Skip to main content

body camera on Bremerton police officer
The 40 police officers of Bremerton, Washington, may start wearing
body cameras in 2015 if the budget for them is approved.
As noted in a previous post here, the shooting of Michael Brown has stirred up considerable interest in mandating that police officers wear body cameras.

Advocates say cop cams would not only help remove some of the wild speculation about what went down at disputed incidents, thus making prosecutions easier, but also prevent some of those incidents from ever happening in the first place. Thus, fewer clashes like those that have arisen over the Brown slaying. Perhaps, advocates say, even more civility would arise when both police and citizens know that their interactions with each other are being recorded.

According to American Civil Liberties attorney Scott Greenwood, as cited by the Associated Press, one of out six U.S. police forces are already using body cams to one extent or another. In Rialto, California, after a highly successful year-long experiment with cop cams reduced citizen complaints against officers by 89 percent, the police department now requires all its roughly 100 officers to wear cop cams. The NYPD is looking into their feasibility. The LAPD is running a test on them.

But there are concerns, big ones, even among advocates. Noting that his organization's stance on the matter can't be conveyed well with the soundbites so beloved of television and the blogosphere, Jay Stanley, a senior policy analyst at the American Civil Liberties Union, had this to say in October:
Although we generally take a dim view of the proliferation of surveillance cameras in American life, police on-body cameras are different because of their potential to serve as a check against the abuse of power by police officers. Historically, there was no documentary evidence of most encounters between police officers and the public, and due to the volatile nature of those encounters, this often resulted in radically divergent accounts of incidents. Cameras have the potential to be a win-win, helping protect the public against police misconduct, and at the same time helping protect police against false accusations of abuse.

We’re against pervasive government surveillance, but when cameras primarily serve the
function of allowing public monitoring of the government instead of the other way around, we generally regard that as a good thing. While we have opposed government video surveillance of public places, for example, we have supported the installation of video cameras on police car dashboards, in prisons, and during interrogations.

At the same time, body cameras have more of a potential to invade privacy than those
deployments. Police officers enter people’s homes and encounter bystanders, suspects, and victims in a wide variety of sometimes stressful and extreme situations.

To reiterate what I've previously said, nobody should expect a gadget to resolve all the problems associated with police interactions with the citizenry. Cop cams would be just one tool to make those interactions less confrontational. Like any tool, it could be subject to abuses, malfunctions and operator fiddling. Making a real difference will require overhauling police procedures, including shoot-to-kill policies that can be inappropriate responses to people who are mentally ill, as well as adopting sanity regarding Pentagon weapon giveaways. Most important of all is changing attitudes, not just of many cops on the beat, but also of their commanders and the commanders of their commanders.

Originally posted to Meteor Blades on Fri Aug 22, 2014 at 11:00 AM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags


More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

  •  Body cams (19+ / 0-)

    "after a highly successful year-long experiment with cop cams reduced citizen complaints against officers by 89 percent, the police department now requires all its roughly 100 officers to wear cop cams. The NYPD is looking into their feasibility. The LAPD is running a test on them."

    Rialto cop on citizen violence went down over 60% in the year.
    Looks like each side is calming down.  

    I am for them 100%. I'm not the least bit worried about anyone's privacy being compromised. For me, being dead or having my privacy violated......violation trumps being blown away by 15 SWAT members.  

    The down side is a cop in Albuquerque who was investigated and it was found that every time he has been involved in violence, his camera was broken. If I were his commander, I could stop that. Pink slip.

    "When it's over, I want to say: all my life I was a bride married to amazement." Mary Oliver

    by weezilgirl on Fri Aug 22, 2014 at 11:27:24 AM PDT

    •  Google glasses for cops . (20+ / 0-)
      The down side is a cop in Albuquerque who was investigated and it was found that every time he has been involved in violence, his camera was broken.
      I'd have the cameras sending video and sound live .
      If the camera was not working the officer would be recalled to base .

