Put the Cops on Camera to Stop Out Of Control Police Shootings

Wrongful Death

A citizenry armed with cell phone cameras is the first defense, the best defense and the final defense against tyranny.

In the latest in a string of bloody police shootings of civilians, police officer Michael Slager shot and killed 50-year-old Walter Scott following a traffic stop on April 4 in North Charleston, S.C.

Then the cop lied about it.

Officer Slager claimed that Scott had taken his Taser and that he feared for his life – which was total B.S. The truth came out only when a bystander’s video captured what really happened. It was horrifying to watch.

In the video, Slager assumed a pistol range position and fired eight rounds -- striking Scott multiple times in the back. When Walter Scott finally fell to the ground, the killer cop approached the victim with a lazy stroll. Then Slager shows callous indifference, handcuffing Scott and making no attempt to perform any kind of life-saving aid.

This is just the latest in a rash of deaths of citizens at the hands of police. There is no way to know how often police officers shoot and kill unarmed citizens who pose no threat. In fact, right now there is no national data on police shootings, police-involved fatalities, or other forms of police brutality. A 1994 law that requires gathering of this data is not enforced.

And we wonder why we have cops behaving as if they are above the law. In contrast, the FBI gathers and publishes extensive data on violent crimes and property crimes, each year, as well as a very detailed report of law enforcement officers killed and assaulted in the line of duty.

Citizenry Armed with Cameras

A citizenry armed with cell phone cameras is the first defense, the best defense and the final defense against tyranny.

Without the video, Slager would not have faced any consequences and it could have gone down as a justified use of deadly force.

It was not until after the video was revealed that Slager was fired and charged with murder.

Cameras have become cheap, accessible and ubiquitous in the hands of nearly every citizen. They are now being used to bring to light the actions of criminal cops who were previously untouchable. Because images and video can be instantly posted online for the world to see and share, it is no longer a simple matter of confiscating the evidence and lying about it.

Some justice in civil courts

Police officers almost never face criminal charges when they shoot unarmed citizens. But some are being held accountable for their actions in the civil courts:

  • A federal jury in Florida issued a $2.3 million dollar verdict against two Marion County deputies who shot, tasered and killed an unarmed 12-year-old in 2014. The cops were caught by the dashboard cam.
  • A federal appeals court reinstated a $1.7 million verdict for the death of an unarmed autistic man who was shot and killed by a police officer in 2014. The Ninth Circuit pointed out that the law is designed to be a “remedy for killings unconstitutionally caused…by state governments” and to deter abuses of police power.
  • A lawsuit has been filed by the family of 12-year old Tamir Rice, who was gunned down by a Cleveland police officer last November.

In the meantime, keep your cell phone handy and be ready to shoot a video if you see a killer cop in action.



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