“If you’re silent about your pain, they’ll kill you and say you enjoyed it”- Zora Neal Hurst

Social media has provided its members with access to upload videos to social media platforms that can be viewed worldwide. Because of this greater visibility, recent videos of police brutality toward minorities are popping up nearly everyday. Such controversial images, inevitably, split to right and left wing social media pundits and bloggers who express their frustration with what they believe to be an invasion of human rights.

The liberal perspective points out the underlying system of racism and oppression of African Americans, and reference such crimes as the slaughters of Mike Brown, Eric Garner, Ezell Ford, Akai Gurley, Tamir Rice, Rekia Boyd, Freddie Gray and Robert LIese. Liberals note a pattern of behavior that is pervasive among authority-figures, but that has not as visible outside of the Black community until social media rose in popularity. These behaviors are not limited to death at the hands of law enforcement, but include being profiled, stopped and/or detained for no reason or nuisance crimes, and unfair sentencing for Blacks and Whites committing the same crimes.

Whereas, the conservative view takes a much more immediate, individual level of accountability to behaviors for this brutality. They often argue that the responsibility falls on shoulders of the individuals who have been hurt or killed (“victim-blaming”), and claim that law enforcement official’s ability to respond effectively in life-or-death situations where snap judgments are made, is impacted. In fact, conservatives commonly claim that the police are becoming victims to riotous bystanders with cameras. Some law enforcement argue that you don’t want police to necessarily hesitate in that life-or-death moment because worrying about whether they may be prosecuted at a later time for their actions may result catastrophically.

The safety of law enforcement is a valid concern, however, there are non-violent means to subdue criminals when necessary, and that every effort should be made to use those measures before resorting to using those measures first. What videos are sometimes demonstrating is that they are not only NOT being used, but in some instances, videos are revealing inconsistencies in officers reports about what happened and why deadly force has been necessary.