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."