Michael Brown is dead. No video can bring him back.
As the world remembers, Brown was the unarmed 18-year-old black man killed in a violent 2014 altercation with Officer Darren Wilson, who is white — making Ferguson, Missouri, famous.
Or rather, infamous.
With little information, folks quickly picked sides. Some claimed Brown was gunned down in cold blood with his hands up, yelling, “Don’t shoot.” After seeing footage from a convenience store surveillance camera, which showed Brown seeming to strong-arm an employee and steal cigarillos* mere minutes before the fatal police encounter, others placed the blame on Brown.
However, had Wilson been equipped with a lapel camera, that footage would have enhanced finding justice. Moreover, the knowledge that the public could see the truth of what happened might have prevented the riots and recriminations.
More information is better.
That’s why the best news of all is this: on April 4, three weeks from today, the people of Ferguson will vote on The Public Video Recording Accountability Amendment to Ferguson’s City Charter. The charter amendment mandates that officers wear lapel cameras while on duty and sets sensible rules for allowing maximum public access.
The campaign needs your help to alert Ferguson voters about the election by mailing information on the ballot measure. For instance, studies demonstrate that not only do police behave better when wearing cameras, but so do the citizens with whom they interact.
Would you give five dollars for Ferguson?
Please help bring a better day for justice and transparency.
It’s Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.
* Over the weekend, more video surfaced from the convenience store as part of a documentary entitled, “Stranger Fruit,” which suggested Michael Brown had made a drug deal at the store, and not stolen anything. A St. Louis County prosecutor disputed the filmmaker’s interpretation, and released more footage.