Can New Technologies Stop Police Brutality?


Police brutality has grown to  major concerns of the police’s use of deadly force.

The development of mobile phones with camera functions have certainly changed the way individuals can capture and share daily basis experiences. There has recently been several occurrences of captured videos involving police officers abusing their authority, especially towards African Americans. Tom McCarthy who is a reporter at The Guardian, claims that both white and African Americans have decreased their trust towards police officers during the past 10 years. Since 1995, 91% of the white people who trusted police have decreased to 58%. Whereas African American population have decreased their trust from 65% to 31%.

There has been few cases, such as Luis Pualino’s, where capturing police brutality vindicated the victim by unjust inhumane treatment by police.In August, 2012, Luis Paulino was beaten by NYPD.  Luis Paulino was initially charged with disorderly conduct, resisting arrest and obstructing a government official. However, due to evidence and video recording caught on a cell phone,all charges were dropped. In Paulino’s case, cell phones have become the great equalizer when it came down to his confrontation with police. Without the video, “there wouldn’t have been anything but my word against 15 police officers,” Paulino told journalist Soledad O’Brien.

The fact that there have been so many instances of police brutality over time is especially alarming due to the capability for onlookers to catch and record recent and unfortunate cases of police brutality on new technologies. The first incident on videotape of police brutality was of Rodney King. Rodney King was beaten to death, more than 50 times with batons. When the police involved in Rodney King’s beating were acquitted, the upset and riots ensued for 3 days which lead addition 53 deaths during the riots.

In a recent article last month by, Daily Mail:“Police so far, have fatally shot an average of two people a day this year.”

  • Since the beginning of this year, police have shot and killed 385 people
  • These fatal shootings is double today than in the past decade
  • The victims of use of deadly police force were made up of about half white; and half minority
  • Amongst the unarmed victims of police shootings, two-thirds were black or Hispanic.”(Data has been collected by the Washington Post that studied every fatal shooting which took place since the beginning of this year.)

The evidence of police abusing their powers and striking Rodney took place in 1991. Here and now in the present of 2015, on September 4—the NYPD announced it’s commitment to implementing technology to help keep order in New York City. Such technologies involve patrol officers to wear body cameras. Can technology prevent inhumane beatings and death that has risen and has been known to be executed by the police?

dont shoot

(for additional information on fatal shootings by police)


About Author

Sujin Chon

Since entering Santa Barbara in 2012 from San Jose, California, Sujin has volunteered and worked at elderly care facilities and homeless shelters -and took classes at Santa Barbara City College before attending Antioch University. Sujin Chon is completing her undergraduate studies in Communications and Social Media at Antioch University -Santa Barbara. After completing her B.A. she would like to pursue a career in Public Relations and get involved with organizations that help educate and support communities that need support on awareness of social issues or stigmas.

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