A newly released surveillance video has shocked cable news and online audiences and is provoking charges of police brutality in the arrest of a University of Maryland student. The video seems to show John McKenna, 21, behaving peacefully during an on-campus celebration after a Maryland basketball win on March 3, when three Prince George's County police officers surround him and begin beating him with nightsticks, allegedly continuing even after he is unconscious. The video "directly contradicts the officers' sworn statements" — including claims that McKenna behaved violently — and the Prince Georges district attorney is now investigating the case. But what are the broader implications of this disturbing viral video? "If it wasn't for our pesky surveillance state, [the cops] might have gotten away" with this "brutal" beating, quips Dashiell Bennett at Deadspin. No, seriously, says David Rittgers at Cato @ Liberty. This incident offers "good reason to be wary of laws prohibiting photography or video of police officers." See the video below:
'Brutal' police beating of a Maryland student: What's the lesson?
April 14, 2010
Try 4 Risk-Free Issues of The Week magazine.