Time magazine made a bold move on last week’s cover, when it declared ‘Black Lives Matter’. The cover of the magazine includes screenshots of the infamous video that caught Michael Slager killing Walter Scott. Writer David Con Drehle wrote passionately about the killing and questioned if the video didn’t exist, would the outcome would have been different.
“The answer to that question is important,” David Von Drehle writes in Time. “Before the video emerged, the killing of Walter Scott had occupied the same contested territory in which hundreds of other cases have languished and festered—famous cases, like the killings of Eric Garner in New York and Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo., and other cases that barely register in the police blotter.”
After the video emerged, there were more talks of body cams as the mayor of North Charleston ordered hundreds for the police force..
“Of course, dashboard and body cameras should be the friends of well-trained, honest cops,” Von Drehle writes. “The good apples are able to rely on more than their own word when they find themselves in trouble. The bad apples feel less free to level their weapons with impunity. Video is a tool by which the police can better police themselves.”
But what if those body cams are never turned on?