The photographs and videos from Ferguson, Mo., over the past few days have been striking. Equally remarkable is what’s missing following the death of unarmed teenager Michael Brown: footage of the incident captured by the police officer who shot him. At a time when it seems everything is recorded, no camera appears to have been pointed in the direction of the fatal incident.
Video evidence of violent encounters between police and civilians have been a hot-button issue since the days of Rodney King. Just in the past several weeks in New York, cellphone cameras have captured a man saying he couldn’t breathe as a police officer held him in a deadly chokehold and the police dragging an unclothed woman out of her apartment. While the violent videos are the ones that gain attention, there’s also evidence that the presence of cameras reduces the chance that things will get out of control in the first place. So why not have law enforcement wear cameras all the time?