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Crime

Watching the Police: Will Two-Way Surveillance Reduce Crime? 309

Posted by Soulskill
from the Quis-custodiet-ipsos-coppers? dept.
An anonymous reader writes "As surveillance technologies have matured in both their sophistication and usage, some are starting to ask the question: is it time we start using them to watch the watchers? The proliferation of dashboard cameras has reduced liability costs, provided valuable evidence, and made police officers safer. The next progression would naturally be for the camera to move out of the car and onto the officer's uniform itself. In The Verge appears a fascinating report about the company behind the non-lethal stun guns that have become commonplace around the world, Taser International, which has set out to transform policing once again – this time, with Axon Flex, a head-mounted camera with a twelve-hour battery life that officers can use to record interactions. The device is constantly on, but it only captures video of the thirty seconds before its wearer begins using it, and then both video and audio while police are speaking to a citizen. Footage is then uploaded to a cloud-based service where it can be accessed by the police department. It includes an audit trail to reveal who has accessed the information and when."
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Watching the Police: Will Two-Way Surveillance Reduce Crime?

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  • by SirGeek (120712) <sirgeek-slashdot&mrsucko,org> on Tuesday June 04, 2013 @02:24PM (#43906999) Homepage

    if 100% of the footage is uploaded/published on a regular basis.

    Remove the ability of a department to "lose" the info. Perhaps even send the raw footage to the AFL-CIO

    • by CanHasDIY (1672858) on Tuesday June 04, 2013 @02:37PM (#43907125) Homepage Journal

      if 100% of the footage is uploaded/published on a regular basis.

      Remove the ability of a department to "lose" the info. Perhaps even send the raw footage to the AFL-CIO

      Also, change

      Footage is then uploaded to a cloud-based service where it can be accessed by the police department

      to

      Footage is then uploaded to a cloud-based service where it can be accessed by the public

      It seems apparent that Internal Affairs, AKA the "Office of Paid Vacations," is a fucking joke in most municipalities.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Synerg1y (2169962)

        Let's think about this for a second, lets say you were falsely arrested for rape, it happens EVERY day thanks to a certain breed of woman, would you really want that footage to immediately be uploaded for the public's viewing? Probably not.

        The police department isn't the right department to regulate the police department either, they've had enough chances. We'd need yet another government regulatory agency for this to work. It'd also make being a cop even tougher, so its a shame a few bad apples have to

        • by Crudely_Indecent (739699) on Tuesday June 04, 2013 @02:57PM (#43907293) Journal

          I hate it when vagrants abuse their power. They do it in such a flagrant way.

        • by CanHasDIY (1672858) on Tuesday June 04, 2013 @03:18PM (#43907467) Homepage Journal

          Let's think about this for a second, lets say you were falsely arrested for rape, it happens EVERY day thanks to a certain breed of woman, would you really want that footage to immediately be uploaded for the public's viewing?

          The tape would probably consist of me laughing about the accusation, then politely asking the officer what the result from the rape kit were.

          Oh, you say no rape kit was administered? So, then, what am I being arrested for?

          Yea, don't see where that would be an issue for me (since I'm not a rapist and all).

          The police department isn't the right department to regulate the police department either, they've had enough chances. We'd need yet another government regulatory agency for this to work.

          ... and what would you call the regulatory body? The "We May Have Fucked This Up Before, But Trust Us When We Say We Won't Fuck It Up This Time" Department? Helluva acronym...

          It'd also make being a cop even tougher, so its a shame a few bad apples have to spoil the bunch

          Yea, always hear that - only a few cops are dirty, and give the rest a bad name. To that, I say - Bull-fucking-shit; if a 'good' cop sees a bad cop doing bad things and breaking the law, and doesn't immediately arrest the other officer, then the 'good' cop is just as fucked, just as wrong as the cop breaking the law. Period, end of story. It's like if you stopped at a gas station with a friend, who proceeded to get out of your car, walk in the station, steal the money from the till, and get back in your car. According to the law, YOU are just as guilty as your 'friend' for aiding and abetting his crime; why should cops, who are supposed to uphold the law, be treated any differently?

          • by Nadaka (224565)

            We need a serious Ombudsman organization here in the US. People who represent the people against the abuse of authority and have to power to take on the police and force them to respect the law and the rights of the people.

          • by swb (14022)

            The tape would probably consist of me laughing about the accusation, then politely asking the officer what the result from the rape kit were.

            I think that laughing at the police because you're smarter than them thing works well in certain novels and the first 20 minutes of "Law and Order" but in real life seldom works out the way people want.

            At a minimum it gets you put in too-tight handcuffs in the too-small back of a squad car in a position that would bedevil a yoga instructor for a half an hour or longer

          • by Genda (560240) <mariet@@@got...net> on Tuesday June 04, 2013 @05:07PM (#43908417) Journal

            Time and time again its been shown that the very act of policing changes human behavior, the impact it has on human psychology is profound and predictable. People who are responsible for "controlling", "managing" or "policing" groups of people that have been psychologically "Othered", tend to use unacceptable force, show dramatic loss of sympathy, empathy and compassion, and in general commit the kind nasty primate behavior we all have taboos against doing in normal polite society.

            The requirement is to first weed sociopaths and psychopaths out of police work, not doing that is a recipe for disaster. Next police education should include STRONG training in human behavior with a healthy shot of brain science and an appreciation for how the human brain (and its impact on the human mind) is impacted by a steady diet of "Keeping the Bad Guys at bay." There should be regular counseling, absolutely should be recorded police behavior, if nothing else to get a better handle on keeping our police mentally healthy and operationally effective. By the way, the police don't happen in a vacuum. The same ultra moralistic, hyper vigilant, religious rite (spelling intended) American subcultures that have put express lanes on their death rows and don't even blink twice at the fact that they've done a piss pour job of sorting the innocent from the guilty (the common heard refrain is let Gawd sort them out), leads to police that shoot first and worry about your human rights maybe later? I'm not saying that a New York officer who decides to break a broom handle off in some poor innocent Haitian's rectum isn't an atrocity deserving of some version of human life sacrifice. I am saying that there seem to be entire regions of the U.S. where public attitudes point to seriously questionable ethics and commonly result in atrocious behavior as common course, particularly by authorities.

            Others have mentioned public Ombudsman Programs, awesome ideas. Recording people's behavior to enhance accountability, equally awesome. Holding society at large to greater responsibility, makes me tear up with happiness. We get the services we manage, and take accountability for. No accountability, no service (or worse, disservice.) Most of all, we train people to be great. We explain that correction isn't being judged as wrong, its the control process required to get anything from point A to point B (its simply steering.) Treat the police great, their work is difficult, dangerous and seldom appreciated. Manage their humanity, the good, the bad and the ugly. Take care of them, so they can take care of us. By the way, while you're getting the police perfect, you also want to start working on the political system, education, public sector employees, the legal justice system and doctors.

            We've pretty much proven self regulation is virtually no regulation at all. I welcome the day we have an IBM Watson for the general administration of large professional/government bodies. By all means leave the disposition of people to people, but put a computer in the mix looking out for misconduct and dirty deeds done cheap . Adding that and systemic transparency suggests a golden age of rational human services right around the corner! And yes, expect foot dragging, nobody willing relinquishes control.

          • The tape would probably consist of me laughing about the accusation, then politely asking the officer what the result from the rape kit were.

            Unfortunately such confidence can only be displayed by someone who never has sex with anybody. That's why you got modded insightful for it on Slashdot.

        • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

          by Anonymous Coward

          Why NOT up the ante? Police blotters SHOULD be Public Information. Why should be video be any different?
          If someone makes a false accusation, they always were making it publically by telling a cop. In this case, the accusation would be not only public knowledge, but the stakes would be so much higher. If you lie to a cop, you are making not only a false official statement, but you are making a documented false statement. If that is proven to be false, then the party that is lied upon can hang you out to

          • by Nadaka (224565)

            I think we should up the ante. Any officer found guilty of infringing the rights of the people he is sworn to protect should be executed for treason.

          • by Obfuscant (592200)

            What government reveals should never be driven by what people want or don't want exposed,

            In some parts of the world the government serves the people, not the other way around. At least, it is supposed to. To claim that what the people want is irrelevant is, well, pushing us further towards the upside down model that people here seem to dislike.

