To begin with, the prosecutors in both cases have tried to present the videos as pieces of evidence, while the defense has tried to present the videos as an assault on privacy. In this case, an important question to be asked is whether or not looking is an acceptable social practice. The portrayal of truth in this case is the basic premise upon which both cases have been built. For the wrongdoer, it might be a much needed act but for the onlooker, it might be an unnecessary one. Therefore, in case of looking, truth has two dimensions. These dimensions had been played upon by the prosecution and defense respectively, where the defense tried to make the police look like the victims. (Goodwin, 1992) If Marita Sturken and Lisa Cartwright's book titled Practices of Looking, is to be believed, then the concept of looking has great ideological implications. These ideological implications are a part and parcel of the basic mental makeup of any society and finally, the law that governs it. This concept as described by Cartwright et al, works at a dichotomous level as far as the parties go - i.e., the spectators and the participants. Therefore, this is an important concept to follow as far as the definition of looking is concerned in the world of emerging visual culture. This visual culture is a by product of the theories revolving around the emerging field of communication techniques. These theories come in the form of how one chooses to express himself or herself apart from those theories that demonstrate what a person wants to learn and how he or she wants to enjoy. (Cartwright et al, 2001) The Rodney King beating video and the Simi Valley LAPD video have also shown the power of expression which is a close by product of the practice of looking. In this regard, the book titled Look, A Negro, by Robert Gooding - Williams, the author relies mostly on the demonstration of how race and ethnicity continue to be a source of amazement to some people. (Williams - Gooding, 2005) According to his theory, it is important to be able to draw a line so as to make people comfortable. This has a wider context in today's global village where boundaries are shrinking and people of various ethnicities settle in lands far from their homes. If Williams Gooding is to be believed, then the concept of looking has both positive as well as negative dimensions in context of who is being looked at. According to Judith Butler in her book titled Endangered/Endangering: Schematic Racism and White Paranoia, the act of looking at a person for the color of his skin, or the clothes she is donning shows that there is a certain amount of ignorance which is demonstrated by their expressions and how they discuss or regard such situations. According to her, this calls for more progression in society and a form of 'controlled looking' wherein, looking is practiced for the sake of catching and punishing wrongdoers or for a strict social causeThese means of expression define the society at large and steer the way for social practices. According to Butler, looking is a practice that requires a state of complete focus and concentration, especially when in public. (Butler, 2004)
1. Cartwright, Lisa; Sturken, Marita. "Practices of Looking - An Introduction to Visual Culture." (Jan, 2001) Oxford University Press.
2. Butler, Judith.