Utah Highway Patrol taser guy for speeding violation

November 22, 2007

News:  Another law enforcement official resorts to tasering a person, almost as if it’s the first response to any encounter with a person.  (More)

Analysis: This is getting out of hand.

Vancouver Airport police taser killing

November 16, 2007

News: On October 14, RCMP officers at Vancouver Airport tasered a Polish immigrant Robert Dziekanski, who was traveling for the first time on an airplane to relocate to Canada with his mother. Mr. Dziekanski spoke Polish, so he may not have understood everything going on at the customs check point. He became agitated, and then Canadian police officers came in and soon tasered Mr. Dziekanski several times. He died right after the tasering. (More)

VIEWER DISCRETION: This video is the raw footage of what happened taken by a bystander. It is unedited. It contains disturbing scenes of Mr. Dziekanski getting tasered, falling to the ground, and then dying. I believe this is a newsworthy video, but viewer discretion is advised.

Analysis: I’m not an expert in airport customs procedures or the use of tasers. But what happened here is quite disturbing to me. If anyone knows the general safety of tasering, please comment.

Teacher Cristina Mallon resigns after cheerleading routine on YouTube

November 14, 2007

News: Cristina Mallon, an English teacher and cheerleading coach at a high school in Gilbert, Arizona, has reportedly resigned. The cheer coach had showed her class a short routine in class. After video of the routine made its way on YouTube, the school put her on paid leave. She later returned to class, only to face criticism from a few parents for selecting the book Jake Reinvented for the class reading list.

Analysis: Unless I’m missing something, I think the school board should not accept her resignation, but should stand by her. The ultimate question is whether she is a good teacher. I haven’t heard any criticism of her abilities as a teacher, particularly not from any students or school administrators.  Had a male high school teacher performed a cheer in class, I doubt there would have been the same kind of response.

NOTE:  I would love to hear your reaction to this incident, so please comment.  Am I right, she should keep her job?

Does YouTube have a “girl fight” problem?

October 11, 2007

News: In Norwood Middle School, in a suburb in Ohio, a 13-year-old eighth grader beat up a 12-year-old girl in the locker room. The 13-year-old had her friend videotape the beating and it was later posted on YouTube. After much complaining, the victim’s parents and school officials eventually got the video removed from YouTube. But it still exists in a news video posted by a Cincinnati news station.

Video contains violence: viewer discretion advised

Analysis: This is a serious problem. Schools need to investigate why teenagers are engaging in this kind of behavior and develop a “zero tolerance” policy. And YouTube needs to get more involved, too. If you type in “girl fight” on YouTube, there seem to be numerous videos of young girls fighting. (I’m guessing there are videos of guys fighting, too.) I haven’t watched all these fight videos (it’s possible some have already been removed), but here’s one video that is shockingly still up on YouTube. The video was posted a year ago on YouTube and has over 880,000 views. I debated whether even to include the video, but I concluded that it may help to focus attention on what’s really going on.

Video contains violence and profanity: viewer discretion advised

I’m not sure what exactly is the right answer. Obviously, you want to stop these fights from happening. But if you can’t, there is some benefit in having a video — it’s powerful evidence that law enforcement can later use to catch and prosecute the perpetrators.

Female high school teacher suspended for “cheerleading” routine on YouTube

October 7, 2007

News: A female high school teacher in Gilbert, Arizona reportedly has been suspended (or placed on paid administrative leave) over a “cheerleading” routine she performed in front of her students. One of her students videotaped it on a cellphone and then posted it on YouTube. On YouTube, the teacher is described as a “humanities” teacher and cheerleading coach. (More) Her name is Christina Mallon, and she teaches at Williams Field High School.

Analysis: I haven’t visited a high school in a while, but it’s my understanding that cheerleaders in high school perform these kinds of somewhat provocative routines. I don’t know why the teacher would be performing this in class, though. Based on what I heard, a suspension seems like an overreaction. She’s the cheer coach.

UPDATE: One of her students explains what happened and defends his teacher: “She said she was nervous, she didn’t want to do it, but we just asked her if we could see the new cheer for the game and she did it,” 10th grader Chase Pruitt said. “It was nice there was nothing wrong with that.” (More)

For updated coverage, visit here.

Off topic, but check out this interview for Toobla:

Video of the week: To catch a thief on YouTube

August 10, 2007

Guy steals laptop.  Caught on video.  Video posted on YouTube.  And then:  According to a New Zealand paper, “One viewer recognized the man [on YouTube] and alerted police. Dawson Anthony Bliss, 50, was convicted of theft in Greymouth District Court on Thursday after pleading guilty.”  (More)

Video of the Minnesota bridge collapse on YouTube

August 2, 2007

News: The Minnesota Department of Transportation just released video of the collapse of the bridge as it happened. You can see it on the NYT blog and on YouTube. At least 4 deaths have been reported, with many more people still missing (from NPR).

UPDATE:  here’s video of the bridge after the collapse.