We happen to be a big fan of cops (highway patrol — that’s a whole different story), so it’s tough for us to get behind every single police “brutality” video that comes out. The internet is grabbing their torches and pitchforks and calling for justice over this video footage of a man who was arrested over allegedly not paying a ticket to ride the bus. Now the man says he did in fact have a ticket, and if that’s the case, these cops have a lot of explaining to do. If he doesn’t, the footage is nowhere near aggressive enough to warrant a viral outcry.
Footage like this is important though because it balances out the power — surveillance equipment isn’t merely there to punish us, it’s also there to protect us. When people record instances of controversial interactions, it sends the message to the police that they better behave by the book. Video footage and a website like YouTube that can allow it to be scrutinized publicly are a wonderful freedom. There is no good reason to ever lose that right. There may not be a concrete good guy or bad guy presented in this video footage, but it allows an added level of transparency to the proceedings. And that alone justifies this video’s existence.
Here are some other police interactions for you to consider: