Stories
Slash Boxes
Comments

SoylentNews is people

posted by n1 on Thursday August 28 2014, @11:55AM   Printer-friendly
from the it-wasn't-me dept.

David Kravets writes that US Senator Claire McCaskill (D-MO) says police departments nationwide should require their officers to wear body cameras in order to qualify for the hundreds of millions of dollars in federal funding they receive each year. "Everywhere I go, people now have cameras," said McCaskill during a question-and-answer session with voters in her home state of Missouri. "And police officers are now at a disadvantage because someone can tape the last part of an encounter and not tape the first part of the encounter. And it gives the impression that the police officer has overreacted when they haven't."

Only a small number of US police departments have outfitted their officers with body cameras, including forces in Fresno, California; Oakland; Rialto, California; Pittsburgh; Salt Lake City; and Cincinnati. A recent study with the Rialto Police Department showed that use-of-force incidents and citizen complaints have been dramatically curtailed since the department began wearing body cams [PDF].

 
This discussion has been archived.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: 5, Insightful) by Phoenix666 on Thursday August 28 2014, @12:45PM

    by Phoenix666 (552) on Thursday August 28 2014, @12:45PM (#86702) Journal

    What does it matter what recordings are made, what witness statements are collected, or how much evidence is amassed against police who commit crimes when they are not even indicted, much less punished? The only use such cameras could have is if they were instantly streamed and publicly viewable by anyone. Then at least citizens could bear witness and hold the entire power structure that surrounds police accountable.

    --
    Washington DC delenda est.
    Starting Score:    1  point
    Moderation   +4  
       Insightful=3, Interesting=1, Total=4
    Extra 'Insightful' Modifier   0  
    Karma-Bonus Modifier   +1  

    Total Score:   5  
  • (Score: 1) by WillAdams on Thursday August 28 2014, @01:33PM

    by WillAdams (1424) on Thursday August 28 2014, @01:33PM (#86718)

    That's why I prefer to live somewhere that the Sheriff is an elected official.

    • (Score: 2) by strattitarius on Thursday August 28 2014, @02:34PM

      by strattitarius (3191) on Thursday August 28 2014, @02:34PM (#86738) Journal
      Sheriff is an elected position in the US. Unfortunately, the sheriff isn't actually in charge of much.
      --
      Slashdot Beta Sucks. Soylent Alpha Rules. News at 11.
    • (Score: 4, Interesting) by Thexalon on Thursday August 28 2014, @02:39PM

      by Thexalon (636) on Thursday August 28 2014, @02:39PM (#86741)

      I don't: Elected sheriffs, judges, and prosecutors often are most afraid of appearing to be "soft on crime", so they will trump up charges against people who are unable to defend themselves in a court of law to increase the numbers of people they've put away. The targets of that kind of policing end up with criminal convictions that prevent them from voting.

      What you actually want is a mayor and council who understand that just because the police want something doesn't mean it's good for law and order, and keeps them on an accordingly tight leash.

      --
      Alcohol makes the world go round ... and round and round.
  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by Thexalon on Thursday August 28 2014, @01:38PM

    by Thexalon (636) on Thursday August 28 2014, @01:38PM (#86720)

    From the point of view of civil liberties types like myself, the main purpose of the recording is to prevent a "he-said-she-said" scenario when it comes to prosecuting cops, because all too often police brutality cases come down to a cop's word versus a citizen's word, and enough jurors believe police over a citizens that convictions in those cases are rare.

    Also, because the cops know they're on candid camera, they start acting better, as described in TFS.

    That's not to say you shouldn't continue recording cops whenever you see them encountering a citizen: Your video might end up showing something that was conveniently edited out of the cop's video by their own Rose Mary Woods.

    --
    Alcohol makes the world go round ... and round and round.