Oct 152010
 
 October 15, 2010  Surveillance

Kevin Johnson reports:

TALLAHASSEE — Diop Kamau’s home in a leafy, gated community just north of town is not easy to find — for good reason. For more than two decades, the 52-year-old former Hawthorne, Calif., police officer has made a living embarrassing cops with a video camera.

Stung by the rough treatment of his father during a 1987 traffic stop by another California department, Kamau turned to a second career recording police across the country in compromising — often abusive — encounters with the public.

Some of the controversial videos made using hidden microphones and cameras found their way to network and cable television, exposing police to deserved criticism. Mostly, the videos helped launch a new generation of public accountability for local law enforcement. One of Kamau’s most effective weapons is a battered 1968 Chevrolet Impala, wired with microphones and cameras, that Kamau, who is black,drives to test the racial profiling tendencies of local police on behalf of paying clients.

Read more on USA Today. Such surveillance can have profound effects — both positive and potentially negative — according to those interviewed for the story.

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