Welcome to #TWTBC Book 1 | Talk 3.
In this talk we'll be going over chapter three (pages 110- 128) of the title They Can't Kill Us All by Wesley Lowery. If you haven't read up to page 128, take a moment to finish up then meet us back here.
While reading chapter three it was impossible to keep my mouth closed from the jaw dropping information Wesley presented us with. How could there be such lack of responsibility from police departments across the country? Until recent, there has been little to no requirement of reporting police shootings. And you would think anytime a police officer fired a gun it would be tracked, especially in the event someone dies.. but it wasn't.
Wesley, along with other robust individuals made a decision to track recent and past police shootings. As these individuals combed through data they discovered that thousands have lost their life to an police officer yet only a few were prosecuted. It was also discovered that there is a "specific set of circumstances required for an officer to be charged." Circumstances so specific that there is no wonder why few police officers are charged in connection of a fatal shooting.
Walter Scott, an unarmed black man was shot in the back by a white police officer while fleeing a traffic stop. After shooting Scott, the police officer planted his stun gun next to Scott's dead body and encouraged that Scott tried to use the stun gun on him. Luckily a near by witness recorded the killing, stopping the white officer from covering up the murder. But what if that witness hadn't been there? What if there was no video?
These are questions we HAVE to ask ourselves. We can't be naive and say that the police officer who killed Walter Scott was the first and only officer to attempt to cover up a murder. Unfortunately there are bad apples in every bunch but if there isn't blatant video of such bad apples, police departments will feast with the sentiment that their apples could never be rotten. A dangerous sentiment to have if apples are "the only people in our society given the near-unilateral right to kill other citizens".
There's been a recent debate on if police officers should be required to wear body cameras to provide an unfiltered documentation of police interaction with each other and citizens. While some say this will prevent false accounts from individuals and answer a lot of unsolved mysteries OTHERS say this implementation is too costly, a privacy concern and can erode the trust between the police and citizens.
So where do you lie in the police body camera debate?
Do you believe all police officers should wear a body camera and the cost is well worth it OR do you believe officers wearing body cameras is unnecessary and we should simply trust the ones who are appointed to protect us?
Share your two cents below but we'd prefer the whole dollar ;) And don't forget to sprinkle some coins on the hashtag #TWTBC on Twitter too!
Next week we'll be discussing chapter four!