Volume 13

Do You Know Why You Stopped Me?: Information and Injury in the Fight Against Racialized Policing

by Brett Graham

In many ways, the fight against racialized policing is a fight over information— and so far, for those interested in reform, it has been David against Goliath. Take, for instance, the complicated and still-nascent story of body-worn cameras. It goes something like this: In 2014, owing largely to a statement made by the family of Michael Brown, an 18-year-old Black man fatally shot by Officer Darren Wilson in Ferguson, Missouri, police departments across the country began strapping cameras to their officers’ chests. The idea was that having all of these law enforcement interactions on video would promote transparency, accountability, trust, and civility. Observers and scholars celebrated this revolutionary development. They had finally answered the age-old question, “Who watches the watchers?”

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