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“The proliferation of cheap video equipment is presenting a whole new dynamic for law enforcement,” says Jim Pasco, executive director of the Fraternal Order of Police, the nation’s largest police union. “It has had a chilling effect on some officers who are now afraid to act for fear of retribution by video. This has become a serious safety issue. I’m afraid something terrible will happen.”
Kamau and others argue terrible things already have occurred to victims of officer abuse, and video has brought some of the most brutal cases to the public’s attention. Video also has helped narrow the “credibility gap” between police and their accusers, civil rights lawyer John Burris says.
“It used to be that the police officer always got the benefit of the doubt,” says Burris, who represented Rodney King in a civil lawsuit against the city of Los Angeles related to his videotaped beating by white Los Angeles police officers. Television broadcasts of the infamous tape, one of the first to show the power of citizen videos of police actions, prompted widespread public outrage.
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I am one of those outraged; you’re all complacent Sheeple.
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