James Dempsey was an 89-year-old veteran staying in a nursing home outside Atlanta when, in 2014, his son installed a video camera to keep an eye on him. When Dempsey died that year, the video uncovered disturbing footage
of his final moments in the home. Dempsey can be seen calling repeatedly for help on the video, saying he can’t breathe as nurses appear to shrug off his complaints and even, at one point, can be seen laughing.
The video triggered widespread outrage and led to charges against three nurses at the facility, who have denied any wrongdoing
Now, the video itself—and whether a jury will ever see it—has become a source of contention. Defense attorneys have argued that the camera was illegally placed in the facility, in a public dispute over security, privacy, and a family’s right to monitor its relatives.
The video has led to a ruling by the state Supreme Court, proposed legislation, and fierce debate, as other states consider their own bills on the issue, and the same questions echo across the country: Who should be allowed to place cameras in homes and other long-term care facilities? Who can they record? Hidden or in plain view? And what can be done with the footage? …