By Ariana Cano |Staff Writer|
The importance of video surveillance in this day and age can become a way of taking justice into your own hands.
We should use our electronic devices to record harmful incidences for the intent of providing useful evidence in pursuit of justice.
When witnessing an assault, it is one’s responsibility to speak up whether it’s through contacting the police or recording evidence on a smartphone for possible court use.
This is not to be confused with WorldStarHipHop (WSHH), a site where people publish recorded fights and allegedly abusive content for entertainment purposes only.
“I go on WorldStarHipHop just to waste time,” said third year CSUSB student Kelvin Guijosa
Unlike WSHH, some people actually use videos as a way to capture aggressive behavior.
For instance, in May 2014, in Cheektowaga, New York, Narvell Benning recorded Janelle Ambrosia verbally assaulting him outside of a Dollar General for supposedly scaring Ambrosia’s kids.
The official video, has more than one million views, Ambrosia is seen or heard calling him the “N” word repeatedly as well as threatening to throw her coffee and kill him for being a “racist.”
This recorded incident served for informational purposes because it brought awareness that “racism is still alive and well” as Benning mentioned in the video.
In Ontario, California, in August 2014, Tressy Capps recorded herself harassing a family for displaying a Mexican flag on their lawn.
Capps told the homeowner that she should move to Mexico if she wants to display her Mexican flag.
Capps was fired from her work as a result of her recorded unethical behavior.
There have also been many recorded police brutality videos in the U.S., since Rodney King’s excessive beating by the LAPD in 1991; Oscar Grant, who was shot unreasonably by a police officer in Oakland in 2009; and recently Michael Brown’s video of him laying dead in the street for hours after being shot by officials in Ferguson on Aug. 9, 2014.
Although justice is not always served, it spurs attention or awareness of wrong doing, and gets reactions from the public.
It is not illegal to record individuals that harass others, however, one must keep in mind how to be ethically correct by displaying the video without bias.
The First Amendment states, “Congress should make no law … abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press. …” This law protects our right to record in public spaces as long as it’s in reasonable time, place, and manner.
“As a general rule, both the public and the press have a right to record government officials or matters of public interest in a public place,” states videomaker.com.
Video archiving allows people that witness and record harassment to publish their content for public awareness.
It’s important to know how to properly record in these situations which is why Yvonne Ng, senior activist at Witness, supports video archiving.
Witness.org is a web page that teaches and assists activists and individuals to use videos effectively to expose the abuse of human rights.
Harassment caught on tape can be seen as a new way to “fight” back without creating violence.
When our rights or the rights of others are being violated, it is our responsibility to try to record these injustices to create awareness.