Hi. Welcome to the site. Please check out the About Us, and if you have a question about crime and/or punishment, perhaps look at some previous questions along those lines first.
Welcome to Anarchy101 Q&A, where you can ask questions and receive answers about anarchism, from anarchists.

Do anarchists think body/dash cams on cops are important as long as police still exist?

0 votes
It's reformist, sure, but it's claimed that it helps reduce police brutality, abuse, etc.
asked Aug 22, 2014 by anonymous
Your question is confusing; seems like there are two or three embedded in there. Can you rephrase it?

2 Answers

+2 votes
some anarchists think that making the system more friendly is important (aka, i guess, a worthwhile endeavor?), because it makes people's lives easier here and now.  (although that has yet to be totally proven, i think.)

other anarchists think that making the system more friendly here and now perpetuates state control (for example cams on cops provides more information and control to the state than it ever will to us -- assuming we're not the state).

for future efforts you can file this under "voting"; i expect the same arguments apply.
answered Aug 23, 2014 by dot (50,590 points)
I agree with what you said, but, i think you split your thoughts on the second part there.  Painting a smiley face on the systems of control lets the herds of sheeple feel good about being herded.  Which gives them an excuse to not be pissed off and shit-kick their shepherds.
Cop-cams providing yet more surveilance to the mass-surveilance states is a side benefit (to the bastards) that doesn't reach the surface of the hive-mind.  (I'll admit that i didn't catch on right away.)

Besides, the f'g things always "malfunction" when a cop gets caught with his hand in the pepperspray jar - the video files mysteriously get corrupted or deleted.  Sure.
0 votes
In 1992 some LAPD cops got caught beating a poor black person named Rodney King on camera and were later acquitted. The mass indignation felt by LA's poor at decades of police violence and torment (and other things I'm sure) exploded into a massive riot that lasted for a week.

This question makes me think: was it the videotaped evidence of police violence that caused the uprising, or was it the pent up anger that built for such a long time?

If cops are monitored via this technology, I think it might reduce cases of 'exceptional', brutal violence, but it will not eliminate them. The police as an institution attracts people who want power over others. Liberals make the 'not all cops are bad' argument because even they are aware of the existence of such sociopaths.

If you look up on youtube cases of police violence, you can find a whole bunch of them, but their release into the public hasn't stopped such cases from happening. Not to mention that these instances didn't cause their own Ferguson or LA, they were noticed by a few people who already don't like cops and have probably been forgotten by most of them.

So it's entirely possible that the existence of body/dash cams will simply NORMALIZE police brutality. It might even normalize how casually violent they are during simple arrests (something many people have the privilege of being unaware of). This possibility follows the 'LA riots happened because of pent up anger collectively released' train of thought. The release of the video footage was only PART of the reason why revolt happened. The pent up anger was the real vehicle for all that.

At the same time, if momentum continues from what's happening in Ferguson, then perhaps such video evidence will allow for further revolt.

EDIT: I talk about revolt not as an opportunist spin on peoples plight at the hands of the police. Being an anarchist, I view revolt and the threat of revolt as the only thing that causes society to try to appease us, to 'throw us a bone.' (which comes with its own questions, read dot's answer above).
answered Aug 24, 2014 by flip (3,970 points)
Yeah, the drums start beating in the night and all of a sudden we're knee-deep in "Roundtables" and "Initiatives" and "Decisive Actions" - until they can ship in the professional community activists to pacify the dissent - and then it's only so much fucking paper.

The interesting thing (to me) is that when the kid got murdered in Ferguson, there was _no_ video.  The whole response was based on witness accounts and ... (and what?  social media?  or just people who've had enough standing up and everyone else piling in??)

Who needs cop-cams when every kid has a cell phone?
...