Home / Sports / How Smartphone Cameras Told the Story of Police Brutality | WSJ

How Smartphone Cameras Told the Story of Police Brutality | WSJ

In the last decade, the smartphone has become a tool for witnessing police violence toward African Americans. From the 2009 killing of Oscar Grant to the 2020 killing of George Floyd, we reviewed the footage and talked to the people who captured it, to see how the accounts of racial injustice became clearer as the phones evolved. Photo illustration: Preston Jessee for The Wall Street Journal

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37 comments

  1. Avatar
    Adrian Messenger

    Keep stoking the perceived racial divide fantasy!!!
    We see you.

  2. Avatar

    Thanks to all the people that recorded the protests so that these looters are getting arrested. Hope they serve many decades in prison. Burning buildings and police cars has nothing to do with police brutality.

  3. Avatar

    It's amazing how white people being brutalized by the cops rarely gets media attention which is a much higher death toll. And never of black cops killing black men, which is also a higher percentage. Brutality can be real no doubt. But I don't think its a race issue. It's an ongoing militarization of the police issue.

  4. Avatar

    While the news told us peaceful protests the on the ground footage from cellphones told the real story. Each person that filmed is a hero.

  5. Avatar

    Police brutality is everywhere asia, Europe, Africa, America where not? when the oppressed rise their voice for their rights the upper class use their strength to suppress the mass.

  6. Avatar

    Tech exposes all

  7. Avatar

    How could any possible US claimed itself as a beacon of freedom, justice for all? It is sickening to the world!!

  8. Avatar

    Don't leave home without it!

  9. Avatar

    Pen is mightier then sword thus video is mightier then army

  10. Avatar

    It has long history,what the people are talking

  11. Avatar
    Black Vito - Moneyology

    Smartphones change the word!!!!

  12. Avatar

    Edited street video… aka lying videos of omission

  13. Avatar

    Sure. But it is also great to stoke up a panic. With millions of people recording there will be inflammatory videos created from time to time on chance alone. If this then gets cherry-picked with only specific kind of these getting max attention it will look as if it was widespread pervasive problem dwarfing all other problems. Psychologically we all use ease of retrieving an instance of something from memory as a proxy of prevalence. So 1 visceral memory trumps 100 dry statistics. Suppose everyone filmed in conditions for lightning. In some months there will be 5 videos of people struck by it. If media (or social media) keeps promoting them I will remember 4 older ones while 5th hits and will be very sure this is constant danger. Even though drowning is 100 times more likely. But lets say drowning would be considered not newsworthy for media and videos of it would be banned on sm. So even without lying or malicious intent, or motivated lightning grifters, this can lead to a panic.

  14. Avatar

    Not all the time because what if the police man takes the phone from you and delete your record huh' who's gonna believe you then

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    That's why Police have been wearing body camera's for the last year or two. People, let's be frank here, it's a two-way street. Why, during a 'peaceful' protest, Police Chief Dean, a black man, was shot & murdered. Let's be real, NO ONE is clean on either side of this issue. But to lump all Police Officers as racist is simplistic & stupid. Just like saying that all 'peaceful' protesters are there to cause looting. STOP; get control of your misguided emotions…because that is all you learned in Liberal-backed public schools; & listen. The time for violence is over, if there was ever anytime. Floyd is not a martyr, he was a victim. Just like lumping all Police as racist(which is stupid) is victimizing as well. Hard truth: Why was Floyd's killer still on the Police force? You can thank former MN AG & 2020 Democratic Presidential candidate Amy Klobuchar. How do you like that Americans of African Heritage? The Officer already had his 'rap' sheet & she got him off. That's called irony people.

  16. Avatar

    127👍 like good job 👌

  17. Avatar
    The First Oregonism

    What about the cops and innocent bystanders that have been attacked/killed by these rioters?

  18. Avatar

    Thanks so much, technology! Hopefully, this makes racist police and racists people, in general, think twice, before doing something hideous.

  19. Avatar

    Sponsored video (apple). 🤔🤔🤔

  20. Avatar

    Tomorrows story: how eyeballs witnessed history

  21. Avatar
    Alessandro Torres

    By functioning. /video

  22. Avatar

    If Floyd killed that policeman, nobody would care.
    These are well organized neo-marxist movements, done by a detailed family of plans.

  23. Avatar

    Someone should do, the Citizen body-cam project.

  24. Avatar

    Thanks for this promotional video, I know now which cellphone to buy!

  25. Avatar
    Startup with Tech

    They forgot the word, selectively.

  26. Avatar

    They are an important tool for everyone to record the events that happen.

  27. Avatar

    The emergence of YouTube and smartphones literally opened the era of visuals.

  28. Avatar

    Yes Racism is bad .
    Wall Street journal : let's make commercial for iPhone.

  29. Avatar

    somebody hired and trained these people to be brutal. Alas we think they were hired and trained to protect us.

  30. Avatar

    notice that there's no accountability in the local police dept's. across America… the citizens catch these aggressive cops on smartphones but the brutality never stops… it's legalized therefore in the various police departments. granted, after a few years in a big city police dept. we have a burned out cop with a badge and a gun acting like a Nazis Brown Shirt in 1939 Germany. obviously, there's no ' safety valves ' in place to winnow out the burned out brutal cop. there's plenty of people out of work who'd do well as a policeman so be quick to rid the streets of violent aggression against citizens who are acting lawfully while under police detainment. and, dump these internal affair dept's. controlled by their own kind and put responsible civilians in its place like jury duty is. lastly, dump these politicians who advocate police brutality who agree with brutality by quintessence of silence.

  31. Avatar

    Wall Street and vice YouTube channels are dying !!!

  32. Avatar

    Check my solution to Police brutality

  33. Avatar
    Timmy’s toy channel Wahooo

    You mean iPhone 11

  34. Avatar
    ⸻⸻⸻⸻⸻⸻⸻⸻⸻⸻⸻⸻⸻⸻⸻⸻⸻⸻⸻⸻⸻⸻⸻⸻⸻⸻⸻⸻⸻⸻⸻⸻⸻⸻⸻⸻⸻⸻⸻⸻⸻⸻⸻⸻⸻⸻⸻⸻⸻⸻

    at least the free west can openly share these. police brutality is not an issue in most other counties cos it's normal for police to hit people with sticks. Police brutality is documented in Hong Kong but nobody cares.

  35. Avatar
    No Idea Studios

    Me and the bois going to china to make better cameras

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