Third Eye Watch Puts The Power Of Police Surveillance In The Hands Of Citizens
With his involvement in Third Eye Watch, a covert video recording company, Lord Jamar of hip hop group Brand Nubian, said there are finally affordable “products that can protect” Black lives.
With the rise of racial profiling, the shooting of unarmed citizens, and other forms of injustice, Third Eye Watch was founded by Kenyatta Johnson and Derick Ford. The 100 percent Black-owned company is providing personal surveillance products, which can all be purchased for under $100.
Johnson, who has been developing technology for the Virginia-based company for the last year, launched his camera watches, dash cameras, Bluetooth device, as well as camera glasses last month. And even though the business is still in its initial stages, the company caught the attention of Jamar, who said the products are a way to “peacefully combat law enforcement.”
“When the police officer that killed Eric Garner was filmed, it resulted in mass awareness, which in turn, has helped mobilize mass protest. And the products that Third Eye Watch has developed can at the very least make police think twice about killing Black lives,” Jamar said. “When you have recording devices in a pair of glasses, or your watch is a camera, it is a form of protection.”
Johnson agreed and said Third Eye Watch, was developed specifically to “serve and protect minorities and U.S. citizens.”
“Third Eye Watch products can combat racial profiling while making law enforcement more accountable,” Johnson said. “The bigger push for us to launch the business really came from the fallout from the deaths of Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown, and Eric Garner. Video has a unique power in the sense that it has prompted more of a reaction from protesters and citizens from around the world and because it can give physical evidence to show there was a problem and to create dialogue to solve that problem.”
As awareness about the new venture continues to grow, Johnson said the company has also provided protesters in Ferguson, MO, with free camera glasses. The goal, Johnson said, is to not only build a solid company, but to also “help people at the same time.”
“We want people to be able to have affordable wearable technology that can monitor police interaction so the video can be used as evidence and solve crimes. While this is a level of technology that can be notoriously expensive, we use manufacturers overseas so public citizens and minorities can have access to technology that can prevent tragedy in the future,” Johnson said.
And as the debate continues on whether or not to require police to be equipped with wearable cameras, Jamar, who currently resides in Staten Island, said regular citizens should also have a device to “level the playing field.”
“I don’t believe that police having body cams will help the situation. They can always turn them off, edit the tape, and the fact is I don’t trust them. So to be able to put devices in our own people’s hands is what we need to protect the multitudes of Black males that are killed by police on a weekly basis,” Jamar said. “These cameras are exactly what our community needs.”
Jamar, who has become known for his politically charged rap lyrics, said he will continue to advocate for Third Eye Watch, as well as “contribute ideas.”
“I have a son who is 22, and a daughter that is 15 and I’m 46. The bottom line is that we are all in the prime demographic where we could lose our lives to law enforcement. Black men make police nervous and it’s their fear of us that brings out the violence. And until they stop fearing the communities they work in, we need these types of products to survive and make change,” he said. “So for this holiday season, I encourage everyone to boycott the big chain stores and stop buying $100 sneakers, and X-Boxes and buy from this Black-owned business. It’s a small investment that enhances the safety of our families.”