A History of Police Brutality and Accountability Initiatives in Rochester from the Portable Channel Archive at Visual Studies Workshop

Recently digitized video from the 1970’s documenting community-led police accountability initiatives, incidents of police brutality and fraught attempts at racial sensitivity training for police recruits has been released by one of Rochester’s oldest media archives, Visual Studies Workshop (VSW). These videos were produced by Rochester-based media activists Portable Channel between 1971-75 and have been digitized by the Standby Program through a Recordings at Risk grant from the Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR).

The grant program is made possible by funding from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. The videos are now part of the VSW Archives. The videos were shot on 1/2 open reel video tape, the first video tape available to consumers in the early 1970’s.