We are beginning to see significant concern expressed in the non-MSM concerning the legal aspects of police behavior when alleged criminals are apprehended. While the events in Boston are the latest trigger, the concern applies to all law enforcement activity, at both federal and local levels and dating much further back and to the entire ‘War On Terror’ fiasco.
Stories of police brutality are often told in a way that casts victims as helpless bystanders of cops run amok. We met with Sean Pagan, a recent victim of police violence, and found that his story changes how we think about policing in New York. Sean’s story shows that communities are finding new and innovative tactics for dealing with discriminatory policing, beyond waiting for legislative reform. One such tactic is copwatch, in which individuals or teams film police officers in action. But what’s the history of the tactic? What are the risks, limitations and impact of filming the police? And how do these videos change the way we understand narratives of police violence?