History will show the greatest weapon in the war for social justice was the camera phone.
The original report from the Minneapolis Police Department on the George Floyd incident read as follows:
“He was ordered to step from his car. After he got out, he physically resisted officers. Officers were able to get the suspect into handcuffs and noted he appeared to be suffering medical distress. Officers called for an ambulance. He was transported to Hennepin County Medical Center by ambulance where he died a short time later.”
Does that report line up with the 9+ minutes of video showing his murder?
Even more baffling is the statement John Elder, the director of public information for the Minnesota Police Department, put out after the video went viral…
“This [previous statement] had literally zero intent to deceive or be dishonest or disingenuous. Had we known that this [situation] was what we saw on the video, that statement would have been completely different,”
So you basically admit you were trying to get away with something until the video exposed the truth?
Before the camera phone, how many similar reports have gone through the system unquestioned, while detained suspects were tormented, brutally beaten, or even killed?
When no one was around to take a video of what really happened.
The Wire, a show on HBO, depicted this sort of thing often.
Someone in the unit would screw up and the police chief would come in, meet with all officers involved, and they’d work together to spin actual events into a more conceivable, plausible, and explainable story that was acceptable to the public.
It seems The Wire wasn’t far off from reality.
Elder has also said he was working from information he got from officers on the ground, who didn’t log any use of force initially.
Which is him basically admitting the department lied about everything that happened until the video forced them to provide the truth.
Another glaring example and full scale admission about how police departments have operated for years, writing reports we’ve been forced to take at face value, while the truth often lies somewhere in the middle or completely on the other side.
Just the potential of a camera phone always lingering nearby, and requiring police body cam footage, will at least begin the process of putting a stop to all of that.
The hope being that even the most egomaniacal, narcissistic, self-involved, always-playing-the-victim, type of officer on the police force will know even he can’t persuade others to believe a lie over a video showing the truth.
We can talk all we want about how much damage cell phones and social media cause in the world.
Anyone who has watched The Social Dilemma on Netflix, or has merely looked around the last several years, knows the real epidemic in the world is people addicted to their cell phones.
Among several other issues social media and cell phones present,…you can factually argue the destruction they are causing America’s youth.
But the camera on the phone itself, may be the biggest weapon the world has against police brutality and accountability.
And I’m grateful for that.