American police officers are to be given new guidelines that ensures they check for camera phones and other video recording devices before discharging their weapons into unarmed black men.
The change comes after authorities were left with no choice but to charge officer Michael Slager with the murder of unarmed black man Walter Lamer Scott, after the entire incident was caught on camera.
Police spokesperson Chuck Williams told reporters, “Discharging your weapon is not a minor decision, but before firing upon a black suspect every police officer now has to ask themselves three things.
“Is the black man armed, does he represent a clear and present danger to me or to others, and now, can I be absolutely sure that there is nobody close by likely to be capturing all of this in moderately high-fidelity video that will be on the Internet very soon.
“If the answer to any of these questions is ‘yes’ – then, and only then – should they take the decision to fire.”
US police shooting guidelines
Williams went on, “We have to make our officers aware that in cases where they do not genuinely fear for their lives, or the lives of others, or where they are being filmed by someone with an HD camera phone, then firing their weapon into unarmed black men is not a good idea.
“It’s only right that our guidance to officers is updated to reflect the changes in modern technology that can easily prove when they are lying about the circumstances of the shooting itself.
“We’ve also suggested every officer figures out which is their ‘good side’ for all filming incidents they’re involved in.
“The main message from our new guidelines is that the days of shooting investigations where it is simply a case of the word of an alive white police officer against a dead black man riddled with holes, are now gone.”