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Crime Government Technology

U.S. Senator: All Cops Should Wear Cameras 643

Posted by Soulskill
from the proof-is-in-the-pudding dept.
Several readers sent word that U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill (D-MO) has begun speaking in favor of mandatory cameras for police across the country. "Everywhere I go people now have cameras. 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." This follows the recent controversy ove the shooting death of Michael Brown in a police incident, as well as a White House petition on the subject that rocketed to 100,000 signatures.

McCaskill continued, "I would like to see us say, 'If you want federal funding in your community, you've got to have body cams on your officers. And I think that would go a long way towards solving some of these problems, and it would be a great legacy over this tragedy that's occurred in Ferguson, regardless of what the facts say at the end as to whether or not anyone is criminally culpable."
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U.S. Senator: All Cops Should Wear Cameras

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  • I like... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Ronin Developer (67677) on Wednesday August 27, 2014 @01:11PM (#47767213)

    Of course, somebody will think this a bad idea...

  • by mi (197448) <slashdot-2014@virtual-estates.net> on Wednesday August 27, 2014 @01:11PM (#47767215) Homepage

    Or will we one day hear, that, unfortunately, the cameras worn by the officers involved had "malfunctioned" at the most inopportune moment?

    (Pay no attention to the remains of chewing gum around the lenses.)

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 27, 2014 @01:14PM (#47767253)

    Fewer complaints against the cops, complaints get resolved quickly and fairly, fewer cases of cops using violence, they caught one copkiller because the cop he killed had filmed his face.

    It's been good for just about everyone, yet some cops keep resisting. I guess because they no longer get their 3 months paid vacation while complaints get kicked around by the unionistas before being summarily dismissed, replacing that with a day off while the tape is reviewed is a hard sell.

  • Re:One correction (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ixl (811473) on Wednesday August 27, 2014 @01:17PM (#47767275)
    Make evidence retrieved without camera coverage inadmissible, citations issued without camera coverage inadmissible, and so on.
  • Re:One correction (Score:5, Insightful)

    by alen (225700) on Wednesday August 27, 2014 @01:17PM (#47767277)

    and states are completely free to fund their own law enforcement needs without asking the fed for money

  • by TheRealSteveDallas (2505582) on Wednesday August 27, 2014 @01:17PM (#47767279)
    They are also less likely to charge you with a bullshit charge they "discovered" having stopped you on sketchy grounds in the first place.
  • by ixl (811473) on Wednesday August 27, 2014 @01:20PM (#47767315)
    The US has a strong tradition of prosecutorial discretion. DAs decline to charge people all the time, in court, with a written record. Cameras wouldn't necessarily require the death of leniency, although I see your point that they might encourage it if cops decide to be stricter that as a form of protest. But who knows, that just might encourage people to repeal stupid laws *cough*non-violent possession*cough*.
  • by StevenMaurer (115071) on Wednesday August 27, 2014 @01:21PM (#47767329) Homepage

    Police are given wide discretion by the courts. There is no reason to believe that anyone will be auditing them for failure to write up a citation.

    This is more to prevent them from beating the ever-loving-crap out of a black guy for driving in the wrong neighborhood. *Ahem* Sorry: "resisting arrest".

  • by jareth-0205 (525594) on Wednesday August 27, 2014 @01:21PM (#47767337) Homepage

    Or will we one day hear, that, unfortunately, the cameras worn by the officers involved had "malfunctioned" at the most inopportune moment?

    (Pay no attention to the remains of chewing gum around the lenses.)

    Indeed, but then it will immediately put suspicion on the police officer, whereas at the moment there is nothing other than their sayso about what happened. Since police testimony is often implicitly trusted by magistrates and juries, I would much rather there be a 'but what happened to your camera?' defence than not at all.

  • One step further (Score:5, Insightful)

    by HeckRuler (1369601) on Wednesday August 27, 2014 @01:22PM (#47767339)

    It's a good idea, don't get me wrong. It's about time we used this ubiquitous cheap technology in an obviously beneficial way. It's a good move, and one I support.

    But either after this comes about, or as part of the deal, the content of that camera needs to be stored offsite and specifically out of the reach of the police officer. Otherwise we're going to see a lot of data simply go missing at convenient times. To be frank, we can't trust police departments to hold onto evidence that could incriminate themselves.

    And any evidence that an officer tampered with their camera in an effort to suppress incriminating evidence should be dealt with exactly as if they had destroyed evidence. Because that's what it is.