      "please love deeply...openly and genuinely." A. M. H.

      by indycam on Fri Aug 22, 2014 at 11:31:51 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  WoooooooooHoooooooooooo. (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        lgmcp, cowdab, NoBlueSkies, etherealfire

        Obviously you're more tech savvy than I am. Thanks for the info!

        "When it's over, I want to say: all my life I was a bride married to amazement." Mary Oliver

        by weezilgirl on Fri Aug 22, 2014 at 11:39:21 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  That would be great, but... (7+ / 0-)

        ...I think most body cams are self-contained, without independent networking capabilities. Adding always-on streaming video would be a tall order for financially-strapped municipalities, and we wouldn't want the cost to scare them away. With hundreds of officers in the field, live streaming would also be pretty bandwidth-intensive.

        However, I could see the usefulness of a camera that connects to a smartphone via Bluetooth to send a constant "heartbeat" back to HQ, which would serve the same purpose of letting the officer's superiors know whether his or her camera is currently operating and recording.

        •  It can be done , (5+ / 0-)

          the cost of not doing it is also high .

          If the video is low quality when it is sent back live ,
          the live camera and microphone would be recording
          and the image it captures doesn't have to be low quality .

          "please love deeply...openly and genuinely." A. M. H.

          by indycam on Fri Aug 22, 2014 at 12:18:24 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Rural and mountainous areas have crappy coverage (8+ / 0-)

          too.  With high-capacity, reliable and tiny solid-state storage, keeping the files in the camera until the end of each shift is by far the most affordable and practical.  

          Yes, local storage allows cameras to be inactivated or damaged by officers with something to hide.  But robust policies REQUIRING consistent documentation trails, would make those "mysterious" gaps fairly evident, and would be a valuable tool in weeding out the worst officers.

          "The extinction of the human race will come from its inability to EMOTIONALLY comprehend the exponential function." -- Edward Teller

          by lgmcp on Fri Aug 22, 2014 at 12:18:29 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  ... (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          weezilgirl, cowdab
          I think most body cams are self-contained, without independent networking capabilities.
          I'd upgrade .
          They have radios on them .
          Its not to much for them to have , always on , personal radios .

          "please love deeply...openly and genuinely." A. M. H.

          by indycam on Fri Aug 22, 2014 at 12:20:50 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Obvious downside (0+ / 0-)

            Back in June when there was a manhunt for the killer who ambushed and killed three RCMP officers, there was a plea from the police not to immediately upload video and images people were taking of the police, especially when they were searching or had surrounded specific locations, for the simple reason there was the possibility said killer might have a cell phone and thus be able to see what was happening.

            How much better when that streaming video is coming from the police themselves? Because you know if it's being broadcast, even encrypted, someone is eventually going to hack it.

            Having video that can be reviewed afterward, fine. I can also see streaming being useful in specific tactical situations, allowing the on-scene commander see what's happening, but all the time? Both unnecessary and potentially more problematic than any problem it would solve.

        •  Petition for cams (0+ / 0-)

          "When it's over, I want to say: all my life I was a bride married to amazement." Mary Oliver

          by weezilgirl on Fri Aug 22, 2014 at 11:07:23 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Camera broadcasts to car (4+ / 0-)

        Car has several hours of storage and immediately (or near-real time) relays to station. Station retains copy and relays to long-term storage and also to somewhere outside jurisdiction, to avoid "technical errors".

        Another advantage to the police, good and bad, is that if a cop goes off the radio, you can check to see what's coming from his camera. If it's the floor, you know something's wrong and you can rewind to see what you can learn - possibly, in a cop down situation, you get a nice picture of the assailant.

        Purity is for primaries; in the general, our worst are better than their best.

        by blue aardvark on Fri Aug 22, 2014 at 03:32:59 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  I would just penalize cops for failing (5+ / 0-)

        to report a broken camera or falsely reporting so. If a cop is shown to have deliberately broken his camera, he/she gets dismissed. If he works a shift with a broken camera, he/she loses that day's pay. I am pretty sure that would deal with it.

