In large part because of social media and consumer-level video technology, two Fullteron, Calif. police officers likely involved in the death of Kelly Thomas have now been charged with murder, manslaughter and excessive use of force. Reason.tv’s Paul Detrick has produced an excellent video detailing the events that led to the charges. Be warned: Some of the images presented here are quite disturbing.
Still many jurisdictions claim that they can arrest and charge individuals when they use video technology to document police engaged in their public duties, even when those people are documenting police abuse. Further, police agencies are often reluctant to use video documentation to show what happens in high-stakes police encounters like SWAT raids. Cato’s “Cops on Camera” video last year provides some context about how technology can be used by individuals and should be used by police to help document how police do their jobs.