            Since the police are often involved with people in ways that would be violations of privacy should a normal person do it (such as execution of a search warrant), then there are clear and compelling reasons why "all video of everything they do" should NO

        • Let's think about this for a second, lets say you were falsely arrested for rape, it happens EVERY day thanks to a certain breed of woman, would you really want that footage to immediately be uploaded for the public's viewing? Probably not.

          Is the video of the arrest any worse than the public record of your arrest permanently attached to your name?

          • by Obfuscant (592200)

            Is the video of the arrest any worse than the public record of your arrest permanently attached to your name?

            Yes.

            And the video of your questioning prior to the arrest is much worse than the report of that questioning that says only that "subject is not a person of interest due to alibi and lack of motive".

            "Hey, look Martha, ain't that our next door neighbor sitting in the chair at the cop shop being in-terry-gated for those local robberies? I always said he was up to no good... let's go key his car to show him we don't want none of his kind around here..."

        • OTOH, your own helmet cam should prove you completely innocent when the case goes to trial.
        • by Hatta (162192)

          Let's think about this for a second, lets say you were falsely arrested for rape, it happens EVERY day thanks to a certain breed of woman, would you really want that footage to immediately be uploaded for the public's viewing? Probably not.

          I'll take my chances getting tried in the court of public opinion, if it means the cop that kicks my ass gets tried in an actual court and sent to prison.

          • by Obfuscant (592200)
            And if the cop didn't "kick your ass" but simply investigated the false charges, you'd be perfectly happy with your frank discussion of the night you spent with "that certain breed of woman", including details of who consented to what and when, appearing online for your current girlfriend/wife/children/employer/friends to see?

            You're ok with that because of the slim chance that you'll get beaten up by police and want the video to prosecute that?

        • Whether or not you think it's wrong that arrests are public record - they are. They are regardless of the arrestee's innocence or guilt. So no, that's not a good reason to not allow public access to things that are publicly accessible.

          I agree that some police departments have proven to be unfixably corrupt. They are in a small minority, though. To think that a new federal agency would either have the authority to regulate state and local police departments (they don't) or that it would be effective (it

          • by Obfuscant (592200)

            Whether or not you think it's wrong that arrests are public record - ... no, that's not a good reason to not allow public access to things that are publicly accessible.

            I'm sorry, but when did "speaking to a citizen" (the language of the summary) become "arrests"? Do you really think that every interaction the police have with people is just to arrest them? How do they know who to arrest if they don't speak to the victims and witnesses, none of whom apparently deserve any privacy or respect from you. Why should the video of a knifing victim, for example, taken by the cop's helmet cam be made public? How about that fresh murder scene with the body still there? Would you sa

        • Wow, one of the few times you'll actually see Slashdot promoting more government... I mean, I get what you're saying, the watchers shouldn't be the ones watching the watchers, but how will yet another department solve the problem? We've seen damn-near total collusion between the police, procecutors' offices and the courts, why would you expect a "department of police oversight" to be any different?
    • by Trepidity (597) <delirium-slashdot AT hackish DOT org> on Tuesday June 04, 2013 @02:37PM (#43907127)

      Perhaps even send the raw footage to the AFL-CIO

      Nitpick, but I assume you mean the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) [aclu.org], not the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO) [aflcio.org]...

      • by SirGeek (120712)
        You are correct. My bad. I thought that it was not the right acronym. But I flaked !
      • by Sarten-X (1102295)

        Clearly the right way to counter one group of thugs is with another group of thugs.

        • by fredprado (2569351) on Tuesday June 04, 2013 @02:48PM (#43907209)
          Always. The only assured counter to violence is violence.
          • by Sarten-X (1102295)
            Yeah... all those wars have left such great peace and happiness behind.
            • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 04, 2013 @03:34PM (#43907623)
              Appeasement isn't a very sound foreign policy either, Prime Minister Chamberlain...
              • by Minwee (522556)

                Appeasement isn't a very sound foreign policy either, Prime Minister Chamberlain...

                I know that quote! John F. Kennedy, October 28, 1962, right?

            • War pretty much ended fascist rule in Europe in the 1940s, and the holding of slaves in the United States in the 1860s.

              Both Europe and the United States seemed to have prospered since.

          • by jklovanc (1603149)

            I guess you missed Mahatma Gandhi [wikipedia.org] who freed an entire country without violence. Countering violence with violence fails many times as well. Just look at the War on Terror. That does not seem to be working to well.

    • by jythie (914043)
      Agreed. As I recall there are recurring problems with dashboard cameras 'loosing' recording as it is.
      • ...and the recurring problems with officers purposely positioning their cars so the dashboard cameras can't see what's going on.
        • by dkleinsc (563838) on Tuesday June 04, 2013 @04:22PM (#43908039) Homepage

          Or strategically moving to a location where the camera can't see. For example, look up the dashboard footage of the shooting of John T Williams in Seattle: SPD officer Ian Burke sees Williams committing the heinous crime of walking across a street, yells at him to stop, leaves the camera frame, and then shoots Williams 4 times in the back and side. In the ensuing investigation, Burke successfully claimed self defense and avoided all criminal responsibility, even though he was the only person at the scene who did anything remotely violent. This even though the eyewitnesses (including one that courageously confronted Burke immediately) said that Williams presented no danger to them or to Burke.

          • Obviously the officer shouldn't have shot John Williams, but how is this an example of an officer strategically moving off camera? He was already off camera when he first tried telling the guy to put the knife down because that's where the guy was. There's nothing unusual about him being off camera in this case.

    • by poetmatt (793785)

      exactly. this "limited duration" thing is Taser intentionally designing this to be abused. Anyone who believes otherwise is foolish.

      Taser is the same company that produces lethal (not "safe") tasers that kill people, as well. They have no interest but $$, and safety is not a part of that.

    • by gl4ss (559668)

      but it only kicks on 30 secs from when he uses it.

      this is not two way surveillance. this is "evidence from things I want evidence about" for the copper.

      • by steveg (55825)

        It kicks on 30 seconds *before* he uses it. Presumably it's recording all the time but throwing everything older than 30 seconds away, up until the time it's triggered.

        Or are you concerned that it doesn't store everything? That's a reasonable concern, but constant recording might have some practical problems, like storage capacity or how to find significant footage in amongst the donuts.

    • The Bakersfield Calif Sheriffs Department killed a man while taking him into custody. Witnesses alleged that excessive force was used.

      http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-kern-sheriff-fbi-beating-death-20130514,0,7559565.story [latimes.com]

      http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/05/15/david-silva-police_n_3280663.html [huffingtonpost.com]

      One woman frantically called 911, telling the operator: "The guy was laying on the floor and eight sheriffs ran up and started beating him up with sticks. The man is dead laying right here, right now

  • Just say'in (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 04, 2013 @02:26PM (#43907015)

    The device is constantly on, but it only captures video of the thirty seconds before its wearer begins using it, and then both video and audio while police are speaking to a citizen.

    But not when beating the citizen? Or violating his rights?

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Yeah, that's exactly what that means. When they say "constantly on" they mean "knows when to turn itself off if ya know what I mean."

  • by sl4shd0rk (755837) on Tuesday June 04, 2013 @02:27PM (#43907025)

    The imbalance of power does. Giving the cops a headcam should be enough reason not to have to confiscate everyone's phone now.

    • by Sarten-X (1102295)

      On the one hand, that's a good point. If the stated policy is to be recorded at all times when on duty, then it should be perfectly acceptable for a citizen to record the same event from a different angle, right?

      Unfortunately, people aren't recording for the sake of having a complete and accurate record of events. They're recording something spectacular to put on YouTube or Facebook later, and it's a safe bet that the editing will depict the police negatively, regardless of any other circumstances. Then the

      • by Sarten-X (1102295)
        Bad form to self-reply, but I should note for the sake of the overzealous mods that I'm not advocating confiscating phones... I just can't advocate irresponsible recording, either.
      • by Hizonner (38491) on Tuesday June 04, 2013 @03:26PM (#43907539)

        The proposed devices record constantly, but they throw away the video after 30 seconds unless the officer triggers them to keep it. That's not "recording at all times"; it's "recording when the officer chooses to record".

        The police have the same incentives as the public for selective recording. They also "aren't recording for the sake of having a complete and accurate record of events". They're recording to have something to justify their actions and preserve their jobs. They're not going to record if their actions aren't in fact justified, at least not except by mistake.

        If they're recording selectively, then there'd better be others recording to take up the slack. If both "sides" have the ability to record, then you have a chance that at least one recording will get out when there's a matter of public interest. One might hope that both recordings would get out.

        The alternative would be continuous recording even when neither side thinks it's a good idea. I'm not sure I want to live in that world.

        • by Sarten-X (1102295)

          The alternative would be continuous recording even when neither side thinks it's a good idea. I'm not sure I want to live in that world.

          Effectively, you already do. With drones in the sky and cheap tiny cameras available at convenience stores, everybody can record anything, anywhere, any time. Sure, there are eavesdropping laws that supposedly protect you, but actually using them to your benefit is unlikely at best.

          With the ever-increasing likelihood that somebody will see everything you do, the only hope, in my opinion, is to promote responsible use of such recordings. For governments, this means short retention, automatic (and independent

        • by Hatta (162192)

          The proposed devices record constantly, but they throw away the video after 30 seconds unless the officer triggers them to keep it. That's not "recording at all times"; it's "recording when the officer chooses to record".

          That's the problem. The officer can choose not to record himself planting evidence or kicking a suspects ass. That makes these devices useless for the most important use of this technology.

          The alternative would be continuous recording even when neither side thinks it's a good idea. I'm not

          • by Chuckstar (799005) on Tuesday June 04, 2013 @04:49PM (#43908277)

            But what if I don't want my interaction with a police officer recorded? What if I'm telling him about the drug dealer down the street and would rather that guy not find out who was talking to the cops? Or maybe a cop regularly comes in and shoots-the-shit with me in my retail business. All of that would be recorded? It's good for cops to have that kind of casual relationship with people along their beat. It's not good that those people would be concerned that everything they said to the cop gets recorded

            I'm absolutely a general proponent of the idea of recording police at work. It works great for car-mounted situations, because it's rare that dash cams would record the kind of citizen interactions I'd be worried about having recorded. But unless there is some way to mitigate my concerns, I believe recording day-to-day officer interactions would do more harm than good.

      • You don't need creative editing to make cops look bad; they're pretty adept at it themselves.

        Hell, the TV show COPS is designed to portray police in a positive light, and they even fail to do that regularly; at least, to those of us who realize 90% of the shit they say to suspects are blatant lies that violate the suspects civil liberties.

        I admit that, statistically, there's a non-zero chance that someone, sometime, will edit a video to unfairly portray police in a negative light; however, considering how o

      • by berashith (222128)

        You are missing out on the case of many people recording. One person can edit things, or miss things, or even CG something... if anything is wrong about this that the police would like to make public, the other 15 cameras that may be there could clear things up. If the only version being allowed is owned and edited by the police, then we have the exact same situation, with a far more nefarious motive.

        Journalistic integrity is a modern concept. The original journals and papers were slanted hacks trying to su

      • by Hatta (162192)

        Then the video goes viral, and official statement from the department is conveniently omitted from the copying frenzy

        That's because the official statement is nothing but stonewalling and whitewashing.

      • by gman003 (1693318)

        Unfortunately, people aren't recording for the sake of having a complete and accurate record of events. They're recording something spectacular to put on YouTube or Facebook later, and it's a safe bet that the editing will depict the police negatively, regardless of any other circumstances.

        The counter to partial truths is the whole truth. If every cop camera is posting video 24/7, it's easy to find the full context. And the truth will go at least as viral as the half-truth.

    • by eth1 (94901)

      The imbalance of power does. Giving the cops a headcam should be enough reason not to have to confiscate everyone's phone now.

      Actually, what I'd like to see is a service that you can dial that simply picks up and starts recording, and makes the recording accessible to you online (identified by caller ID, so you don't have to do anything but dial out initially).

      Then it won't matter if they confiscate the phone (and could be very interesting if they don't shut it off right away...).

      Disclaimer: I live in a one-party state.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 04, 2013 @02:28PM (#43907035)

    Ubiquitous surveillance of everyone by everyone is inevitable. Dashcams and google glass are merely the first. Cams will become smaller, batteries will become smaller, internet will become faster, and everyone will automatically store what they see in their cloud of preference.

    Finally witness statements, which are proven to be unreliable, can be backed up by actual evidence.

    Hurrah for progress.

    • by TheCarp (96830)

      > Finally witness statements, which are proven to be unreliable, can be backed up by actual evidence.

      "Backed up" makes the rather unwarranted assumption that they are right in the first place, which doesn't seem to be the case at all. In fact, I was just listening to the rather harrowing story of a woman who was raped, which is bad enough, but then who identified the wrong man, and he went to jail for more than a decade before it was found that someone else was her actual attacker.

      Time and again we have

      • by njnnja (2833511)

        If it was this story [radiolab.org] that you listened to, there is more to the story. When the man was released, he murdered a woman.

        But in a way that supports your point even more - eyewitness testimony is a bad way to get to the facts (let alone the truth!). Maybe she remembered right the first time, maybe not, we can never know.

  • by hawguy (1600213) on Tuesday June 04, 2013 @02:38PM (#43907139)

    Take this system one step further and then it might actually be useful for helping protect citizens: have the system identify the person the officer is talking to (facial recognition, NFC beacon from my phone, whatever) and when the video is uploaded to the cloud, make it automatically uploaded to the private cloud storage owned by everyone in the video.

    Otherwise, the video is likely to "accidentally" disappear when it shows wrongdoing by the police.

    • The police department shouldn't be given the ability to delete videos from the "police surveillance cloud." Or, better yet, give them a big delete button and let it remove the video from their listing, but add into the audit trail who it was who tried to delete the video. If they are using it to prune their cloud file listing to only show active cases, fine. If they're using it in a failed attempt to destroy the video, then they've just been nailed.

  • by mcrbids (148650) on Tuesday June 04, 2013 @02:38PM (#43907141) Journal

    Strangely, the scenarios presented were placed 20 years in the future. Posted in 1993, then-revolutionary Wired Magazine got it exactly, dead on. [wired.com] It's almost strange how they were so dead-on as far as the time scale.

    Notice all the dash cam footage coming out of the Soviet Union...

  • I would be less troubled by this if the public had access as well. The police are supposed to be there to serve us, not vice versa. I'm aware that there are privacy concerns (they bust into the wrong house, see naked girl, realize they're in the wrong house, but now naked girl is all over Internet). This needs to be addressed. But the public, and defendants in criminal cases, are both severely disadvantaged if the police and prosecution have access to information that the former do not. And yes, I'm aw
    • but nothing there prevents the cops or prosecution from "accidentally" losing or even altering evidence to suit their agenda

      Not only *Can* this happen but there's quite a track record of it happening.

      There's no transparency if surveillance goes only one way. That's total control.

    • There should be a standard procedure for requesting access to the videos:

      1) If you are a police office, you get access to all the videos (audited access, of course)

      2) If you are a member of the public, you must apply (actual application, not some wimpy online form with "enter your e-mail address/choose a username"), pay a modest annual fee, be verified, and then you get access to the videos (audited just as much as the police).

      This way you don't get people crawling PoliceCamVideos.com and reposting that vid

  • by eriks (31863) on Tuesday June 04, 2013 @02:46PM (#43907197) Homepage

    I've said this for years. I have no problem with all the public-facing cameras, so long as the output from all those cameras is available to the public, preferably directly, in realtime. The cameras then become a public asset. Law enforcement can use them, but so can the rest of us. There's already no expectation of privacy in public places, so I don't see any issues with universal access to the data.

    I'd guess it might be necessary to restrict access to police dashcams and "uniform-cams" for a time, but eventually it should all be made public, with review processes in place to make sure that none of it gets "accidentally" deleted.

  • Any group surveiling the cops shouldn't be selling those cops stuff. "Hey, the XYZ PD just ordered another $500k of merch from us, I think we can 'lose' that embarrassing video."

    Taser International is a bunch of evil fuckwads who've made their bankrolls selling lethal electrical torture devices to police. Their irresponsible marketing has lead to an increase in the use of excessive force by cops. My trust in them is zero.