        Voting is the means by which the public is distracted from the realities of power and its exercise.

        by Anne Elk on Fri Aug 22, 2014 at 03:50:44 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  No Video, No Evidence (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Alhambra, weezilgirl, ypochris

        When we have prosecution without video, defense attorneys want to know what evidence the State is withholding.  Why is there not a presumption of manslaughter in a police shooting when there is not a police video to provide evidence, otherwise.  The presumption might be rebuttable if there is other evidence.  I have seen instances when the defendant wrestled with three or four other officers and cameras were broken, but even then there was not a homicide.

        If Money is Speech, Speech isn't Free! I wonder what it is about that that Antonin Scalia cannot understand?

        by NM Ray on Fri Aug 22, 2014 at 05:09:30 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  As a Paramedic, we have something similar (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Wee Mama

        But just for driving. It sends a live feed of the road and the driver to a base station any time the ambulance is in motion.

        So this is clearly do-able.

    •  What you care about, you measure. (4+ / 0-)

      So if APD wants (or its court monitor wants) camera footage that is reliably available, then you create systems to ensure that.  Collect and archive all the lapel video and institute a structured program of random audits.  Make it so that cops have motivation to provide a complete video trail under normal circumstances.  

      Then start firing cops whose video documentation is consistently substandard.  Those are cops who have more to hide.    

      In the course of serving as a Grand Juror, I had Albuquerque and Rio Rancho cops tell me that when lapel-cam batteries fail or hard drives get full, it's no biggie, no one cares.   If their bosses cared, THEY would care.

      "The extinction of the human race will come from its inability to EMOTIONALLY comprehend the exponential function." -- Edward Teller

      by lgmcp on Fri Aug 22, 2014 at 12:01:06 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I'd allow them a 30-sec "stop" button. (3+ / 0-)

      So that they can use the restroom. Other than that, on and recording every moment they're working.

      "He who fights monsters should see to it that he himself does not become a monster. And if you gaze for long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you."

      by Hayate Yagami on Fri Aug 22, 2014 at 12:02:18 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Solve the "broken camera" problem (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      by stiff, increasing penalties for events not caught on camera, and make it impossible for them to turn the cams off. Period.

      This cop in ABQ was just run-of-the-mill for ABQ--those guys are REALLY bad and very corrupt. Not that Santa Fe is (overall) a lot better...

      "There's no ideology [t]here [on the right]. It's just about being a dick." Bill Maher, June 22, 2012.

      by caseynm on Fri Aug 22, 2014 at 03:30:30 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Out in public you have no expectation of privacy (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      cowdab, weezilgirl

      so that part's OK.

      The data on the cameras ALLEGEDLY will be "secure" (I doubt that very much, but I'll play along for awhile) so, again, if they come to your house because of the smell of Demon Weed your images on their cams will remain private (or get erased if they assault you) but your privacy will be protected.

    •  Screw internal review (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      I would have police departments work with a panel of community volunteers. The volunteers would randomly review an officer's videos for the week. If videos were missing, or violations found, the panel would be empowered to investigate and mete out discipline up to and including dismissal and pressing charges for flagrant abuses of civil rights and/or crimes.

  •  Déjà vu ? (0+ / 0-)

    "please love deeply...openly and genuinely." A. M. H.

    by indycam on Fri Aug 22, 2014 at 11:27:29 AM PDT

  •  Police Body Cams and the Panopticon (7+ / 0-)

    Anywhere a police officer points his/her camera will be recorded.  How long will those recordings be kept?  Will anyone or everyone captured in those images be part of a database?  Will those images be used in subsequent investigations?

    These are all questions that need to be asked before we rush into anything.

    •  Yes. All questions being asked by the ACLU... (7+ / 0-)

      ...which, as noted in my post, have some ambivalence about this.

      Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

      by Meteor Blades on Fri Aug 22, 2014 at 11:33:27 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Might as well be against forensic DNA testing too (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      lgmcp, praying manatheist

      because who cares how many innocent people it rescues, if it means that my glorious DNA might also get stored in a police locker for an indeterminate length of time?

