News Release

Shooting of Sam DuBose: Are Cams on Police the Answer?

CARLOS MILLER, carlosmiller at pinac.org                                                                                                         Miller is author of The Citizen Journalist Photography Handbook. He founded the website PhotographyIsNotACrime.com and just wrote the piece “Ohio Cop Charged with Murder for Shooting Sam DuBose to Death During Traffic Stop Caught on Body Cam,” which states: “A University of Cincinnati police officer who claimed he shot and killed a man after he was dragged by the man’s car, causing him to fear for his life, was charged with murder today in what a prosecutor called a ‘senseless, asinine’ shooting.

“‘He purposely killed him.’ Prosecutor Joe Deters said during a news conference today. ‘He should never have been a police officer.’ …

“Deters’ decision was based on Tensing’s body cam footage which is said to be so appalling that he was reluctant to release it, fearing riots.

“But he ended up releasing the video, which is posted below. The video goes black towards the end. We are working on obtaining the full video as well as video from the other officers on the scene. …

“Tensing can be heard telling another cop, ‘I thought he was going to run me over.’”

Miller said today: “Cams on cops are a good thing but that does not mean citizens need to stop recording because when the footage is in the hands of police, there is never a guarantee it will not be manipulated, destroyed or simply never released.

“There have been numerous examples, but one that sticks out is the recent video from Gardena, California that took two years to release, and dashcam footage from the killing of a teenager by Chicago police that still has not been released even though the city settled for $5 million.

“Albuquerque cops have had numerous issues with the cameras not being turned on when they kill.

“It’s not that rare.

“Granted, it’s still a new technology, which is why citizens should always record when confronted by cops or when being witnesses to cops.”

Also see by Shahid Buttar: “Police Violence? Body Cams Are No Solution.” The piece states: “Cameras captured video of Eric Garner’s death, which millions of people watched on YouTube. But video neither saved Eric Garner nor helped hold his murderers accountable. Moreover, even when everything does work as their proponents suggest, body cameras offer transparency only into particular incidents, not into patterns or practices. … By extending surveillance, cameras could also fuel mass incarceration. Cameras could capture footage used against defendants in criminal trials — either where the footage depicts criminal acts, like jaywalking or selling loose cigarettes, or where it merely supports suspicion of potential crime, justifying subsequent stops and searches that would otherwise be illegal.”

Other recent pieces on PhotographyIsNotACrime.com include: “Southern California Paramedics Routinely Harass Citizens Recording in Public, Falsely Accusing Them of HIPAA Violations,” “Ohio Woman Mysteriously Dies In Cleveland Jail After Fight with Husband,” “NYPD Cops Pull Man Out of Car and Beat Him for Double-Parking,” “Alabama Police Officer Breaks Down on Stand, Admits to Repeatedly Lying to Cover Up for Fellow Cop Beating Handcuffed Man,” “Idaho Cop Caught on Camera Elbowing Man Charged with Assault,” and “New Jersey State Trooper Fires Gun at Teens for Mistakenly Knocking on his Door.”