Should police be required to wear body cameras?

Updated on August 21, 2018 in Laws and Regulations
14 on February 11, 2015

I personally am excited to see how body cameras are going to affect the quality of law enforcement in this country.

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1 on February 11, 2015

I’d rather have third-party verification that they aren’t tampering with their speed radars.

on February 12, 2015

That’s actually a really good one. Never thought about that. Thanks.

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4 on February 11, 2015

I honestly think it would help and benefit law enforcement officers because the street pukes and thugs wouldn’t be able to make outrageous claims and lies. I also think that when a vicious criminal is caught, and awaiting trial, that the media should print the actual pictures of how they looked when captured, instead of the old, saintly, well dressed, altar boy shots they usually dupe the public with.

on February 12, 2015

In a world of “innocent until proven guilty” you only become a criminal after the verdict, not when you are arrested.

on February 12, 2015

It protects both the individual arrested, and the cop. The cop isn’t going to just needlessly bash the guy’s skull in knowing he’s on camera. And at the same time both the individual and law enforcement hating bystanders can’t make up trumpeted charges that the cop did something he didn’t.

on February 12, 2015

I’m generally supportive of body cameras for cops for the reasons cited by lanzacash above. That being said, there are civil liberties implications associated with what could theoretically be, or become, generalized surveillance using body cameras. We have seen backlash to traffic cameras, swipe mechanisms at gas stations, etc. Tere are sensible rules that could be put in place to minimize this concern (e.g., the camera only goes on when the cop is interacting with someone, and cannot be rolling as he’s sitting in his car checking his emails, or buying a coffee). Nonetheless, I suspect there will be some who will eventually come to argue that this is just another method of guaranteeing surveillance of communities that believe themselves to be en masse viewed as “suspicious” purely because of their race, or socio-economic status, by the police.

IMO, the benefits, including from a civil liberties perspective, greatly outweigh the disadvantages. However, it is worth noting that there will be criticisms of what is proposed as a mechanism for protecting civil liberties and ensuring justice is better-served that are also civil liberties-based. And presumably, opponents of the proposal to mandate body cameras (I assume these will include police unions) will exploit those arguments in their advocacy opposing them.

on March 1, 2015

Cops dont care if theyre on camera, they’ll bash heads in regardless. Only with the cameras, the bashees will have the proof they need to sue.

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0 on February 12, 2015

Yes, but we should be totally clear that this won’t be a slam dunk. Dash cams have been effective, but they’re not enough. Police officers should be required to wear body cameras and there should be rules in place so ensure that they actually record interactions and aren’t turned on and off at will. We shouldn’t expect that they’ll be perfect. And we should aware that we’ll need rules about how that footage will be used. If you’re a citizen who appears in camera footage, do you have a right to privacy? What if you’re a bystander? Do people’s faces have to be blurred out if released to the press? Living in the Security State is a bitch.

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1 on February 12, 2015

Yes, so that drunken shirtless rednecks can be seen on TV every night.

on February 12, 2015

LOL

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0 on February 17, 2015

Yes.  And failure to use one at any given time should create a presumption that the cop was trying to cover up his bad behavior.  That presumption could be rebutted by a showing that the camera had malfunctioned on its own, or by some other exigent circumstances that might warrant not having it, but barring such circumstances, the jury should presume the cop had something to hide.

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0 on February 19, 2015

Yes. Accountability….and it should be kept on at all times.

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0 on February 20, 2015

Yes. And monitoring done by a third party. No erasing videos!

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