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View Diary: Cop cams could change police behavior, but technology can only do so much (175 comments)

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  •  That's way too extreme. (0+ / 0-)

    There really are equipment malfunctions and accidents and, across the US, it will happen regularly even if the equipment is maintained properly. (If nothing else, sometimes filling from a jelly doughnut will drip onto the lens and obscure the video.)

    Such a rule would cause criminals to shoot cops trying to arrest them and then shot bullets through the camera electronics/storage (or just take them) since the "lack of video" would make them untouchable - even if another cop's camera caught the whole thing. If you believe that's okay, you should move somewhere where there ARE no police as that would likely be the result.

    Suppose an officer is shoved from behind into a pond and his camera electronics shorts out, ten thugs then beat him to death and it's all caught by a high def security video that allows identifying the assailants, the assailants' cell phones show they were all there at that exact time, and the assailants post YouTube videos of the event. Do you think the charges should be dismissed?

    If, during a natural disaster, the police are out patrolling on foot working 16 hour shifts, the electricity is out, and the logistics of keeping camera batteries charged prevents that, is then open season on cops? Shoot one and, regardless of all other evidence, you walk?

    Why not extend this to ordinary citizens? If you don't record you own murder, your murder walks free...

    •  All those excuses make me really sad, but (0+ / 0-)

      I'm sorry - if you can't make your video system work as you arrest someone, there should be an automatic presumption of malfeasance in place.

      I don't don't want to rain on your parade or the police's, but if you can't document what happened, it didn't happen.

      And, if this results in the occasional acquittal of a guilty party, I can accept that as the price of liberty for the rest of us just fine.

      •  So the only reality is what has been... (1+ / 0-)
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        ...documented by a specific camera? So, almost everyone in prison should be let go since their crimes "didn't happen"? Seriously?

        Even with some evidence missing, there can often be enough to convict beyond reasonable doubt. To discard ALL evidence because some bit that could have been available is not available is absurd.

        By the way, obviously the same rule would apply to cops (they have the same legal protections as everyone else). If their partner's video camera "broke" during a fight with a suspect, no prosecution of the officer would be possible because "there's missing video" - regardless of what their own video camera recorded.

        The courts (juries and judges) should be the ones that decide how to weigh the missing evidence in each case. If the defense or prosecution believes the lack of video that, in the absence of failure (induced by either party) of equipment or processes, would help them, they could petition the court for remedies. Remedies could include dismissal (for example, where all the other evidence would be viewed in a different light if the missing video were available and it was somewhat likely that the information on that video would have caused that to happen). More common remedies would range from none to the jury being told about the missing video and both parties being able to argue that the video would have supported their position.

        The real world is not a perfect place. Absolute rules rarely work well.

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