First aired on The Final Straw.
In the wake of the murders of Mike Brown and Eric Garner, which occurred in the wake of the murders of Oscar Grant and Amadou Diallo, which occurred in the wake of thousands of other murders committed by law enforcement going all the way back to the lynchings of escaped slaves– there’s now a national call to equip all law enforcement with body cams. Body cams… The idea, of course, is that we can use the technology of the digital surveillance state to spy on police and keep them honest. If we compel all law enforcement to wear body cameras they cannot turn off, the argument goes, the police will behave better and, even when they don’t, the video evidence will expose them and we can then weed out the bad apples.
If I remember right, that was the argument for installing cruiser cameras. Those are ubiquitous now. Police cruisers routinely have dash-cams. And yet, on November 29, 2012, over 60 Cleveland police cruisers took part in a car chase that ended with 13 officers firing 137 shots into the unarmed bodies of Malissa Williams and Timothy Russell. Even though, conceivably, we have 60 different angles to watch the grisly slaughter, that didn’t stop Cleveland Police Officer Michael Brelo from jumping on the hood of the bullet-riddled vehicle and unloading on unarmed civilians right through the windshield. Continue reading