Monday, 12 January 2009

Citizen video sparks a riot

Here's a powerful example of the impact that video shot by eye-witnesses can have on events

Three videos of the fatal shooting of a man by police were quickly posted on YouTube. The man appears to be unarmed and restrained as he is shot.

Raw video of the incident posted on the website of a local TV station was downloaded over 500,000 times in two days, according to Ed Chapuis, news director at KTVU Channel 2 in Oakland, California. Two days later over 100 people were arrested when a protest march turned violent.

The videos have played a critical role in the public interest in the incident, according to Chapuis: "You have the incident in question actually on tape," he says. "You've got multiple views of it. That's what's different and unusual about the case."

The Monitoring European Police blog comments: "The case - and the overall intense community response to it - highlights the impact technology can have on news events. The devices people carry in their pockets give them the ability to turn what would normally be a case played out in the courtroom into one in which anyone with an Internet connection can serve as judge and jury."

No comments: