One case I'd like to highlight is the Reverend Bill Godair who claimed a North Carolina officer was aggressive in a traffic stop. The good reverend said, "I refuse to sit back and not do anything, not say anything until Ferguson, Missouri becomes a reality here in Salisbury." And: "My wife was in my vehicle when this incident occurred and was scared by his actions. We honestly thought that I would be arrested." There was even a little press conference and everything! From PoliceOne: "The head of the NAACP chapter has called for Chief Collins to step down or face protests over the excessive force claims."
But my point isn't that the police version is always the truth (though it usually is). I'd prefer, if you don't like cops, to imagine what you would think if you heard this accusation against police and there were no camera present. And if you are a cop, why would you not want a camera to document what happened? As my colleague John DeCarlo likes to point out, "the police are the only ones out there without a camera!"
The reason I like this little example much is because of just how unremarkable the traffic stop was. It most cases something actually does happen, and you have to sort out what happened. But this was a traffic stop. No voices were raised. A ticket was issued.
But while we're at it, this incident in Celina, Texas is interesting because you see two very different perspectives from two very different cameras. In one shot, the cop looks bad, tackling a compliant suspect for no apparent reason. In the other (which starts at 1:40), you see the guy bolting before the cop tackles him. Job well done, officer!
And there's also a guy in Austin who blogged about "babysitting while white" (he was with his black granddaughter):
The officers got out with Tasers drawn demanding I raise my hands and step away from the child. [...] I complied, and they roughly cuffed me, jerking my arms up behind me needlessly. Nine police cars plus the deputy constable all showing up to investigate the heinous crime of baby-sitting while white."Except that is not happened. There were no Tasers. There was frantic call about the girl being kidnapped. The guy was detained for 13 minutes before being let go.
Said Police Chief Acevedo (quite boldly and accurately, along with pointing out that most kidnappers are not strangers but relatives): "Had that been a real legitimate kidnapping. And we would have responded with one or two officers in a nonchalant manner. The same exact critics that are criticizing us now would be saying that the Austin Police Department does not care about an African America little girl being kidnapped from the Millennium Center."
[thanks to Sgt B for the initial link]