Live streaming, video and police violence in the U.S.

As individuals and, collectively, as a human rights organization, we believe everyone everywhere has an absolute right to freedom, justice, dignity, and peaceful existence.

Over the past week, people across the United States – from Minnesota, to Louisiana, to Texas, and in between – have been robbed of those rights. For this denial and the senseless loss of life, we are grieving.

But we maintain our steadfast commitment to supporting those working for change. We must move, with great urgency, on a path that leads to equality for all.

We believe a better world is possible – that the much needed social change in this country is possible – but we know, absolutely, that it won’t be realized through violence. Nor will it come from accepting the status quo. Reform is needed, but it must come from peaceful dialogue conducted with reverence for the value of individual life and dignity. That peaceful, constructive dialogue is going to take all of us.

We recognize that the systemic change needed here will take time. But one action everyone can take right now is to be prepared be a good eyewitness. Know your rights. Know how to film. Think strategically before sharing. Join the efforts to ensure more video equals more justice.

Here are some links to resources and analysis we’ve created for filming, distributing, curating, and preserving video documenting:

Caught on Camera: Police Violence in the U.S. , a project of our WITNESS Media Lab, includes resources such as:

Ethical Guidelines for Sharing Eyewitness Video in Human Rights Reporting and Advocacy

Guidance and explorations for Live Streaming

Our OpEds on the importance of citizen witnessing and video as evidence

We’ve also been asked to share our perspectives with the media in the last week. Look for interviews or comments by WITNESS staff in the following stories in Popular ScienceHowStuffWorks, VentureBeat, The Ringer, Top of Mind with Julie Rose with more to come.

Follow us on Twitter @witnessorg and Facebook for the latest.

Featured image is a detail from a photograph by Grace Ghinger in the project Preserve the Baltimore Uprising 2015. The original photograph can be seen here


Visit our COVID19 Response Hub for resources on documenting human rights abuses during the crisis.


Take me there

Visit COVID19 Response Hub