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Our Duty in Light of the Law's Irrelevance: Police Brutality and Civilian Recordings

NCJ Number
Georgetown Journal on Poverty Law and Policy Volume: 20 Issue: 1 Dated: Fall 2012 Pages: 161-186
Andrew Rosado Shaw
Date Published
26 pages
This article examines the problem of police brutality in the age of cell phones.
This article discusses the problem of police brutality and how the advent of cell phones has changed law enforcement's response to the problem. The article begins with a brief discussion on the history and development of police brutality in the United States, and the different responses to the problem over time. At the end of the 19th and into the early 20th century, police brutality had always been a problem for the poor and minorities. During the early 1920s, things began to change with the development of government-sanctioned citizen oversight of law enforcement. These changes were further improved during the 1960s and the growing civil rights movement. Today, recent changes in technology have provided citizens with a means for protecting themselves and their communities against police brutality. These changes include the ability of people to use their cell phones for taking photos and videos and then posting these photos and videos on Web sites. The article discusses how some States and the Federal Government use wiretapping statues to deal with these situations, protecting the actions of police officers often at the expense of citizens' rights. The author discusses several ways that citizens can continue to fight against police brutality.