Stories
Slash Boxes
Comments

SoylentNews is people

posted by LaminatorX on Sunday January 11 2015, @10:18AM   Printer-friendly [Skip to comment(s)]
from the watch-this dept.

Lily Hay Newman reports that the LAPD has ordered 3,000 Tasers that, when discharged, will automatically activate cameras on officers' uniforms, which will create visual records of incidents at a time of mounting concern about excessive force by U.S. law enforcement officers. The new digital Taser X26P weapons record the date, time and duration of firing, and whether Taser wires actually strike suspects and how long the thousands of volts of electricity pulse through them. “This technology gives a much better picture of what happens in the field,” says Steve Tuttle. The idea of using a Taser discharge as a criterion for activating body cams is promising, especially as more and more police departments adopt body cams and struggle to establish guidelines for when they should be on or off. Police leadership—i.e., chiefs and upper management—is far more supportive of the technology and tends to view body-worn cameras as a tool for increasing accountability and reducing civil liability. On the other hand, the patrol officer culture is concerned that the technology will be an unfair intrusion into their routine activities—for instance, it might invite over-managing minor policy violations. "In addition to these new Taser deployments, we plan to issue a body-worn camera and a Taser device to every officer," says Police Chief Charlie Beck. "It is our goal to make these important tools available to every front line officer over the next few years."

This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.
Display Options Threshold/Breakthrough Mark All as Read Mark All as Unread
The Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not responsible for them in any way.
  • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 11 2015, @11:11AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 11 2015, @11:11AM (#133657)

    How about cameras that activate at the funeral of the suspect...

  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by bradley13 on Sunday January 11 2015, @12:01PM

    by bradley13 (3053) Subscriber Badge on Sunday January 11 2015, @12:01PM (#133661) Homepage Journal

    Seems a bit late - by the time someone is being tasered, things are already out of control. The cameras ought to run all the time, period.

    Of course, the other piece missing with US police forces is a willingness to actually hold cops accountable. Currently, it doesn't seem to matter what they do - throw flashbang grenades in cribs, shoot people holding a hose nozzle, shoot the family dog when the cop is trespassing - they are never actually held responsible for their actions. In this context, the cameras aren't going to make much of a difference...

    --
    Everyone is somebody else's weirdo.
    • (Score: 4, Insightful) by zocalo on Sunday January 11 2015, @12:55PM

      by zocalo (302) on Sunday January 11 2015, @12:55PM (#133672)

      The cameras ought to run all the time, period.

      That's either going to require a lot of batteries or lead to incidents where the officer "forgot" to recharge their battery during the day. A better solution would be to activate the camera when any weapon is drawn and automatically stop recording some amount of time after it is holstered again in case the proverbial boot should get put in. The ability to manually activate and deactivate the camera on demand would be good too, provided that any manual decisions are over-ridden by the above. Still not as good as somehow having the camera active during the entirety of any encounters, but still much better than what most forces have in place at present and infinitely better than nothing.

      --
      UNIX? They're not even circumcised! Savages!
      • (Score: 4, Insightful) by JNCF on Sunday January 11 2015, @05:09PM

        by JNCF (4317) on Sunday January 11 2015, @05:09PM (#133729) Journal

        That's either going to require a lot of batteries or lead to incidents where the officer "forgot" to recharge their battery during the day.

        If the camera goes off the cop gets fired, period. Only way to do it, since we can't trust them not to murder us otherwise. It would lead to some cops getting fired by no fault of their own, but our current policies are leading to innocent people getting murdered by cops for by no fault of their own. I know whose side I'm on.

        • (Score: 2) by TheRaven on Sunday January 11 2015, @05:52PM

          by TheRaven (270) on Sunday January 11 2015, @05:52PM (#133741) Journal
          They don't have to be fired but you do need to enforce a rule that if there is any dispute over what happened, the police officer's version is automatically assumed not to be the truth if they turned off their camera or 'forgot' to charge it.
          --
          sudo mod me up
          • (Score: 2) by davester666 on Sunday January 11 2015, @07:03PM

            by davester666 (155) on Sunday January 11 2015, @07:03PM (#133764)

            that's not a penalty for the cop but a penalty for society [if we assume the cop was going to tell the truth], because the person likely won't get convicted then.

            The cop needs a real penalty that personally affects him, like suspension without pay, then demotion, then firing.

            • (Score: 2) by frojack on Sunday January 11 2015, @08:00PM

              by frojack (1554) Subscriber Badge on Sunday January 11 2015, @08:00PM (#133779) Journal

              Agreed, you can't automatically assign a lie to an officer just because something (that didn't exist 3 years ago) dies not work.

              We are running the risk of REQUIRING the surveillance society to protect against a few bad cops. If that is the offer on the table, I'll trust the jury to control the bad cops every time.

              Failure to morandize was totally eliminated in the US simply tossing out any interrogation evidence when officers failed to so so. Camera evidence can be treated similarly.

              There are a LOT of people here who rabble rouse here contrary to their own, (and everyone else's) best interests. I do NOT agree to be under constant surveillance just so some people can act like thugs with impunity. Remember that cameras are as much to induce citizens to behave as they are to make cops behave.

              Keep insisting every citizen interaction with police has to be recorded and you are lobbying for the total surveillance state.

              --
              No, you are mistaken. I've always had this sig.
              • (Score: 2) by tathra on Monday January 12 2015, @12:17AM

                by tathra (3367) on Monday January 12 2015, @12:17AM (#133838)

                Keep insisting every citizen interaction with police has to be recorded and you are lobbying for the total surveillance state.

                how does that work? "all cops should wear cameras all the time" is not the same as "cameras should be everywhere all the time". they're not even in the same ballpark. the only time i ever see cops is when they drive past; i don't think i've ever seen a cop walking a beat during my entire life, so police presence isn't really a thing, so i really don't see how you can say the two quoted statements could be the same. if cops actually did walk beats, then sure, cops would act as mobile surveillance cameras, but right now the only time cops leave their vehicles is to harass/murder innocent people and write their quotas of speeding tickets.

            • (Score: 2) by sjames on Monday January 12 2015, @07:19AM

              by sjames (2882) on Monday January 12 2015, @07:19AM (#133919) Journal

              If we could trust the cops to tell the truth, the cameras wouldn't be necessary at all.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 11 2015, @05:53PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 11 2015, @05:53PM (#133742)

          As long as they stick to murdering colored people, its all fine and dandy. Once a white guy - or better yet, white girl - gets murdered, then the people will start being outraged.

          • (Score: 2) by fadrian on Sunday January 11 2015, @06:20PM

            by fadrian (3194) on Sunday January 11 2015, @06:20PM (#133751) Homepage

            Has to be a white person of the right socioeconomic class, living in a "safe" area, not hanging out in a "dangerous" area when shot. And then it would have to happen over and over for a few years. Then, maybe, people would take notice.

            --
            That is all.
          • (Score: 2) by JNCF on Monday January 12 2015, @08:59PM

            by JNCF (4317) on Monday January 12 2015, @08:59PM (#134158) Journal

            No, white people definitely get assaulted/murdered by cops. It's just way less common.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 11 2015, @10:19PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 11 2015, @10:19PM (#133813)

        That's either going to require a lot of batteries or lead to incidents where the officer "forgot" to recharge their battery during the day.

        1 lb. of batteries on your belt. Done. When going off-duty, the batteries go into the charger. Simple?

        To record for 4h, you need about 3V with 2Ah capacity. So, to record 16h, you need less than 10Ah capacity. Sorry. That is not a big deal. If they can carry a gun and/or tazer, they can carry 1lb of batteries.

        PS. Since more than 1 officer is generally on the scene, there would be no excuse for "battery gone bad" for multiple units.

  • (Score: 2) by theluggage on Sunday January 11 2015, @12:07PM

    by theluggage (1797) on Sunday January 11 2015, @12:07PM (#133662)

    police departments adopt body cams and struggle to establish guidelines for when they should be on or off

    Well, in the case of any officer who has ever uttered the words "an innocent person has nothing to fear from the police", the camera should clearly be surgically implanted in the forehead and streaming to a public website 24/7.

    More reasonably, unless the camera goes on with the badge and comes off with the badge, what's the point?

    it might invite over-managing minor policy violations.

    <sarcasm>Bu.. bu... but... we all implicitly trust the authorities only to use routine surveillance to catch serious criminals and terrorists, right?</sarcasm>

    Seriously, its not even rocket science to contrive a camera that saves encrypted video which can only be viewed with a warrant.

    • (Score: 2, Insightful) by Anal Pumpernickel on Sunday January 11 2015, @02:35PM

      by Anal Pumpernickel (776) on Sunday January 11 2015, @02:35PM (#133690)

      And policy violations by law enforcement are a serious issue, 'minor' or not. We should hold them to a far higher standard, as they have legal authority over others and can initiate (potentially lethal) force against people. They certainly hold regular people to a high standard when they notice they break even 'minor' laws, and those with legal authority over others should be held to a much higher standard than some random person who has basically even less chance of knowing about some random minor law.

      • (Score: 2) by theluggage on Sunday January 11 2015, @05:38PM

        by theluggage (1797) on Sunday January 11 2015, @05:38PM (#133736)

        And policy violations by law enforcement are a serious issue, 'minor' or not.

        Cops have pointy-haired bosses too, remember. I think the sort of "minor policy violations" they are worrying about are helping an old person cross the road (if there's an accident while you are helping them they could sue), spending 6 minutes on a 5 minute bathroom break, criticising the management in a private conversation with your partner or not ticketing a driver who's left rear indicator lamp was not quite the right shade of amber, and other indications of unacceptable humanity. I think its only fair to restrict access to bodycam recordings to serious complaints. (Of course, the same principle should apply to "big brother" police surveillance of the public).

    • (Score: 4, Interesting) by opinionated_science on Sunday January 11 2015, @02:57PM

      by opinionated_science (4031) on Sunday January 11 2015, @02:57PM (#133697)

      This seems reasonable. I don't buy the "batteries might not last". That's simply not true. LEO's are not hiking the wilderness...

      The public key encryption is a good idea, If the video is signed by the chief it could play part of chain of evidence. The private keys can be held by the DA who can be legally held to account for misuse.

      The point is the vast number of police who are honest have nothing to fear from this. We want them to understand this is going to rebuild trust, because they will know that the badge is actually a responsibility not just a paycheck.

      As an aside, when bad things happen, these "evidence quality" cameras might be of exceptional forensic use.

      My $0.02...

      • (Score: 2) by Joe Desertrat on Sunday January 11 2015, @06:45PM

        by Joe Desertrat (2454) on Sunday January 11 2015, @06:45PM (#133759)

        The point is the vast number of police who are honest have nothing to fear from this.

        Seeing as the authorities have been telling us for years that if we [the public] aren't doing anything wrong we have nothing to worry about, I doubt the cops are going to fall for that one.

        • (Score: 2) by frojack on Sunday January 11 2015, @08:17PM

          by frojack (1554) Subscriber Badge on Sunday January 11 2015, @08:17PM (#133785) Journal

          The difference is, they (police) don't have a choice. Conditions of employment.

          Besides, cameras reveal an discourage bad citizen behavior FAR more often than they reveal or discourage bad police behavior. And they provide evidence of crimes against officers (assault, resisting arrest) far more often than they reveal crimes by officers.

          Most departments have seen the light, and are adopting them voluntarily, even though some officers object.

          --
          No, you are mistaken. I've always had this sig.
          • (Score: 1) by Anal Pumpernickel on Monday January 12 2015, @04:40AM

            by Anal Pumpernickel (776) on Monday January 12 2015, @04:40AM (#133886)

            Crimes are not always wrong, and what counts as an abuse depends on the situation. I'd say enforcing unjust, unconstitutional laws or police enforcing some unconstitutional policy (drug laws, insane asset forfeiture, DUI checkpoints, shoving people off into free speech zones, stop-and-frisk, harassing someone over a bomb joke, etc.) is an example of the government abusing people. Someone "resisting arrest" tells me little about the situation because apparently Eric Garner was "resisting arrest," despite doing almost nothing. The cops just escalate situations, people end up hurt or dead, and then the victims are blamed for not doing exactly what the cops said, as if the cops have the power to dish out any punishment if you even slightly oppose them.

