People can no longer trust their government. In order to curb corruption and protect themselves from harm, individuals have armed themselves with recording devices to ensure the truth is known. Sounds like science fiction, doesn’t it? Unfortunately, this scenario is happening now.
In 2015 alone, there have been over 300 people killed at the hands of law enforcement, with very few making national headlines. The current list on website Killed By Police is chilling. In the last few years, only a handful of victims were nationally recognized: Trayvon Martin, Eric Garner, Michael Brown, and 12-year-old Tamir Rice, who was enjoying an afternoon on the playground and was gunned down after someone said he had a gun, which turned out to be a toy.
The Ferguson fiasco revolving around the death of Michael Brown highlighted the severe racial issues of the town, but it also pointed toward an overall corruption of the police force, particularly when it comes to race, but even extending into politics, poverty, and gender.
It’s a horrifying realization we’ve come to, that officials have exerted their power in such a way that thousands of citizens must fear for their lives, even if they’re simply walking down the street. Those unlucky enough to be thrown in prison sometimes even have worse fates awaiting them, like Jerome Murdough, a homeless veteran who was literally baked to death in a New York jail cell.
This is not justice. This is sheer evil, wrapped up in the lie of “keeping the streets safe”, which is no longer true for many of my fellow Americans. This is intolerable, and it needs to change. Luckily, there are people who have been able to provide evidence against this great injustice, such as the person who recorded video that helped take a violent cop off the streets in North Charleston. The cop gunned down Walter Scott, who was unarmed and running away from the encounter. Without this video, another victim’s death would have gone unnoticed, and a killer would have been allowed back on the streets, with the opportunity to murder more innocent victims.
Camera phones provide a way to capture the truth. Concrete evidence from an observing source provides the public with answers, whether the government decides to act upon it or not — we can see the truth, and it has set us free.
We no longer have to rely solely on official sources for information. We don’t have to take inter-office investigation results on faith. We, the citizens, now have something with which to combat the violence happening in our neighborhoods. A peaceful protest, a demonstration of the knowledge we have, and the power we can now wield, backed by irrefutable proof.
The camera never lies.
We cannot stand back and let these events happen. We must be active, diligent, and persistent. These officials in whom we have put our trust have failed us, and we must now take matters into our own hands, by filming those who would abuse their power and broadcasting it to the world in order to bring about the change we so desperately need. We cannot bear the tragedy of losing more lives at the hands of state-sanctioned murderers.
So to those who are shooting our neighbors, thinking that it can be smoothed over by reciting a litany of lies like “feared for my life”, you’ve been warned: