Social issues have lingered in the shadows of American history since the day that our independence was signed in 1776, a mere two hundred and thirtynine years ago. At that time, social issues consisted of our founding father’s debate over which men were to be considered equal, and the social issue of slavery as a whole became prominent to our young nation. From slavery to suffrage, the United States is no stranger to defining these particular social wrongs, and striving to make them right. As time has developed, the issues of old have passed, but now, new ones have arose. Currently, sitting in 2015, the United States is again being subjected to another social issue; that is police brutality and the use of body cameras as a means of holding all parties involved accountable for their actions. It is simply irresponsible not to implement this new means of technology and I believe that it’s use is a key factor in solving the social issue of police brutality, and the untrust and stigmas that stem from this abuse of power.
Names like Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown, and Eric Garner have dominated headlines of many major news outlets for the past two years. The common factor between the three being the excessive use of force upon unarmed civilians. In the cases of Martin and Brown, both men were fatally shot, both were unarmed, and both had two conflicting sides of the story detailing the events leading up to and after their respective shootings. In each instance, many in the public were led to believe that racial stigmas were the determining reasons for the pulling of the trigger, and as a result mass protests and riots have occurred in towns such as but not limited to, Ferguson, Missouri and New York City. This is where body cameras demonstrate their necessity in our society and culture.
As previously mentioned, both Michael Brown and Trayvon Martin’s deaths both went unrecorded, and the only substantial evidence of what occurred is the accounts of those who fired the fatal bullets. This is a defined problem. Despite either the positive or negative intentions of the officers who fired their weapons, each one has a bias, and with that, it can lead to that party giving a skewed opinion on how the events of each occurrence actually went down. The idea of a human source is just simply too unreliable, and it comes down our own human nature with bias’, and the fact that every single person has one.
The use of body cameras instead in these instances would ultimately resolve this problem. Real footage would clearly display whether or not the use of fatal force was indeed necessary to use upon an unarmed civilian, and if not, it would hold the actually guilty party accountable for their actions. By simply attaching a recording device to an officer’s person, society is able to cut out human bias, and reveal the true nature of the event. The benefit alone in these new technologies makes the investment worth every dollar.
Courtney from Study Moose
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