Body Mounted Cameras For Police Will Prevent Brutality And Increase Accountability

1187 words - 5 pages

Police gun down an unarmed teenager and plant a pistol on his body to justify self-defense. A misdirected house raid results in the hospitalization of a 12 year-old girl who would later be arrested for fighting back. Riot police assaulted groups of peaceful Occupy protesters on the campus of University of California Berkeley. The students were assaulted with pepper spray, batons, and grabbed roughly by the officers (Zabrina, 2012). Cases involving excessive police brutality are a constant source of contention between American citizens and law enforcement of state and local governments. The harsher the transgression committed by an officer, the more likely they are to avoid ...view middle of the document...

The cost of camera units can be easily covered by the city or region in which its use is being considered ("Brookfield police" 2013). Naturally, these devices wouldn’t be bought in bulk, handing them out to a handful of officers to test in daily practice. The rewriting of policies and dividing line between public and private is no doubt a cumbersome task, but inevitable in the face of overwhelming discontent with current law enforcement tactics. There a few points in particular that makes for a strong case in favor of a nationwide implementation of police body cams.
Upon extensive research by several departments, use of the body cams lead to a decrease in complaints about police conduct. Instances of the use of force by police also went down considerably (Lovett, 2013). It just goes to show when people know they are being recorded, they are more likely to behave. From the perspective of the officer, wearing a body camera can be nothing but beneficial. The use of the camera can establish a basis of police demeanor and attitude while on the job. If the officer in question is already doing what they should be doing, there won’t be a conflict of interest when it comes to reviewing the footage for use in a case. In the event that the camera does catch an incident of misconduct, the proof will be readily available and consequences can be employed to prevent future bad behavior. In today’s age, just about anyone can pull out a smart phone and record anything they want. If police altercations are going to be filmed regardless, why not ensure that what is seen on from a civilian perspective lines up with that of the officer? The cost of investment for body cameras is often enough to keep departments from jumping on the deal, but they fail to see the bigger picture. Investing in this new technology is cheaper than shelling out millions of dollars for settlements due to police over stepping their bounds (Lovett, 2013). Those police agencies wise enough to apply this new practice now will find this revolutionary new technology paying for itself in no time.
Before March 3, 1991, the issue of police brutality was not a topic of concern in the public forum. The Rodney King incident brought to the light the darker side to how the police treat the public. Though King was by no means innocent or justified in his decision to evade arrest, the beating he received by police officers bordered on savagery. In the end, only two of the four officers present were convicted of...

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