Going Unseen: How Perceptions of Police and Police Fatal Shootings are Influenced
Surell, Justin M., 1996--
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Perceptions of policing are of critical importance to the relationship between citizens and police. The influences behind those perceptions are what have built the circumstances seen today. How citizens view police fatal shootings has implications for the trends and attitudes witnessed in society. Both body-worn cameras (BWCs) and bystander recordings are indicative of the different viewpoints that people have of any necessary and unnecessary actions taken in citizen-police confrontations. YouTube is the platform where these vantage points are viewed many times over by people intrigued for a multitude of reasons. Only 8 of the sample of 100 fatal shootings – from the population of 987 fatal shootings – in 2017 had YouTube postings, either of BWCs or from bystanders. While BWCs gathered most of the attention from the public, it was the incidents without YouTube postings that failed to influence national perceptions.