Bodycam footage isn’t building bridges

For the first time in the city’s history, on Nov. 4, Philadelphia released police body-camera footage to the public following a police shooting. According to officials, this was done as a token of transparency and accountability: a show of goodwill to the thousands of protesters running roughshod over Philadelphia’s streets — not least to those responsible for at least 60 assaults on officers since the Oct. 26 shooting itself.

But if bodycam footage is an olive branch from the police to the people, what is the goodwill token back to the police? And will the footage itself engender a greater sense of partnership and trust, or does it instead entrench an image of police
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