      The argument is exactly the same.

    •  In general, surveillance is when (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      rarely comments, gmoke

      the powerful watch the rest of us, and sunshine/oversight is when the rest us arrange that the powerful must allow themselves to be watched.  

      But I suppose it's true that footage intended to illuminate specific officer/subject interactions, could be inspected later for other purposes -- maybe facial recognition of potential accomplices, or follow up on visual details like gee wasn't that a bong on the sofa.  

      I'd still like to have it, though, and have it robustly archived.  Otherwise the primary function of objectively documenting what happened, for the protection of citizens AND officers, can't happen.

      "The extinction of the human race will come from its inability to EMOTIONALLY comprehend the exponential function." -- Edward Teller

      by lgmcp on Fri Aug 22, 2014 at 12:05:39 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yes, and limit/ensure access to the recordings! (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        lgmcp, Meteor Blades, gmoke, ypochris

        Private information (police, citizen) should be locked away from casual viewing/sharing by procedural safeguards. Administrative review procedures / subpoena / FOI requests should be able to extract recordings to be shared within appropriate circles (a review committee, a grand jury, YouTube...).

        The next step in reform after ensuring recording is to get serious about controlling access, whether preventing or ensuring it, depending on circumstances. This isn’t simple, but can make all the difference in the impact on policing, privacy, and other concerns.

    •  you can bet the farm on it... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Gooserock, gmoke

      ...especially in this post-9/11, USA Patriot Act world. If you have ever participated in or been arrested for civil disobedience, an anti-government demonstration or "riot", ever posted a comment on any political blog or sent an email advocating the violent overthrow of the Republic or if you adhere to-or give aid and comfort to any terrorist organization deemed such by the powers that be. Rest assured tonight knowing that your name and face(thanks to face recognition software) is plastered on a "homegrown terrorist watch list", a "no fly list", or some other dubious list. And that your 15 minutes of fame is secretly contained in a personal dossier on every move you make from now on.

      As of this writing we still have a Bill of Rights and we are not yet a police state under martial law. Don't think it can happen here? Don't be deceived. Get informed and stay ahead of the learning curve. Educate yourself (NPSD-51, HSPD-20). We are but one "national emergency" away from suspension of the Constitution, owning property, seizure of all your assets with police state following closer than big brother on your heels.

      This would explain the sudden militarization of our police departments nation-wide. In addition, the dire straights and terminal fates of the movers and shakers of this world since the Civil Rights era on, the advent of an internet kill switch, a thought crimes bill, and far too many more things to mention here serve me as a daily reminder of the risks posed to your right to "life, liberty and pursuit of happiness."

      If you cross that invisible line of demarcation drawn between passive and active resistance to authority, don't be surprised to find out just how significant your personal opinions and most intimate thoughts have become to those who don't want you to have an opinion-or an independent thought, unless they give you one.

      "I wish to have no connection with any ship that does not sail fast, for I intend to go in harm's way." John Paul Jones

      by ImpeachKingBushII on Fri Aug 22, 2014 at 12:36:09 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Presumably, all such recordings will be kept at (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      least until the end of the statute of limitations for any crimes that the officer might have committed during his shift or might have observed.

      Since there is no statute of limitations for murder I assume they would be kept permanently.

      Otherwise, imagine the opportunities for abuse - a prosecutor looks at the video, decides it does not support a prosecution, and waits until it is automatically deleted before filing charges.

  •  Even more basically we need national (9+ / 0-)

    standards for policing in the same way we have national standards in public health and medicine.

    The national standards of policing we don't have would address statistical behavior of police departments, require annual or quarterly reporting of in-custody deaths and injuries, and deaths and injuries in field operations.   It would tie these things to all federal funding of local police agencies.

    While the DHS/Fusion centers may have created a de facto national standard for policing in the area of homeland security, there is little assurances on whether those type of activities are not invalid exercises of spying on individual Americans and individual civil rights.

