Americans are evenly divided on whether the widespread use of smartphone cameras will improve police behavior and think it has done little to change police conduct so far, according to a Reuters/Ipsos poll released on Tuesday.
Against the backdrop of such footage as that of a white South Carolina police officer fatally shooting a black man in the back earlier this month, 42 percent of Americans said police behavior would improve and an equal number said it would not, the poll found.
Among respondents, 56 percent said police were not behaving better so far because they could be caught on video, the poll said.
A series of incidents in the United States in which white police officers killed unarmed black men prompted protests in many cities and sparked debate over police conduct toward blacks and other minorities.
Some incidents were captured on video. One showed Walter Scott being shot in the back while running from police in North Charleston, South Carolina, after a traffic stop. Another showed Eric Garner, who died after New York City police put him in a chokehold while trying to arrest him.
The online poll of 2,446 U.S. adults showed Americans remained ambivalent on the impact of cameras on their own behavior.
Fifty-nine percent agreed with the statement: “I like how camera phones make people more accountable for their actions.”
At the same time, 47 percent agreed it was an invasion of privacy for people to be constantly filming with their phones.
The poll showed most respondents did not think people were generally behaving better because of omnipresent cameras, and most said they were not behaving better either.
Neither are politicians behaving better, or likely to do so in the future, because of cellphone cameras, according to poll respondents.
The poll was conducted April 10 through April 17. The credibility interval, used to measure its precision, was plus or minus 2.3 percentage points.
(Editing by Scott Malone, Will Dunham and Peter Cooney)
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Iran probes seized UK-flagged tanker — Britain to hold emergency meeting
ran warned Sunday that the fate of a UK-flagged tanker it seized in the Gulf depends on an investigation, as Britain prepared for an emergency security meeting on Tehran's action.
Iranian authorities impounded the Stena Impero with 23 crew members aboard off the port of Bandar Abbas after the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps seized it Friday in the highly sensitive Strait of Hormuz.
Video footage released by Iran showed the Stena Impero tanker being surrounded by speedboats before troops in balaclavas descend a rope from a helicopter onto the vessel.
In an audio recording of a radio exchange, an Iranian officer can be heard ordering the tanker to change course "immediately".
For Cubans — a day at the beach is no easy task
Cuba's constitution guarantees its people access to its beaches, but many locals are unable to enjoy the island's pristine white sands and crystal clear blue waters.
While foreign tourists flock to such paradisiacal Havana sites as Varadero, which was this year named the second most-beautiful beach in the world by American travel website TripAdvisor, Cubans are typically found elsewhere.
"Not many tourists come here," said 43-year-old Rey Gonzalez, who was enjoying a day at Guanabo, a beach east of the capital.
Guanabo's sand isn't as white and the water not quite as clear as Varadero's, but that mattered little to Gonzalez, who was there with his family.