There is a lot of controversy surrounding the shooting of Trayvon Martin by George Zimmerman, and while tidbits of new evidence trickle in, mixed with some eyewitness accounts, there doesn’t seem to be anything to clearly assist the ongoing investigation.
With incidents like this, the existence of video would typically speed up an investigation or clearly define the happenings – but no video of this incident has surfaced to date. Often when video captures an incident, it almost immediately finds its way on social media sites before the authorities have access to it if it was filmed by the public. This allows the public to make their own judgments from visual evidence instead of trying to piece things together as they are fed information through private news channels as with the Trayvon Martin case.
When video is posted online it allows for a social media investigation element to a case. There have even been instances of videos showing a crime being posted that originally went unreported because a victim didn’t think that just their reported claim would be enough to ensure justice. But viewers have notified authorities of criminal activity seen on video sharing sites and then an investigation is opened and the victim comes forward (e.g. the Brandon White beating).
Would video everywhere reduce violent acts? More than four million cameras monitor life in Britain – is it a positive or a negative and how accepting is the general public of constant surveillance?