  • by mi (197448) <slashdot-2014@virtual-estates.net> on Wednesday August 27, 2014 @01:22PM (#47767341) Homepage

    Though I don't think, this particular one is a bad idea, I am worried about the yet another illustration of how the Federal government's control reaches into the crooks and nannies it was never supposed to reach [wikipedia.org]:

    If you want federal funding in your community, you've got to fill in the blank

    By ratcheting up the Federal taxes, the Federal government has come into position to dictate the terms to local governments, who can neither print money nor raise their taxes to finance themselves without bankrupting local economies. But don't you worry — it is not dictatorship, you can always refuse the federal monies, can you not?

  • Re:I like... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Entropius (188861) on Wednesday August 27, 2014 @01:24PM (#47767381)

    A body camera is a tiny, tiny fraction of the salary of a cop, and will probably make up its cost very quickly in the bullshit that it cuts out.

  • Re:I like... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by cyberchondriac (456626) on Wednesday August 27, 2014 @01:26PM (#47767407) Journal
    You're wrong, AC, ("of course"). Apparently you don't actually know many republicans. Of the several I know, many are LEOs and would fully support this for exactly for the reasons stated in the article. If they lump their purchase under "anti-terrorism", then funding is no problem, as that still seems to be a bottomless wallet, for both wings.
  • by Old-Claimjumper (463905) on Wednesday August 27, 2014 @01:28PM (#47767429)

    Albuquerque has had problems recently with police shooting a homeless man and their lapel cameras show something that appears to be a real unjustified use of force.

    Now that there is loads of bad press from the released videos, the last couple of "incidents" have been plagued with ummm... Camera Malfunctions! That's it. The cameras just malfunctioned and didn't work. We just don't understand it. Sorry, but we don't have any video of that last shooting...

    A really good idea, but the devil is in the details.

  • by mi (197448) <slashdot-2014@virtual-estates.net> on Wednesday August 27, 2014 @01:28PM (#47767433) Homepage

    I know that doesn't sound like a big deal but cops let thousands of people off per day on minor things where people just need a warning.

    That may, actually, be a good thing — enforcing police objectivity by ending the selective enforcement [wikipedia.org] (sometimes affectionately referred to as "Prosecutorial Discretion" [dailykos.com]).

    Then, if a silly law affects too many people — including judges, mayors, and good-looking women, who would've all gotten off with a warning before — the law may get amended...

  • by ClintJCL (264898) <clintjcl+slashdo ... minus physicist> on Wednesday August 27, 2014 @01:30PM (#47767445) Homepage Journal
    Cops can already wear a camera and can already run facial recognition. You seem to be confusing the absence of this law as being equivalent to a prohibition of activities you do not like. It is not, and your logic is fallacious.
  • by Theaetetus (590071) <theaetetus...slashdot@@@gmail...com> on Wednesday August 27, 2014 @01:31PM (#47767467) Homepage Journal

    The problem with this is that if all cops feel like they're being audited all of the time, they're less likely to let you off the hook for a minor violation. Then since they have to charge you with something, and there's supporting evidence, you're not going to get a plea or reduction from a mandatory sentence in court.

    I know that doesn't sound like a big deal but cops let thousands of people off per day on minor things where people just need a warning.

    Frankly, I'm a little less concerned with the "problem" of cops letting off people who do commit minor infractions, than the problem of cops falsifying evidence or destroying exculpatory evidence, beating or torturing suspects, and lying on police reports in order to arrest people who haven't committed any crime. You getting out of a speeding ticket for going 60 in a 55 is less important than Joe Innocent getting arrested for walking in the wrong part of town while black, having a gun with defaced serial numbers planted on him, and suddenly facing 10 year felony charge with an "option" to plead guilty and only get a year (and a felony record).

  • Re:I like... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by MondoGordo (2277808) on Wednesday August 27, 2014 @01:33PM (#47767481)
    it's only a bad idea if the police have control over the recordings ... then you would see incriminating footage getting lost or deleted (and blamed on "equipment failure" ) & only exculpatory (for the police) footage being preserved. I'm all for it (despite the expansion of the panopticon) if the cameras are always on (including an officer recall if the feed fails), the feed is streamed to a remote location, the record is administered by a public advocacy agency and available for public review, and all interactions of a routine nature are deleted after a fixed period of time.
  • Re:I like... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Nidi62 (1525137) on Wednesday August 27, 2014 @01:33PM (#47767483)

    Think about it: Where is the money going to come for all these cameras?

    Federal/state/local governments aren't exactly flush with cash right now so either taxes will need to be increased to purchase said cameras or something will have to be cut (and that opens up a whole other can of worms.)

    Or the departments could just take the funding they put aside for a couple surplus MRAPs and buy these cameras instead. These cameras have the added effect of actually improving officer/civilian safety (less chance of violence on both sides if they know a camera is recording) with the only downside being the cops don't have bad-ass trucks they can ride around in while pretending they're Marines riding through downtown Fallujah.