    Our federal civil right enforcement system seems to be mostly complaint-driven and it does not function as the kind of 'compliance assurance' operation that we need.

  •  I would also like to see football jersey IDs (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Officer 54, Where Are You?

    Protest that works comment by nomandates Registration Table Change the culture 100% registration.

    by 88kathy on Fri Aug 22, 2014 at 11:34:46 AM PDT

  •  No downside to utilizing this technology (4+ / 0-)

    I can't think of one good reason in not requiring every police officer in the country to be outfitted with a video camera on their person. I'd think that the police would also want this tech so as to be able to corroborate their activities. I wonder where the pushback will come from, if there is any?  Bottom line, cameras will protect the police officers from bogus claims and will protect citizens from bogus police officers.

    •  An example of likely opposition: Police unions. nt (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

      by Meteor Blades on Fri Aug 22, 2014 at 12:04:13 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Obvious (0+ / 0-)

        I left that unsaid, intentionally. IMO, the union will fight anything that leaves assessments to objectivity. It will, by its very nature (videographic evidence) remove the ability for LE to "manipulate" investigations. I am also keenly aware that this evidence, due to angles and other factors, wont always convey the reality of what is seen by the eye, 100% of the time. But it will most often, in conjunction with the recordings of other on scene LE, give a more accurate depiction than what we have now as an alternative.

    •  One reasonable concern is that a superior (0+ / 0-)

      who wants to get rid of an officer can go through archived months or even years of footage looking for every mistake and every small violation of the rules, compile them all, and force out whoever he has a problem with.

      Let's say schools decided to implement this with teachers.  Do you think their unions might object?  Why?  What do they have to hide?

  •  cameras on cops... (0+ / 0-)

    ...that could possibly be useful in preventing some police abuses. There's something inherently risky to me about trusting the police to police themselves, however. I have serious reservations. Will the camera be tamper proof? It wouldn't be the first time the tail wagged the dog. Or will the officer wearing it simply exercise "officer discretion" to opt out and erase any self-incriminating evidence at the flip of a switch? Dash cams have been used for years, but are basically useless when the cop is out of the dash camera's range. It's strange how many police jurisdictions today allow the seizure of "Jane and Joe six-pack's" cellphones to quash damning evidence of their abuses of power, yet we are to trust them with the same power to collect evidence they would happily deny us.

    "I wish to have no connection with any ship that does not sail fast, for I intend to go in harm's way." John Paul Jones

    by ImpeachKingBushII on Fri Aug 22, 2014 at 11:47:45 AM PDT

    •  In addition to tamper-proofing (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ImpeachKingBushII, Wee Mama, ypochris

      the simpler solution is legal. Treat turning off the camera or erasing film as destroying evidence. So when the cop turns his camera off and shoots someone, the standard should be to interpret events in the worst light for the cop. If his intentions had been good, he wouldn't have wanted the incident off camera.

      The Empire never ended.

      by thejeff on Fri Aug 22, 2014 at 06:13:03 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  "The commanders of their commanders" are us. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    phenry, NoBlueSkies

    All the police changes you suggest are worth pursuing, but most important of all is a change in the citizenry, so that we regard each other as citizens and brothers and sisters. How do we get there?

    Is it true? Is it kind? Is it necessary? . . . and respect the dignity of every human being.

    by Wee Mama on Fri Aug 22, 2014 at 11:51:44 AM PDT

  •  Another evil cop turned of their camera in (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    New Orleans, lately.

    The person she shot was not killed, thank goodness.

    Again, it's another bad faith effort by the evil police.

    I voted Tuesday, May 6, 2014 because it is my right, my responsibility and because my parents moved from Alabama to Ohio to vote. Unfortunately, the republicons want to turn Ohio into Alabama.

    by a2nite on Fri Aug 22, 2014 at 11:58:55 AM PDT

  •  I think it's a basically sound idea for cops to (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    lgmcp, NoBlueSkies, rarely comments

    wear these cams at all times while on duty. But as several have stated, this isn't perfect. But a great start. It would have been very much in the citizens' best interests if the lousy cops of Ferguson had had them. Tamper-proofing is paramount. If the parents of the vast majority of people posting here were successful in teaching their children to never do/say anything that you would not want on camera, I fail to see why it is all that damn hard to find a group of people who feel the same, and who want to attend the Police Academy. This is not rocket science.  

