As a result of civilians using their mobile devices to record encounters with local law enforcement many police officers across the country are angry and upset of their actions being posted on social media.
Law enforcement officers, including the FBI Director James Comey, are critical of of the practice because they claim police are now afraid of what is being dubbed the “YouTube effect.” According to many officers, their actions captured on cell phone video goes viral and is turned into a news story.
Recently during a meeting with Attorney General Loretta Lynch and a group of mayors and police officials, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel went so far as to blame the spike in Chicago violence on the idea that Chicago cops are becoming “fetal” out of fear they will get in trouble for their actions during arrests.
The Chicago Tribune reported Emanuel as, “blaming officers second-guessing themselves in the wake of high-profile incidents for rising crime rates in Chicago and elsewhere.”
The Washington Post quoted Emanuel as saying:
“We have allowed our police department to get fetal and it is having a direct consequence. They have pulled back from the ability to interdict … they don’t want to be a news story themselves, they don’t want their career ended early, and it’s having an impact.”
The supposed fear law enforcement officers has recently grown resulting from a number of cops being arrested and criminally prosecuted for acts caught on body cams or cellphones.
So now because six police officers in Baltimore were indicted for the murder of Freddie Gray, a North Charleston cop was indicted for killing Walter Scott, Wes Kerrick was indicted and went to trail for the death of Jonathan Ferrell, law enforcement officials across the nation claim they are afraid to do their jobs.
On Friday, Roland Martin, Shawn Jones of the Atlanta Police Department, former Federal Prosecutor, Laura Coates, Behavioral Health Expert, Cleo Manago and Joia Jefferson-Nuri, CEO of In The Public Eye Communications discussed the “YouTube effect” and why cops are pushing back against the use of body cams, allowing civilians to record their activities and holding police accountable for they actions
NewsOne Now panelist Laura Coates call the push back against accountability a “cop-out.”
“There are plenty of protections in place for police officers to evade accountability,” said Coates.
She highlighted the Supreme Court case of Graham Vs. Connor or Tennessee V. Garner. “They have effective legislation practically in place that says they can not be held accountable unless you change the reasonable persons standard.”
Coats said, “What you have here is officers saying, ‘Look I am going to be big brother but please don’t watch me like big brother.’”
She added “as a former prosecutor, what are you doing that I can’t see? And if what you are doing is on the up-and-up, why can’t I look and see what you are doing?”
Watch Roland Martin and the NewsOne Now panel discuss the “YouTube effect’s” impact on policing in American in the video clip above.