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The answer is yes! Social media is 100% improving social justice and even discourse.

We live in a time where everyone has a camera on their phone and this means everyone is a amateur photojournalist. Specifically in cases of police brutality people are not scared to pull out their phones to record the incident. The most recent example of this is the abuse of the 16yr old black female high school student at Spring Valley High School in South Carolina.

Below is a link to a video of an interview with one of the students in the room as well as a video of the actual assault. At one point in the video Niya Kenny (the witness) tells the interviewer that she told everyone in the class to take out their phones because the officer had a reputation for brutalizing students.

One of the three videos recorded goes viral within a couple hours and just about everyone I knew personally had seen it. Twitter was in uproar over the disturbing video, once they got past the initial shock they began to investigate the officer. It was soon that we all found out the officers name was Ben Fields, we also found out from public records that he has a legal history with this type of discrimination.

This then opened up a dialogue about the issue of police presence in schools. Should they be there? What purpose do they server in a school setting? Stuff like that. Then activists began tweeting links to articles that study how a police presence in schools serve as a hindrance rather than a helpful tool. Previously I’m not sure that people were aware that this was a problem that disproportionately effect schools in low income communities with high populations of students of color. This Voxer article lists clearly the reasons why police in schools is a bad idea and also includes informational graphs to back those reasons.

Not only did the video go viral and spark a much needed conversation in America officer Ben Fields was fired. I highly doubt that if nobody recorded and it ended up being the officers word vs a students word he would have gotten away with it.

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