  •  Where in the hell are Mayors and City councils (0+ / 0-)

    The police are suppose to answer to them  and then  to the people of the city ,Police cannot police themselves  anymore

  •  They work great (4+ / 0-)

    I live under the bridge to the 21st Century.

    by Crashing Vor on Fri Aug 22, 2014 at 03:12:16 PM PDT

    •  Really? (0+ / 0-)

      So if a cop is investigating a potential rape, you want to make sure that the camera catches every detail of a traumatized victim giving a statement? On a death notice, you want to make sure the camera is rolling when someone is told their child/parent/loved one was killed? And hey, make sure we get every detail of that kid's body when we walk into a room where someone ended their own life.

      Who could possibly object to that?

      Who, precisely, does filming that benefit?

      Bodycams on patrol officers and police in tactical situations, fine, but there's usually no reason for dedicated investigative officers, say homicide detectives, to wear one, and if nothing else, for compassionate reasons for victims, you want to have the ability to turn it off.

      •  Absolutely for two of those cases and maybe the (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:


        So if a cop is investigating a potential rape, you want to make sure that the camera catches every detail of a traumatized victim giving a statement? On a death notice, you want to make sure the camera is rolling when someone is told their child/parent/loved one was killed? And hey, make sure we get every detail of that kid's body when we walk into a room where someone ended their own life.
        For the rape victim, this is important evidence - getting as many details as possible while her recollection is as fresh as possible, and also potentially protecting the falsely accused if her story changes.  For the death notice, if it is a murder, great value for the penalty phase of the trial giving evidence for the victim impact.  And for the room where someone ended their own life, video evidence is great... although it should not add much detail to the photographs that should be taken anyway.
        •  And do the victims get a say? (0+ / 0-)

          Well, do they?

          •  No. No more than they do if they ask the police (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Wee Mama, ypochris

            officer not to write up a report on the interaction.

            Rape and murder are both crimes against the state and are prosecuted by the state, not the victim, and can be prosecuted even if the victim does not want a prosecution.  The victim does not have the right to prevent collection of evidence.

            A suicide, of course, is not a crime per se, but it still must be investigated and confirmed to be a suicide.  If someone in your family commits suicide see what happens if you try to prevent the police from taking photographs.

            •  Not every death notice involves a crime (0+ / 0-)

              Tell me, what would be the purpose of recording someone's reaction when informed their husband died in a car accident, that a child had committed suicide, that another relative had died of an overdose, or any of the other numerous reasons the police would inform you that a loved one had died, there would be no trial, and there would be no need for evidence?

              What possible fucking reason would that serve?

              •  What possible harm would it do? (0+ / 0-)

                I don't think anyone is proposing that these cameras live stream onto the internet. The officer sees the reaction anyway, and who else is going to be looking at it? No one is going to review every minute of every officer's day. The only time anyone needs to look at the footage is when there is a discrepancy between what the officer and someone else claims happened.

              •  Let's take them one by one` (0+ / 0-)

                1. Car accident - has it already been investigated and confirmed that no one else was at fault?  Probably not.
                2. Child has committed suicide - again, same question... it looks like a suicide, but probably not yet confirmed.
                3. Relative died of an overdose - who supplied the drugs?  That person may be looking at a murder or manslaughter charge.

                All of these cases should be recorded.  The key issue is that the recordings should not be released unless there is good reason.

  •  I don't like that it's more tax revenue going to (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    the cops and military.  And we know damn well the rich aren't going to let their taxes be raised to pay for this.  So probably more cuts to schools and things that build communities instead of cracking down on them.

