Mayor Walsh, area police, offer mixed response to use of body cameras
Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh said Monday he is not ready to embrace the use of body cameras by Boston police, saying community outreach and improving job and educational opportunities are his primary focus to strengthen trust between police and the communities they serve.I agree with him on this regard, but for a completely different reason.
“The body camera is a tool that can be used, [but] it goes a lot deeper than that,” Walsh said in an interview after attending a meeting of mayors, police chiefs, and civil rights activists with President Obama at the White House.
Cameras aren't going to make a lick of difference. Look at the Brown case. What is the one defining image, one that has made it to law school campuses and the US Congress? Yep, the "hands up" image. You know, the one that is a complete and utter media fabrication. Never happened. Oh, some claimed it did - but these are also people that claimed Brown was shot in the back, despite any evidence supporting that claim whatsoever.
Facts. Don't. Matter.
The media decided, for whatever reason, that this story was going to be big. They allowed untruths to fester and go viral and in no small part made the riots and unrest worse than it had any right to be. They elevated Brown to the status of martyr, crafting the narrative that this poor innocent unarmed teenager was brutally murdered by a racist police officer for no reason.
Honestly, what difference would a body camera have made? The plethora of cameras outside the Costco in Las Vegas where Erik Scott was gunned down by cops didn't bring about any outrage. Scott, by all objective accounts was not threatening officers in any way when they opened fire, yet because it was a concealed carry holder, the media was silent. Well, other than clucking their tongues about one of "those people" getting "what was coming to them"...
Here's the thing. We had a story in SC where a state cop opened fire on a motorist. The cop was white, the motorist was black. The cop told the motorist to provide ID, the motorist complied, but apparently he moved a little too quick, so the cop opened fire. It's all caught on camera - and not only was the cop fired, he's facing criminal charges. Why? Because it was an egregious mistake on his part that led to someone catching a bullet when they didn't deserve it.
There was no hay to be made of this case, no drum to beat, so the story went nowhere.
We can't - or won't - equip all police officers with cameras. There's no doubt that somewhere, somehow, there will be another situation like what happened in Ferguson that the media can exploit for huge ratings, consequences be damned. Even when presented with overwhelming proof that Officer Wilson was correct in his use of force; even when confronted with irrefutable evidence that Brown was NOT shot in the back with his hands up, the narrative just changed to "well, there's still racism".
And that's the thing. There *is* still racism, or, more semantically correct, racial prejudice. There are almost certainly cases in this country where black men are shot by police with little or no provocation. Why focus on these marginal cases, where there are so many conflicting accounts and the facts don't add up? Is it a rush to sensationalize? Quick, blow this story out of proportion before we learn the truth?
It sure seems like the media and the "professionals" did everything in their power to make sure that Ferguson burned.
That is all.
Another dispatch from...
(image courtesy of Robb Allen)