            • (Score: 2) by frojack on Monday January 12 2015, @05:11AM

              by frojack (1554) Subscriber Badge on Monday January 12 2015, @05:11AM (#133899) Journal

              Eric Garner was "resisting arrest," despite doing almost nothing.

              Another idiot that didn't watch the whole video, instead of just the riot inciting portion.
              He did in fact resist arrest, vigorously.

              --
              No, you are mistaken. I've always had this sig.
              • (Score: 1) by Anal Pumpernickel on Monday January 12 2015, @06:33AM

                by Anal Pumpernickel (776) on Monday January 12 2015, @06:33AM (#133914)

                No, he barely did anything. I watched the video. If you call waving your hands around and telling cops to back off "resisting arrest," then you're part of the problem. And, again, even if that counts as "resisting arrest," cops have no legitimate authority to use such excessive force in such a minor case.

                I hope you're not just a big government bootlicker.

                • (Score: 2) by frojack on Monday January 12 2015, @07:24AM

                  by frojack (1554) Subscriber Badge on Monday January 12 2015, @07:24AM (#133921) Journal

                  He refused to get in the car,
                  He refused to submit to handcuffs

                  When you are placed under arrest, "you sir them out" Yes sir, No sir.
                  Then you get your revenge in court. That is your compact with society.
                  Don't agree with that bargain? Fine. You spend your life in jail.

                  When all is said and done, and you've disavowed all the laws we live under, it all comes down to brute force.
                  Civilization is enforced by brute force. The majority will prevail, and you will be in jail or a grave.

                  If you can change the mind of the majority you might get them to see your point of view, but you won't do that from jail.

                  You do not start fighting with the police.
                  That will never end well for you.

                  If you understand nothing else in your life, learn that: Fighting with the police will never end well for you. You will never improve your lot in life, or any one else's. You will never win that way.

                  Get a job, get elected, make the laws.
                  You will never win any other way.

                  Oh, and Grow UP.

                  --
                  No, you are mistaken. I've always had this sig.
                  • (Score: 1) by Anal Pumpernickel on Monday January 12 2015, @07:48AM

                    by Anal Pumpernickel (776) on Monday January 12 2015, @07:48AM (#133924)

                    He refused to get in the car,
                    He refused to submit to handcuffs

                    Yes, and? What's your point? At no point did I see anything which justified such an excessive show of force.

                    Don't agree with that bargain? Fine. You spend your life in jail.

                    I don't recall "resisting arrest" as being big enough of a deal to have to spend your entire life in jail. Even our awful, corrupt system isn't that bad.

                    If you understand nothing else in your life, learn that: Fighting with the police will never end well for you.

                    As many people have learned when dealing with thugs: Comply or die. So you are correct. But it's not like this specific individual was actually "fighting" in any real sense of the word.

                    You will never win any other way.

                    Wait, you need to be elected to "win"? History seems to show that you don't need to be elected, but you do usually need some parasitic politicians on your side, at least. Plenty of people who achieved great things were never elected.

                    Oh, and Grow UP.

                    I won't tell you to grow up, but I will tell you to stop being a bootlicking authoritarian who mindlessly appeals to law and then rants about how you should change the majority's mind as if you're being the least bit insightful. In case it isn't obvious, basically everyone realizes the minority is in trouble unless they have the support of the ignorant, apathetic majority. Good luck getting it.

                    Oh, your entire family was unjustly murdered by police, and they got off scott-free? Well, obviously you should get a job, get elected, and then maybe you'll win. In case you didn't realize, it's probably a good thing to get the majority on your side. Oh, and grow up and stop whining about government abuses; who the hell does that in a country that's supposed to be "the land of the free and the home of the brave"? Obviously, no one should, because we don't take too kindly to people who don't mindlessly defend the government here.

