Nearly everything can be instantly recorded, and situations when police use deadly force face significant scrutiny — especially when multiple angles of the same event exist.
But video evidence may not always be what it seems.
While conventional wisdom may say that more evidence will help lead to the truth, it can also complicate the situation. The release of a video recorded by the wife of Keith Lamont Scott, a black man who was shot dead by police Tuesday in Charlotte, is an example of how different angles and recordings can sometimes raise more questions than they answer.
One of the most compelling examples of how two angles recording the same incident tell two different stories occurred on March 15, 2003, when police shot and killed 25-year-old Marquise Hudspeth in Shreveport, La.
After leading police on a five-mile chase car chase, Hudspeth, who was suspected of drunk driving, exited his vehicle and began walking away from police, who then shot him in the back eight times. Two police dash cameras caught the incident on video, and at first glance it appears that Hudspeth was simply walking away from police who then unjustifiably fired on him.
Or did they? (Warning: Graphic)
The second video, taken from a different angle, appears to show a different series of events. As Hudspeth walks into the camera’s field of view, he clearly is seen clearly holding a metallic object with arms outstretched, pointing at a police officer off camera. After shrugging off a police officer who tried to apprehend him, Hudspeth continued to walk away from police, and then suddenly turned around pointing the object at police once again, who then opened fire.
That object, which police thought was a gun, turned out to be a metallic-colored cell phone. Shreveport’s black community was outraged over the incident, but the shooting was found to be justified, as the officers thought they were defending themselves from an armed suspect.
This report, by Russ Read, was cross-posted by arrangement with the Daily Caller News Foundation.