    "There's a war on the black male" ~ Spike Lee

    by samantha in oregon on Fri Aug 22, 2014 at 03:12:36 PM PDT

    •  It's Going AGAINST the Cops. This is a Check (5+ / 0-)

      against excessive use of force against the people, as consistent as could possibly be with our entire concept of government.

      I get that it's spending not on food or education etc. but we're all paying a fortune for the web of consequences of police violence. And note well the responses over Ferguson, people from all walks of life from older whites including union members, to every kind of minority and the poor, pointing out that police violence REMAINS utterly normal as it has ALWAYS been.

      We've been paying the price of this all along. Some increased expenditure here could save us money and social problems down the road we won't have to pay to fix. Wrongful convictions for example could drop if it's harder for police to bully innocent or confused suspects into taking a quick fall so a case could be wrapped up.

      We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

      by Gooserock on Fri Aug 22, 2014 at 03:28:34 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Chief Beck in L.A. is appearing to go for it, but (0+ / 0-)

    he claims lack of funding. Considering the fact that 1) people won't pay higher taxes to do anything, and 2) the LAPD has paid out millions to aggrieved citizens for illegal use of force, I may surmise the reasons why. (Recently a hefty sum was paid to two black women who were delivering newspapers but were thought to be fleeing suspect Christopher Dorner!)

    "The soil under the grass is dreaming of a young forest, and under the pavement the soil is dreaming of grass."--Wendell Berry

    by Wildthumb on Fri Aug 22, 2014 at 03:13:27 PM PDT

  •  if the police (0+ / 0-)

    reality programs on tv are any example cameras on police no matter how limited will make police think twice before they act outside the law.

  •  Enormous Importance in Prosecuting Criminals (3+ / 0-)

    Yes they protect the public and the police. Video cameras also have enormous importance for prosecutors in criminal cases. With felony trial conviction rates lower in many inner cities and with the increasing difficulty finding juries that are predisposed to believe police testimony, the video evidence that police would obtain would be invaluable in prosecuting real criminals. Its a very powerful crime fighting tool that can appropriately eliminate reasonable doubt where none should exist. Its appeal as a crime fighting tool crosses all political and socioeconomic boundaries.

    Patriotism is the last refuge to which a scoundrel clings. Steal a little and they throw you in jail. Steal a lot and they make you king.... Dylan

    by bywaterbob on Fri Aug 22, 2014 at 03:18:53 PM PDT

  •  If they can't even force cops to wear ID (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    corvo, white blitz

    and badges... how the hell do they expect them to wear cams?

    A learning experience is one of those things that says, 'You know that thing you just did? Don't do that.' Douglas Adams

    by dougymi on Fri Aug 22, 2014 at 03:28:52 PM PDT

  •  Throw money and technology at a problem (0+ / 0-)

    rather than somehow FORCE the officers to do their job better.

    Since they want to play soldier SO FUCKING BADLY, they should have some form of professional training.

    How is it that I do my job and they can't?

    It's inexcusable and this leads to the unfortunate appearence that this IS how "the PTB" want things.

    They have worked on getting things just loike this: I don't believe for a moment a finger will be lifted to ACTUALLY improve the situation": ie: to keep us commoners more safe from the police.

    I don't think it's going to happen.

  •  One can only imagine what will happen (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    rarely comments, white blitz

    if camera-wearing police enter the abode of any A-list celebrity.

    For example, someone would pay a lot to show us Robin Williams in situ as he was found by the police, because people are just that sick.

    Or imagine drunk & disorderly arrests where breasts are exposed. Someone would make a "Girls Busted Wild" tape.

    So, put cameras on cops, but make the tapes only releasable if a judge so orders, and establish criteria for so ordering. We don't want a FOIA request getting copies of people's private residence.

    Purity is for primaries; in the general, our worst are better than their best.

    by blue aardvark on Fri Aug 22, 2014 at 03:29:39 PM PDT

  •  I agree w/ the ACLU (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    white blitz

    great, thoughtful response.

