Police on playback — copwatch in New York City

    Stories of police brutality are often told in a way that casts victims as helpless bystanders of cops run amok. We met with Sean Pagan, a recent victim of police violence, and found that his story changes how we think about policing in New York. Sean’s story shows that communities are finding new and innovative tactics for dealing with discriminatory policing, beyond waiting for legislative reform. One such tactic is copwatch, in which individuals or teams film police officers in action. But what’s the history of the tactic? What are the risks, limitations and impact of filming the police? And how do these videos change the way we understand narratives of police violence?

    Available at Vimeo and YouTube.



    Recent Stories

    • Analysis

    Meet the volunteer organizing team helping non-union workers during the pandemic

    November 30, 2020

    The Emergency Workplace Organizing Committee is training workers and helping them organize. Can this be a successful model for building worker power?

    • Q&A

    Why Indigenous activists are occupying the Hamptons until Thanksgiving

    November 20, 2020

    As a leader of Sovereignty Camp 2020, Shinnecock attorney Tela Troge discusses why they are protesting a lawsuit by New York state.

    • Analysis

    How cultural rituals and healing ceremonies can strengthen our movements

    November 18, 2020

    Traditional dances, songs and prayers create space for healing traumatic experiences and building solidarity between Black and Brown communities.