  • Re:I like... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by smooth wombat (796938) on Wednesday August 27, 2014 @01:34PM (#47767491) Homepage Journal

    If you get rid of the TSA, there would be tons of money available for such an endeavor.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 27, 2014 @01:37PM (#47767551)

    In countries where body cameras have been implemented, not only they work but also there is a noticable decrease in agressivity of both citizens and officers.

    Also, I fail to understand why your argument is relevant. If a policeman behaves violently, the citizen will ask for the footage, and if it becomes clear that the policeman tampered with the device he will be punished. Even if one more clever manages to do bad things and not be caught (which already happens everyday), why should that invalidate a concept that will be very useful in the vast majority of the cases?

  • by c0d3g33k (102699) on Wednesday August 27, 2014 @01:42PM (#47767597)

    "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."

    Or maybe they have, because they have the legal authority to use force and the citizenry they are sworn to protect and serve do not.

    I find it a very disturbing trend that "ordinary citizens" are now viewed as dangerous and "the enemy" from which the noble police (and other official institutions) must be protected. When I grew up, the general tone was that of Blackstone's Formulation ("It is better that ten guilty persons escape than that one innocent suffer"). Now it seems to be "It's better that ten innocent persons suffer than that one guilty person escape".

  • by dunkindave (1801608) on Wednesday August 27, 2014 @01:49PM (#47767705)

    How is this any different than dash cams on police cars? Police regularly give out warnings while being filmed without any repercussions.

    In theory it is the same concept, but in practice it is very different.
    1. Dash cams are fixed and (usually) only see what is happening in front of the police car, which is normally on a public right-of-way and therefore where the public could also observe and record*. What happens elsewhere, like when an officer goes inside a private residence, isn't captured by dash cams. A body cam on the other hand would frequently be recording events that are not occurring where the public can see, and this is a significant difference for accountability. It should see what is happening in front of the officer (note, NOT necessarily what the officer is seeing since the officer could be looking to the side) which is where any action of interest is most likely to be.
    2. Dash cams use a system located in the car, typically the trunk, and can hold a large amount of high-quality video. Body cams will have stricter limits due to size and weight so may be much more limited on what they can capture.
    3. Dash cams are located inside the protected shell of the police car and, short of a crash, should not have frequent failures. Body cams on the other hand will be operating in a much more hostile environment (officer's opinion aside), being exposed to weather, physical trauma, getting material thrown on or over the lens, etc.

    We already have a problem of a high "failure" rate for dash cams, and I expect the same issue with body cams. Some here are advocating punishments to officers when a camera stops working, either directly or in how evidence is treated, but this would punish innocent officers whose cameras legitimately fail, since after all, they are operating in truly hostile environments. An officer whose camera seems to consistently fail, or where the officer seems to frequently "forget" to turn it on, are a different matter. We need a way of telling legit from illegit failures so we don't punish the innocent officers in our rush to punish guilty ones.

    * I don't know the current status of a couple states that have tried to make recording of officers in public a crime.

  • Re:I like... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 27, 2014 @01:52PM (#47767751)

    since when has the amount of money the federal govt spends had any relation to the amount of taxes collected?

  • by i kan reed (749298) on Wednesday August 27, 2014 @01:54PM (#47767771) Homepage Journal

    Oh, but the evidence is there. There's witness testimony, and while circumstantial, missing footage at exactly the right moment could easily be represented as corroboration of the testimony.

    The defense would then have to come up with a narrative that sheds reasonable doubts on that interpretation.

    In a court of law, conspicuous absence of evidence tends to get a bit of attention.

  • Re:I like... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 27, 2014 @01:57PM (#47767825)

    The camera itself might be a tiny, tiny fraction of the salary of a cop, but it would still require a massive database and supporting infrastructure to run/maintain the entire implementation. Nor would it change the fact that people would still bring (founded and unfounded) lawsuits against the police.

    What if the police got to the scene of a crime after the victim (a black man) managed to turn the tables on the attacker (a white woman) and the only thing the camera saw was the victim (a black man) attacking the attacker (a white woman) in a panicked frenzy? Camera and the police says the victim (a black man) is the attacker, therefore the victim (a black man) gets arrested. Investigation? Why conduct one when the police (partly) caught a black man beating a white woman on camera?

    And yes, I am picking an extreme example, but thats exactly how we got here in the first place. White cop shoots black kid. White cop goes free, black kid is (supposedly) framed as a thief. Oh, but we'll have to wait MONTHS for the FEDERAL investigation to be completed because the LOCAL POLICE fucked up so badly there was RIOTING in the streets for over a week. But body cameras will solve all that, right?

