Secret recording on the iPhone

Posted: April 7, 2012 in Uncategorized

As further proof of the secret recording capabilities of the smartphone, I need only cite the recent case of which shamed the metropolitan police. The Guardian newspaper, one of few managing to maintain any kind of respectability in recent months, obtained a recording made by a 21 year old after he was stopped by the police, he was then arrested and placed in a police van during last summers riots.

The young man who was arrested that day was black, and to his great misfortune, he had been arrested by an inherently racist police officer. The officer strangled his his victim, kicked him and subjected him to levels of racial abuse that nobody should ever have to endure. I can imagine this kind of unwarranted abuse goes on far more than should ever be possible in our questionable London police force, and has been recounted numerous times in their treatment of innocent Irish prisoners in the 70’s and 80’s but what hadn’t been present in the past, has finally come to fruition, for the arresting officer in this case hadn’t confiscated the prisoners mobile phone. Said arrestee proceeded to use the voice recording function of his smartphone to capture the further heard racist rantings of the arresting officer. He was heard to say such things as “The problem with you is you will always be a nigger”  “You’ll always have black skin. Don’t hide behind your colour.” and many other nonsensical claims that are outdated in any level of society, let alone the police force of our capital city. The man who was arrested later said he felt he was treated like an animal, but took some satisfaction form the fact that he caught the officers rantings on his phone, thus preventing his personal institutional racism from being subjected to any other innocent people. The officer in question has since been suspended from duty pending an investigation.

The story from the guardian online featuring the full audio clip can be found here

The events of this day have prompted many people to look much more closely at the inner workings of  the metropolitan police and it has come out that in 2004 they ‘buried’ a report that warned of an impending racism scandal if something was not done about the level of racism within the force. The secret metropolitan police report warned police chiefs that they needed to take tougher action to stop officers discriminating against black people, and ‘that a failure to do so would threaten a breakdown in community confidence’

The unearthing of this investigation and everything that has gone with it, has been helped along a great deal by the actions of one man secretly recording an officer on his mobile phone. I think it goes without saying that similar instances could occur in the future, and secret filming of this nature could go a long way to helping root out racism in our police force. This instance of secret recording is to me further proof of the smartphone capabilities as a tool for the journalist and documentary maker.


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