  • (Score: 2) by mtrycz on Sunday January 11 2015, @12:12PM

    by mtrycz (60) on Sunday January 11 2015, @12:12PM (#133664)

    This Just in: law enforcement serve (and protect) the state, not the people. This (and everything similar) is all just a palliative distraction.

    You can call me bitter, but please prove me wrong.

    --
    In capitalist America, ads view YOU!
    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 11 2015, @02:50PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 11 2015, @02:50PM (#133694)

      People like being tyrannised. History bears this out time and time again.

      Even so called countercultural movements eventually slide into it.

      Exhibit A: system D. Not trolling. How did a body of futurists, rebels and outcasts willingly turn into the next evil empire? One can point out all the political and corporate filthiness it contains, yet most people would rather metaphorically, board the train quietly and ride off to the red hat gulag.

    • (Score: 2) by hoochiecoochieman on Sunday January 11 2015, @05:58PM

      by hoochiecoochieman (4158) on Sunday January 11 2015, @05:58PM (#133745)

      In a republic, the state is the people.

      • (Score: 3, Insightful) by mtrycz on Sunday January 11 2015, @07:22PM

        by mtrycz (60) on Sunday January 11 2015, @07:22PM (#133773)

        Yeah, right. That's your state propaganda right there. Let them think that they're part of it.

        If you think of it, it's the greatest coverup: don't formally oppress people, let them *participate* in the state's life. Genius.

        --
        In capitalist America, ads view YOU!
        • (Score: 2) by hoochiecoochieman on Sunday January 11 2015, @07:27PM

          by hoochiecoochieman (4158) on Sunday January 11 2015, @07:27PM (#133775)

          If you live in a democracy, you can participate in how the state is administered. It doesn't work very well, but it's better than the alternatives.

        • (Score: 2) by frojack on Sunday January 11 2015, @08:27PM

          by frojack (1554) Subscriber Badge on Sunday January 11 2015, @08:27PM (#133789) Journal

          You've more or less stated you do not accept any law enforcement at any time ever.

          So noted. But don't expect the rest of us to buy into your anarchy rule mentality.

          --
          No, you are mistaken. I've always had this sig.
        • (Score: 2) by Thexalon on Sunday January 11 2015, @08:35PM

          by Thexalon (636) on Sunday January 11 2015, @08:35PM (#133790)

          Let them think that they're part of it.

          Have you ever been called to serve on a jury of your peers? Have you ever run for elected office, even at a local level? Have you voted? Have you ever spoken publicly on a political matter? Heck, do you even know who's on your local school board or city council? Have you ever petitioned your elected officials for a policy change?

          Or, since these mechanisms aren't good enough for you, what means do you propose for ensuring that: (A) government does not oppress its people either formally or informally, and (B) individuals within the territory that the government controls are not able to form smaller-but-powerful-enough tyrannies of their own?

          Libertarian types are generally well aware of the risks of (A), which are definitely present and should be guarded against, and I've just listed several tools available to you right now to guard against that. They also tend to be remarkably blind to the risks of (B): if the government doesn't have armed police forces sufficient to defeat a significantly-sized organization militarily, then any organization that gets significantly-sized can commit crimes without fear of repercussions. This isn't a theoretical problem either: When, in 1865, the US government had insufficient forces available to enforce its laws on the newly reconquered areas of the Southeast, a terrorist organization with none of the protections available to US citizens formed and through force of arms took control of that area of the country, committing assaults, burglaries, arsons, and murders with impunity, and remained in power for decades.

          Yes, government kills people, sometimes unjustly. Yes, government can be expensive. Yes, government is frequently corrupt. I'll take those problems over answering to a self-styled Grand Wizard.

          --
          The inverse of "I told you so" is "Nobody could have predicted"
          • (Score: 2) by frojack on Sunday January 11 2015, @08:44PM

            by frojack (1554) Subscriber Badge on Sunday January 11 2015, @08:44PM (#133795) Journal

            Well said.

