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« A Story that Takes Resources ($$$) to Report | Main | Pitching Newspaper Editors on Citizen Journalism »

April 12, 2005


Robert Leonard


I just finished listening to a similar presentation at the NYC Grassroots conference from a presenter that talked how they are educating "the profiled group" to carry a video camera as it is the new first line of defense against police harassment.

sure beats guns and knives...



"Accountability is more than getting bogus charges dropped, however. It's holding to account public employees who lie in pursuit of law and order."

I'd say that public employees who lie in the line of duty are rather decidedly not upholding rule of law.

Of course this all harkens back to Rodney King, but the ubiquity of privately (in this case truly private citizen) owned media production facilities allows us to collectively monitor the State more effectively every year.


I don't think they are lying in the pursuit of law and order as much as they are lying in the pursuit of intimidatiion, quashing dissent, and protecting their jobs.


Yes, this is good. In the 1968 Democratic Convention in Chicago, I believe video tape was used, not for the first time, but pretty heavily. The same "footage" of a "riot" was shown over and over again. In a documentary, they showed some well-viewed video footage and then the same riot from another vantage point using a film camera. The video was shot up close and the camera was jostled quite a bit. It looked like a huge crowd. The film camera was about a hundred feet away and it showed maybe 10 to 12 people involved - it wasn't a big crowd at all. The video set the tone for public opinion because it was repeatedly shown. It's too bad there weren't more cameras around to counter some of the one-sidedness of it.

I think what we'll see now is more restrictions so the police can't get in trouble. Cities can't afford to be sued so the protestors will be further isolated when possible. More permits will be required and the police will have cameras too. So the protestors will have to "do more" to get noticed as they'll be further and further from the action. Just my $0.02 plus tax.

Erik Schmidt

This reminds me of David Brin's notion of uibiquitous cameras. The twist is that they're not just accessible by law enforcement entities - they can be viewed by anyone and everyone. Usually when we speak of privacy, we're talking about staying out of the watchful eye of Big Government. However, if Big Government is only one of many eyeballs looking at the same event, it theoretically becomes more difficult for the government to get away with abuses of power, because Big Government no longer has a monopoly on the means of observation.

This is just grist for the mill. Even Brin states that he doesn't know if this is the right answer or not. But it is an intriguing way of looking at the issue of surveillance in an open society.

Charlie Gordon

I'm curious -- any lawyers out there?

Seems to me that the cops are "Sworn Officers". What does "Sworn" mean? Does it mean, perhaps, sworn to uphold the law?

Would a Sworn Officer, who lies about the facts in a case, be committing Perjury?

any lawyers out there?

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