It’s always amusing to me when the mainstream media catches up to the rest of the world.
Today, The Associated Press published an article on the phenomenon of police brutality being exposed on Youtube through either cell phone cameras, surveillance cameras or their own dashboard cameras.
The article explores both sides of the issue, including interviewing a police officer who explained that police brutality is sometimes necessary.
“The work of a police officer, even when done properly is … not pleasant to watch,” said Al O’Leary, spokesman for the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association in New York City.
“We’ve had situations, circumstances where an officer doing his job by the book is caught on video is tagged as brutal. Sometimes the work is brutal but necessary.”
And then there’s the other view that most of us agree with, which is that cameras help make cops accountable for their behavior.
But University of Chicago law professor Craig Futterman, who has studied police brutality, said videos are helping hold police accountable.
“My own view is that YouTube has done more to expose the reality of police abuse than all the blue-ribbon commissions combined,” said Futterman.
The article lists several examples of where police have caught on video using excessive force, including an incident where an officer used a Taser on a man who then fell to his death from a building ledge in New York City.
The officer who ordered the Tasering, Lt. Michael Pigott, was stripped of his gun and badge and demoted after the video was posted on Youtube.
He ended up committing suicide eight days later.
While that is a tragic incident all-around, you cannot blame the video for the death of either of those men.