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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].

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  • (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.
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