Violence caught on video recently has been a painful reminder of the strained relations between the public and police. This friction is not new. What is new is the technology: cameras and smartphones that record and transmit the violence live or within minutes.
“Cop watchers” are a loose band of activists found in dozens of cities across the U.S. who consider it their job to police the police by filming their activities. But some officers are starting to push back, saying cop-watching groups interfere with their jobs and endanger the public.
As tensions between police and communities such as Ferguson, Missouri, and Baltimore have intensified, activists across the U.S. have taken to the streets to film law enforcement activity, a practice they call “cop watching.” Now, advocates on both sides of the debate are asking lawmakers for more protection.
In part 2 of Reveal’s in-depth look at law and disorder, we expose some of the tensions between police and the communities they serve and how video ca