I’ll tell you what’s new. The shoulder carry cam recorder. The renewed, and advanced police dash board camera. The enhanced sound technology in each camera. And most importantly is the requirement that all active, on patrol police officers must be wearing their camera (turned to on). Dash board cameras must be activated.
What else is new? Videos of police car chases, horrendous car crashes, traffic stops, police wrestling offenders, offenders running down highways and into the woods, 3 or more police officers attempting to subdue an offender, several officers standing around watching the tussle, and so on. At times the video is accompanied by a sound track of grunts, heavy breathing, police demanding cooperation, victim gasping for breath, cries of innocence, etc.
In sum the television audience can now view a real ‘crime’ scene while enjoying a Subway sandwich, or washing the dishes. Cameras have always been able to capture the beauty of cherry blossoms in D.C. Now we can have a live second feature of death and dying in D.C.
What is my point? My focus is not the new, but the old. Old, as in biblically old. Old as in the dna of mankind. Bigotry, and racism! Racism trumps all technology. Racism trumps all verbal expressions of brotherhood, good-will, compassion, empathy, etc. Now that we see it, hear it, and before it didn’t exist? Now we are witnesses to the event, or almost witnesses to the event. Maybe we missed the scene prior to the captured event. Maybe the camera was off, and then on, or on and then off. Maybe the video was accidentally erased, or blurry. Maybe the voice heard was not who we think it was, or maybe, just maybe everything about the data is messed up.
Once again, my point is that technology is not a cure for the overriding existence of systemic racism in our nation. Racism that generates ignorance, ill-will, fear and all too often gun shots.