Socialist Worker

Police, camera, justice? Cops on video

Issue No. 2457

The video of the police at the Texas pool party

The video of the police at the Texas pool party

The video footage of a Texas police officer restraining and pulling a gun on black teenagers at a pool party has been seen by millions.

The shocking clip is the latest example of cops’ brutal treatment of black people in the US that has been caught on camera.

In April this year footage emerged of cop Michael Slager shooting Walter Scott in the back as he tried to run away. This week Slager was told he would be formally charged with murder.

If the video hadn’t come to light then the truth about Slager’s actions might never have been known. 

Ordinary people filming cops has left them with nowhere to hide. And the cases have prompted renewed calls for cops in the US and in Britain to wear body cameras.

Understandably campaigners want police to be held accountable. But police wearing cameras does not guarantee justice.

The death of Christopher Alder was filmed on CCTV. Yet 17 years later no cops have been convicted of his murder.

And police wearing body cameras will increase surveillance of people on protests. 

The police do not get away with their brutality because there isn’t enough evidence—it’s because it is not in the state’s interest for them to be convicted.

The system needs the police to maintain order so it can function—we must resist it.


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Tue 9 Jun 2015, 17:04 BST
Issue No. 2457
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