Not even the most expansive interpretations of the First and Fourth Amendments can bring back the lives of those taken by police brutality.
But such interpretations can help...if in no other way but to ensure that the perpetrators are brought to justice in courts of law and in the court of public opinion.
Citizen journalists and those engaged in photographing police brutality are instrumental in meeting that second objective. Can you imagine where we would be in the civil rights struggle against police brutality if it were not for the citizen journalists who bore witness by videotaping tragedies like the beating of Rodney King and the killing of Oscar Grant?
Images of those tragedies hit most everyone who saw them right in the gut and in the heart. They make us question what went so wrong with the system and imbue us with personal responsibility for fixing those problems.
Yet citizen journalism is coming under attack. Even as images of injustice permeate the internet law enforcement agencies are pushing back. Challenges are coming on many fronts including search and seizure law, surveillance protocols and wiretapping laws.
While the Stolen Lives Project documents police brutality throughout the country we who "guard the guardians" must remain vigilant and ready to meet the challenges lodged against the rights of those that guard.