Would Body Cams Have Saved Walter Scott?

The North Charleston Police Department recently received approval to implement the video technology, potentially preventing the fatal shooting of an unarmed man.

Image via YouTube screencapture

A shaky cellphone video taken by a bystander capturing the final moments of 50-year-old Walter L. Scott was enough to expose the deceit in Officer Michael Slager’s dispatch, in which he tries to justify firing eight bullets at the fleeing black man.

The video footage was instrumental in the state charging Slager, now fired, with murder, which raises the question of how events would have taken place had this evidence never surfaced. L. Chris Stewart, the attorney representing the Scott family, indicated that without the video, Slager may have faced little to no reprecussions for his actions, much like the 209 times officers in South Carolina were exonerated for shooting suspects over the past five years.

"It would have just been the standard story of a police officer giving his version and that would be the end of it," said Stewart to the LA Times. "In this case, this officer gave his story, and it turned out not to be true."

On February 2, North Charleston Police Chief Eddie Driggers, Jr. and South Carolina senator Marlon Kimpson announced that $275,000 of South Carolina’s state funding would go towards the acquisition of body cameras. Plans were made for 115 of the devices to be provided for officers in North Charleston, where the murder of Scott took place.

Before Scott was slain, opposition from officials in counties around North Charleston, such as Greer and Florence, cited high costs (up to $300,000 to buy the cameras and another $100,000 to store data), and privacy concerns with the Freedom of Information Act as some of the reasons to delay the spread of the technology.

South Carolina state representative Wendel Gilliard has been pushing for passage of a bill he authored that would require all police officers in the state to wear body cameras. Now, with the nation’s attention turned to North Charleston, Gilliard is optimistic that the body camera legislation will get a full vote, according to the Washington Post.

Body cameras are expected to act not only as an accountability measure to prevent officers from fabricating the details of events, but also as a preventative measure to keep brutality from happening in the first place.

“When police officers are acutely aware that their behavior is being monitored (because they turn on the cameras), and when officers tell citizens that the cameras are recording their behavior, everyone behaves better,” noted The President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing in a study report. “The results of this study are highly suggestive that this increase in self-awareness contributes to more positive outcomes in police-citizen interaction.”

Julian Meehan

Young leaders from around the world are gathering at the United Nations Headquarters in New York Saturday to address arguably the most urgent issue of our time. The Youth Climate Summit comes on the heels of an international strike spearheaded by Greta Thunberg, the 16-year-old climate activist from Sweden, who arrived in New York via emissions-free sailboat earlier this month.

Translated from Swedish, "berg" means "mountain," so it may feel fated that a young woman with Viking blood in her veins and summit in her name would be at the helm. But let's go out on a limb and presume Thunberg, in keeping with most activists, would chafe at the notion of pre-ordained "destiny," and rightly so. Destiny is passive — it happens to you. It's also egomaniacal. Change, on the other hand, is active; you have to fight. And it is humble. "We need to get angry and understand what is at stake," Thunberg declared. "And then we need to transform that anger into action."

This new generation of activists' most pernicious enemy is denial. The people in charge — complacent politicians and corporation heads who grossly benefit from maintaining the status quo — are buffered from real-life consequences of climate change. But millions of people don't share that privilege. For them, climate change isn't an abstract concept, but a daily state of emergency, whether it comes in the form of "prolonged drought in sub-Saharan Africa…devastating tropical storms sweeping across Southeast Asia, the Caribbean and the Pacific…[or] heatwaves and wildfires," as Amnesty International reportsare all too real problems people are facing on a regular basis.

RELATED: Greta Thunberg urges people to turn to nature to combat climate change

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The Planet

Millions of people in over 150 countries across the globe marched for lawmakers and corporations to take action to help stop climate change on Friday, September 20.

The Climate Strikes were organized by children around the world as an extension of the of the "Fridays for Future" campaign. Students have been walking out of classrooms on Fridays to speak out about political inaction surrounding the climate crisis.

"We need to act right now to stop burning fossil fuels and ensure a rapid energy revolution with equity, reparations and climate justice at its heart," organizers say.

There's no doubt the visual images from the marches send a powerful message to those on the ground but especially those watching from around the world. GOOD's own Gabriel Reilich was on the scene for the largest of the Climate Strikes. Here are 18 of the best signs from the Climate Strike march in New York City.

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September 20th marks the beginning of a pivotal push for the future of our planet. The Global Climate Strike will set the stage for the United Nations Climate Action Summit, where more than 60 nations are expected to build upon their commitment to 2015's Paris Agreement for combating climate change.

Millions of people are expected to take part in an estimated 4,000 events across 130 countries.

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Major US phone carriers have yet to build out the infrastructure necessary to provide a consistent 5G experience, so Apple didn't feel it necessary to integrate the technology into its latest iPhone.

A dramatic new feature on the iPhone 11 Pro is its three camera lenses. The three lenses give users the the original wide, plus ultrawide and telephoto options.

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We often dismiss our dreams as nonsensical dispatches from the mind while we're deep asleep. But recent research proves that our dreams can definitely affect our waking lives.

People often dream about their significant others and studies show it actually affects how we behave towads them the next day.

"A lot of people don't pay attention to their dreams and are unaware of the impact they have on their state of mind," said Dylan Selterman, psychology lecturer at the University of Maryland, says according to The Huffington Post. "Now we have evidence that there is this association."

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