Video cameras seem to be everywhere. Any questionable act that may stir even the slightest bit of controversy can end up on You Tube.
These incidents can be the seedlings for much bigger stories. Suddenly they become featured on the six o’clock news and get extended life on talk radio.
This happened recently in the St. Louis area. A young man was out in the wee hours of the morning when confronted by a police officer from a very small suburban department. The officer questioned the youth’s motivation for parking in a metro transit lot around 2 am, though it was legal.
The police officer got unruly and crossed the line with his vocal challenges and abuse. Unfortunately for that police officer the whole thing was caught on video. The young man had a camcorder on his dashboard and had recorded the entire drama.
Quickly the video showed-up on You Tube and was sent to local television and radio stations. The young man wanted to get his story out and by golly he was going to do it.
And the media did pick up on it. The question they wanted to know was, “Why would a young man be verbally assaulted by a police officer, especially when he apparently did nothing illegally?”
Clips of the video showed-up on TV news. The major radio talk station in town discussed it for at least three solid days, on just about every one of their programs. Eventually it got picked-up by the daily newspaper. The young man’s voice and photo became well known.
The police officer received some type of punishment. The small department he works for also came under scrutiny. The Chief had to answer all kinds of questions from the media.
The young man did indeed get his 15 minutes of fame out of the affair. But what was his true motivation behind it all? Only he can answer that question.
In this scenario the police officer was no doubt out-of-line. But what he didn’t expect was for the incident to appear on the nightly news. After all, this was no Rodney King-LAPD affair.
A video camera can be a dangerous weapon. Celebrities and politicians know all about them. They realize what they say and do can show-up any where. It can cost them a movie, endorsements, or in a political arena an election, or even a career.
Those in any position of power need to ensure they present the right image and persona in public.
Unfortunately, the same seems to be holding true for the average Joe. Best to maintain your manners and keep your thoughts to yourself.
One false step could be disastrous.
After all, the whole world could be watching.