Making Sure Witness Video Stands Up In Court

The killing of Walter Scott by a police officer in North Charleston, South Carolina, has fanned debate over excessive force by law enforcement, and has driven home how a witness’ recording of a crime can be used as a tool for justice.

PBS NewsHour’s Hari Sreenivasan on Friday examined how the proliferation of camera phones and social media have given new power to documenting wrongdoing. But challenges remain in making sure that video can be used as evidence in court.

The network reported on the nonprofit advocacy group Witness, which is using its “Video As Evidence” program to bolster the credibility of witness videos, and sharing tactics with citizens and justice groups. Witness' training includes how to take better video and manage video files so that they will be admissible in court as evidence.

“Cameras in everyone hands means that there will be more transparency and more accountability,” Witness’ Kelly Matheson said.

The non-profit Witness was founded by musician and humanitarian activist Peter Gabriel and partners with other groups concerned with human rights violations.

Watch the PBS video above.



Two Ferguson Officers Shot During Protest