Police body cam video showing a nurse arrested at a hospital in Utah quickly went viral this week, leading to a news conference and apologies.
Police body cameras can quickly exonerate officers accused of wrongdoing. But as body cam video demonstrated quite dramatically this week, it can also turn what a police department calls unnecessary force into a social media-driven firestorm.
Footage recorded in July but released this week shows a nurse at first calmly explaining to a police officer why she cannot hand over a blood sample because none of three conditions agreed upon by the hospital and the police department has been met. She is holding a cell phone with its speakerphone option activated and it appears to be her supervisor on the other end of the line.
The officer, frustrated by not getting what he’s asked for, suddenly grabs the woman and says, “We’re done.” He then forcibly escorts the screaming nurse out of the building, handcuffs her in the hospital’s sally port, and forces her to sit in a car while things are sorted out.
Those conversations certainly need to happen, especially since it appears, from all accounts, that the nurse (and the hospital) was in the right here.
But another type of conversation — and realization — needs to happen that is significantly more imporant and far-reaching.
We’re being watched.
All of us.
Regardless of whether we wear the badge or depend on those who do, somewhere these days, cameras are documenting our words and our actions.
Times have changed thanks to technology, but one of the biggest changes more recently has been the ease at which we can be monitored and the amount of monitoring going on that we don’t even think about.
We have to remember now more than ever that we have to behave better. We have to be the examples. We have to be the ones that, when footage comes to light, are always in the right.
The popular social media criticism, “Do better” no longer applies to someone else.
We’d all do well to remember that it now applies to us, too.
Patrick is a Christian with more than 26 years experience in professional writing, producing and marketing. His professional background also includes social media, reporting for broadcast television and the web, directing, videography and photography. He enjoys getting to know people over coffee and spending time with his dog.