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What Went Wrong — A Police Video Deconstructed

What's striking about all the controversial police videos we've covered is how different they can look to people, depending on their backgrounds. If you're a police officer, certain things might stand out, while if you're a civilian or you've been arrested by a police officer, other things might catch your attention.

So we thought we'd try something new, using a video brought to our attention by member station WFDD in the Triad region of North Carolina. The recordings come from the body cameras of two officers as they make a routine call — which then goes bad.

We asked several people to watch the video, each one separately, and then added their observations as "pop-up" quotes in the video. All three concluded that the incident was mishandled by police, but they have different takes on exactly what went wrong — and why.

To view the annotations, the video must be watched on a desktop computer, preferably at full screen.


Daunasia Yancey: Black Lives Matter activist (Yellow)

Peter Moskos: former Baltimore police officer, now an assistant professor at John Jay College of Criminal Justice (Red)

Jim Glennon: former police officer in Illinois, now owns Calibre Press, a company that trains police around the country (Blue)

Martin Kaste: NPR's law enforcement correspondent (Green)

Thanks to Emily McCord at WFDD, and for the reporting help of Edward Garcia

Copyright 2023 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Martin Kaste
Martin Kaste is a correspondent on NPR's National Desk. He covers law enforcement and privacy. He has been focused on police and use of force since before the 2014 protests in Ferguson, and that coverage led to the creation of NPR's Criminal Justice Collaborative.