighted in numerous articles as proof that body-mounted cameras not only lead to a reduction in use of force incidents, but also in a reduction in citizen complaints against police.
The meme is rarely challenged because logic tells us humans would be on their best behavior knowing they are being video recorded.
However, that logic falls apart if we take a look at the Albuquerque Police Department which introduced body-mounted cameras in 2010 – one of the first departments in the country to do so – only to continue to see an unsettling number of violent incidents against citizens.