Seeing is Not Always Believing by Ron Steinman
With the ubiquitous use of smart phones by average citizens, it is not what we see but what we think we see in images of events that are usually out of focus, grainy, off-kilter, shaky, and that, and this is really important, show only one angle of an event, especially when it is a police shooting. The same goes for the body cameras worn by police. What you see is what you get but it is rarely a complete picture. This does not make the use of a smart phone camera right or wrong: it just is, nothing more, nothing less. It is impossible to deny what happened when we are witnesses to bullets piercing a person’s body. And, yes, more often than not, the pictures are the only truth available and usually enough to convict, though entrenched authority seems to rule, allowing many of the shooters to go free. For most, though, that picture, that amateur video, is all that matters. Out of control emotion usually then rules to the detriment of a deep investigation that might actually discover who is telling the truth. However, the prime angle, typically when the camera is head-on to the action and the suspect or perpetrator is pummeled by a series of, however few or many, bullets or even kicks and fists, there is no denying the reality of the crime. Only when viewing the video, take care that you have the will to believe there are always two or even more sides to every story, even if the side you accept is the one that takes down the person who pulled the trigger. In the end getting it right is all that matters. There will always be a number of people who accept only what they think they saw. And if proven wrong, or unhappy with the outcome, those who agree with you will line the streets on one side against those who think they are protecting the rights of the innocent or the wrongly accused. In a way, satisfaction is impossible when emotions dominate reality.