America doesn’t trust black people — unless there’s video evidence

Miriti Murungi writes: In the aftermath of the [Philando] Castile incident, and many others fitting the same utterly demoralizing profile, cell phones have been regularly trotted out as the hero. That’s because, without the footage, the country would probably have never seen police officers treating black bodies with the care of disposable video game villains.

Footage of police interactions with America’s black population has undeniably been the catalyst for a new era of public discussion about policing and race relations. And we’ve learned a lot about America from these videos. We’ve learned that police body cameras may be part of the solution to protecting black lives from senseless brutality at the hands of law enforcement. We’ve learned that video might be the most powerful weapon black people have against a system that stops and imprisons us at a maddening rate.

But none of that addresses what is arguably the more important issue: why black people need to furnish video evidence for America to listen to what they have been screaming from rooftops for generations. The answer is a truth that often gets lost in discussions praising technology: cell video is necessary for the protection of the black body in America because America doesn’t trust black people. [Continue reading…]

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