    • by jklovanc (1603149)

      I guess we should go back to the old option to subdue an armed violent suspect; guns. I think tazers are a much better option than shooting a person wielding a weapon. Sure tazers have killed people but then so have batons. If you confront police with a weapon you may die. Tazers are much less likely to kill than guns.

      Just because Tazer International builds the recording system does not mean that they will run it.

      • by Bacon Bits (926911) on Tuesday June 04, 2013 @04:52PM (#43908301)

        It's not about the armed violent suspects. It's the unarmed violent suspects, or unarmed not-particularly-violent suspects, or even the armed, non-violent suspects. Tasers aren't used just as an alternative to lethal force, they're used as an alternative to other forms of less-lethal force.

        Think about it. You're a little kid. You have just a metal bat. How likely are you to randomly hit someone with it? Not very, right? I mean, it would hurt, and there would be repercussions to hurting someone. Now we'll give you a foam bad. How likely are you to randomly hit someone with it? If you're anything like my nephew, you're going to smack everybody with it as soon as they get into range because, hey, foam bats don't hurt that much, right? Now how about a hard plastic wiffle bat? You're not going to kill someone with it, but you can sure as hell cause some pain by doing it. Swing that around a few times, and you're going to actually hurt people. Not broken bone pain, but you'll raise some welts. You're not going to cause the kind of damage a metal bat would, but you're going to use it a lot more often than you really should.

        This is the problem with tasers. They make the Police think they should use them when we as citizens think they shouldn't be using a weapon at all.

    • by taustin (171655)

      Any group surveiling the cops shouldn't be selling those cops stuff. "Hey, the XYZ PD just ordered another $500k of merch from us, I think we can 'lose' that embarrassing video."

      That would be no diferent from destroying any other evidence, which is already a crime (and a farily serious one, for agents of the government). Enforcement is spotty now, and will be equally spotty then, but when the public knows the video exists, its absence will be increasingly damning in and of itself. This is the same reason m

  • If only the watchers are the only that watches themselves (or that countrol what and who does it) then is a bad answer for that question. When everyone can see what the "watchers" (police, politicians, etc) do, in real time, with no editing, clipping, etc, then things will get a bit fair. But that won't happen soon.
  • As surveillance technologies have matured in both their sophistication and usage, some are starting to ask the question: is it time we start using them to watch the watchers? The proliferation of dashboard cameras has reduced liability costs, provided valuable evidence, and made police officers safer. The next progression would naturally be for the camera to move out of the car and onto the officer's uniform itself.

    Unlikely.. Police unions are pushing to take cameras out of vehicles because they are freque

  • "It must of got broken and suffered an EMP blast right before I had to shoot that [non-white] guy."
  • The most it catches are cops running red lights. Sure, it saved my butt in an insurance claim, but by occurrence it catches cops being bad.

    I want to start a blog: copsbehavingbadly which will highlight bad police action caught on camera.

  • This is not a trustworthy company. They have combined the strategies of litigation trolls, lobbies, NRA and pharmaceuticals to ensure the success of their mobile cattle prod technology.

    I doubt very much that their proposed device would benefit anybody but the least deserving. It is not their nature.

  • there is an independent body of people who are managing the uploaded videos. For example, each state in the US could have a department where it manages all the feeds for all levels of law enforcement. Then at least, there is a fair chance that the captured footage would be useful in the case of abuse of power.
    • by fazey (2806709)
      A citizen review board should be the ones to do it. Many states have them, but you can pretty much only reach them via mail.
  • So I was reading this other political article on slashdot the other day. And these doods were argueing about this very same thing and a bunch of people cited some Canadian study or paper or news report that said... 60% less fatalities from cameras on duty for officers. Meaning the job is a lot safer.

    Even if it does not make everyone safer. I think 60% safer for law enforcement is something to consider. That is a lot of incentive to keep doing your job well vs being mad at everyone for screwing you over.

  • I always thought it would be interesting to run for office on the platform that during my term I will have a camera on me at all times broadcasted live. Unfortunately I belong to the one class of citizens prohibited from running for political office.

  • Interesting that you mention this. There is a petition on we the people about it. force-all-law-enforcement-officers-wear-uniform-embedded-cameras [whitehouse.gov]

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