            Too often the ranters have never even once take any infinitive to get involved or make a positive change, they just spew hate.

            --
            No, you are mistaken. I've always had this sig.
            • (Score: 2) by Thexalon on Sunday January 11 2015, @09:15PM

              by Thexalon (636) on Sunday January 11 2015, @09:15PM (#133801)

              take any infinitive

              And why would they want to try that when they can just complain?

              --
              The inverse of "I told you so" is "Nobody could have predicted"
          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 12 2015, @12:21AM

            by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 12 2015, @12:21AM (#133841)

            They also tend to be remarkably blind to the risks of (B)

            They're not blind to it, they're counting on it, because their plan is to be part of the non-governmental body ruling the local area tyrannically.

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 12 2015, @08:56AM

            by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 12 2015, @08:56AM (#133932)

            Have you ever been called to serve on a jury of your peers? Have you ever run for elected office, even at a local level? Have you voted? Have you ever spoken publicly on a political matter? Heck, do you even know who's on your local school board or city council? Have you ever petitioned your elected officials for a policy change?

            Yes to most of those. The issue is that the US has an awful two party system that encourages gullible fools to vote for the 'lesser of two evils,' ensuring that only popular issues get paid attention to (gay marriage, abortion, immigration, the economy) while other very important issues get ignored by the ignorant majority (the NSA's mass surveillance, the TSA, and other unconstitutional activities). The popular issues may be important in their own right, but they're not all that is important; far from it.

            We could do a lot better by having a better voting system, among other things. There are plenty to choose from that are far better than what the US has.

  • (Score: 2) by SuperCharlie on Sunday January 11 2015, @05:44PM

    by SuperCharlie (2939) on Sunday January 11 2015, @05:44PM (#133738)

    Its time to demand always on recording of any interactions with police. The technology and the price points for equipment and data storage are at a place where this should be doable and I would think any ballot initiatives to fund this would be overwhelmingly approved.

  • (Score: 4, Informative) by tathra on Sunday January 11 2015, @05:56PM

    by tathra (3367) on Sunday January 11 2015, @05:56PM (#133744)

    this is pretty pointless. whether or not a taser was used isn't nearly as important as the circumstances leading up to the taser's use. activating only when the taser's used will just get them a bunch of pointless torture porn, and no evidence as to whether or not its use was actually justified.

    • (Score: 3, Insightful) by frojack on Sunday January 11 2015, @08:35PM

      by frojack (1554) Subscriber Badge on Sunday January 11 2015, @08:35PM (#133791) Journal

      That's the gist of it.

      Even if you make the camera come on when the taser is drawn, it only yields a few more seconds of video, and probably won't reveal what lead to the confrontation.

      If anything, this announcement reveals an intent to use tasers more often.

      --
      No, you are mistaken. I've always had this sig.
  • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Ellis D. Tripp on Sunday January 11 2015, @09:11PM

    by Ellis D. Tripp (3416) on Sunday January 11 2015, @09:11PM (#133800)

    the holster securing ANY of their weapons (Taser, firearm, mace, or baton).

    --
    "Society is like stew. If you don't keep it stirred up, you end up with a lot of scum on the top!"--Edward Abbey
  • (Score: 1) by GeddyT on Monday January 19 2015, @10:17AM

    by GeddyT (1119) on Monday January 19 2015, @10:17AM (#135995)

    Why not just have the cops be recorded at all times on a loop of, say, an hour? Even a GoPro with a cheap commercial micro SD card can easily store that in HD, and a battery no bigger/heavier than that taser would power such a camera all day. The second any of their weapons are drawn, the system stops overwriting old data until the card is full, at which time it's offloaded to remote storage for archiving. This way you record the actually useful part of the altercation that happens before somebody gets their nads tased, and there are fewer storage limit concerns. None of this is crazy difficult technology, and the whole package, battery included, could be quite small and lightweight.

    It might also weed out the "tough guy" high school jock/sadist cops if they had to walk around all day looking like a dork with a camera attached to their head...