Tuesday, September 18, 2007

YouTube As A Check on Police Brutality

How many of you have seen the tasering of University of Florida student Andrew Meyer? He was tasered by police after he was pulled away from the microphone by the same police, in the middle of asking John Kerry a series of questions about why he did not contest the election results of 2004.

If you haven’t seen the video of the incident, you can see it here -

Now, I’ve actually wondered about the same thing myself - about why Kerry didn’t contest the counts in Ohio, and several other states. Given the closeness of the election, and the stakes involved with a war going on, John Kerry should have erred on the side of leaving no stone unturned or possibility at large that either deliberate or accidental miscounting cost him the election.

But that’s not the point of this post - which is, bravo to YouTube for making videos of police brutality, such as occurred with Andrew Meyer in Florida, more accessible than ever to the general public.

Video allowed the public to see the Rodney King beating - nothing the police said in its aftermath could contradict what the public was able to see with its own eyes. YouTube has taken this once step further - allowing us to see such videos without having to wait for television to show them to us. The iPhone is helping as well, by allowing people to see such videos when they are away from their desktops and laptops. All of this is by no means stopping police from trampling on First Amendment rights - but it is making it harder than ever for them to get away with it.

On the one side, we have retrograde forces like the commissioners of the FCC, and incompetent out-of-control police, who each in their ways threaten our freedom. On the other hand, we have miracles of technology, which speed us news of the FCC's misdoings, which provide immediate, irrefutable images of policy brutality and misconduct.

Perhaps for the first time in American history, these technologies have made freedom-loving people more equal to the task of combating these totalitarian thugs. At very least, they can't pretend it never happened...

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