  •  ahhh, i would prefer this invasion of privacy (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Meteor Blades, ypochris

    as opposed to, oh i don't know, reading my emails or monitoring my cell phone. Here's the difference: someone getting killed because a cop got his fee fees hurt vs. some random douche in a cubical listening into my love talk with the bf. I can live with with a cop not being a murdering nut job. I can't live with the government listening to my sweet sweet pillow talk on the guise i 'might' be a terrorist or talking to one...

    Earth: Mostly harmless ~ The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (revised entry)

    by yawnimawke on Fri Aug 22, 2014 at 03:55:53 PM PDT

  •  The need to find a way to attach a camera (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    rarely comments, white blitz

    ...To the barrel of their guns.

  •  There needs to be a nationwide investigation (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    white blitz

    "Speak with your chest, bro. You a man!" - Ferguson citizen to Gov. Nixon

    by jazzence on Fri Aug 22, 2014 at 04:00:31 PM PDT

  •  I would think that police officers would favor (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SGA, ypochris

    This as well as it would greatly reduce any chance of false brutality charges, failure to mirandize, etc as well.

    “Poverty wants much; but avarice, everything” Publilius Syrus

    by gelfling545 on Fri Aug 22, 2014 at 04:09:24 PM PDT

  •  It's totally a win win proposition. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Neither the cops or citizens have any expectation of privacy in public spaces.  The courts have already ruled that we can take videos of cops and in most metrpolitan areas you are already on camera most of the time.

    There will need to be a few rules involving warrants and entering private property, but again, it's the cop's word against yours and I'd much rather it be the video's word rather than the cop's.

    As has been stated, all evidence so far is that it dramatically reduces the amount of force police use and almost eliminates reports of police brutality.

  •  Eventually... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    white blitz, Beelzebubs Brass Bs

    ...(although I think it's a few years off), these cameras could also do facial recognition against lists of people who have warrants outstanding and alert officers with a (vibrating or some other not visual, audible) cue. This could help apprehend these individuals as well as protect an officer from being surprised when what seems like a routine interaction to them goes south because the other party knows they are "wanted".

    "Missing" video (due to being turned off) can easily be detected and tracked (clocks in the camera system would take care of that). At the end of shift (or earlier), each officer would have to account for all "off" periods with a notation for why it was off. Admittedly, it is harder to determine if it is "on" but mysteriously the lens is covered - but some filtering could help highlight cases where this is likely to have happened so audits could focus on them.

    I think officers need a way to turn them off though as they sometimes talk to people who are unwilling to reveal information "on the record" (or, may be regular CIs).

    Also, the video storage should be encrypted so anyone getting ahold of a storage can't watch it - no reason to motivate someone with evil intent from taking an officer down just to find out who he was talking to.

  •  The spotlight is shinning on police officers that (0+ / 0-)

    are bullies and thugs. The pendulum has swung away from Barney on Mayberry and other cop friendlies. Officers have more power today and they aren't always known in your community. Lack of oversight is a problem in all professions.

    As we move to outsourcing professional jobs, this will occur more often. The best solution is to become more involved in who works for us. We need to vote and become more interested in our school boards and election boards as well.
    Local control will stem the tide of privatization of public services that takes accountability away from the public servant.

    If you want accountability, you need to demand it. It won't be offered unless you do.
    Knowledge is power and their is safety in numbers. Protect our democracy as if our future depends upon it because it does.

    Republicans are crazy, Democrats need to be useful and its up to us to save our democracy. Get to work.

    by Citizenpower on Fri Aug 22, 2014 at 07:33:45 PM PDT

  •  A general rule for police (or anyone) (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    If you do ANYTHING in your professional life that you would not want video taped and shown on the internet or to your family, you are probably doing something you should not be doing.

    Policing is an honorable and even noble profession. If you find you cannot do it that way, get another job.

    •  On that note... (0+ / 0-)

      On that same note, then being recorded 24/7 in secret via your own cell phone camera is currently legal too... I fail to see the differance with this Camera and the one on your cell phone.. Or is the big selling point that at least you know this one's doing it?

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site