  • The federal government has acted as a check on the tyranny of state governments -- who traditionally disenfranchised minorities through institutions like slavery [wikipedia.org], Jim Crow Laws [wikipedia.org], separate inferior education [wikipedia.org], and police brutality -- which is precisely the case here.

    Yet again, we trot out the state rights libertarians adrift of any irony that they in fact they thought black folk were property [wikipedia.org] -- and owned them. I'm not saying Madison and Jefferson weren't brilliant -- but you shouldn't ask them about oppression for the same reason we don't ask Michael Vick about animal rights.

  • by quietwalker (969769) <pdughi@gmail.com> on Wednesday August 27, 2014 @02:03PM (#47767895)

    I'll be happier when I see cameras on the politicians. It'd be interesting to know what they agree to do in private lunch meetings with corporate CEOs and billionaire bankers. Criminally interesting, I suspect.

  • Re:I like... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by BronsCon (927697) <social@bronstrup.com> on Wednesday August 27, 2014 @02:05PM (#47767925) Journal
    Well, they'll solve the rioting, I suppose. In fact, they'll solve a slew of other issues, as well. Your point is valid, nonetheless, but it is also an extreme (as you pointed out) edge scenario and any lawyer who actually passed the BAR (that'd be all of them) would be able to have a case based entirely on body cam evidence thrown out in a heartbeat; investigations would still happen.
  • Re:I like... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ArcadeMan (2766669) on Wednesday August 27, 2014 @02:06PM (#47767935)

    Just because it won't solve 100% of the problems doesn't mean it shouldn't be applied as one of multiple solutions.

    As for your "recorded half-way through" comment, it would be clear that the video didn't start at the beginning and that the cops arrived late at the scene. If a jury can't understand that, you're fucked anyway.

  • Re:I like... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by rickb928 (945187) on Wednesday August 27, 2014 @02:07PM (#47767947) Homepage Journal

    You don't know very many republicans, I suspect. I'm one, and I'm all for this.

    What I am opposed to, for the moment, would be:

    - Federal compulsory regulation requiring this. Local governments (and state governments as well) have the responsibility and so can make the decisions themselves. Claims that federal civil rights law would compel this are specious. Federal intrusion here leads only to more federal control, and I'm still enough of a Conservative to oppose this.

    - Federal funding, which would be the vehicle for regulation. Federal funding is the hammer to drive control. Just say no. Those dollars came from somewhere, you know.

    Police departments and communities that have problems with their police already know this, and should be acting. Citizens need to elect officials that ensure that problems are solved.

  • by Anonymice (1400397) on Wednesday August 27, 2014 @02:10PM (#47767975)

    I dunno, to me it looks like tactical language so as to not aggravate the police force & automatically put them on the defensive. If you want someone to comply, you give them a reason to *want* to do it.
    If you tell people you want to restrict their freedoms so you have more control over them, they'll rebel. If you tell people that you're trying to protect them (think of the children!), they'll hand you their liberties without a second thought.

  • by Chirs (87576) on Wednesday August 27, 2014 @02:14PM (#47768023)

    If someone complains about an interaction with an officer where the officer's camera has no record of the interaction, the officer is assumed to be guilty.

    That should give officers incentive to ensure their cameras are in working order.

  • by Charliemopps (1157495) on Wednesday August 27, 2014 @02:26PM (#47768209)

    It's a good idea, don't get me wrong. It's about time we used this ubiquitous cheap technology in an obviously beneficial way. It's a good move, and one I support.

    But either after this comes about, or as part of the deal, the content of that camera needs to be stored offsite and specifically out of the reach of the police officer. Otherwise we're going to see a lot of data simply go missing at convenient times. To be frank, we can't trust police departments to hold onto evidence that could incriminate themselves.

    And any evidence that an officer tampered with their camera in an effort to suppress incriminating evidence should be dealt with exactly as if they had destroyed evidence. Because that's what it is.

    Actually this is a real problem... so much so that in departments that have these cameras, many require the officer to write their report before being allowed to view the video. If they can see the video, they often end up crafting their report to fit the video of the incident while the victim/perpetrator doesn't have that advantage.

  • Re:I like... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by KamikazeSquid (3611985) on Wednesday August 27, 2014 @02:30PM (#47768261)

    What if the police got to the scene of a crime after the victim (a black man) managed to turn the tables on the attacker (a white woman) and the only thing the camera saw was the victim (a black man) attacking the attacker (a white woman) in a panicked frenzy? Camera and the police says the victim (a black man) is the attacker, therefore the victim (a black man) gets arrested. Investigation? Why conduct one when the police (partly) caught a black man beating a white woman on camera?

    How is this any different from the current situation? Currently, said officer will simply testify in court, "I arrived at the scene and the only thing I saw was a black man attacking a white woman in a panicked frenzy."

    At least, with the camera solution, we can be 100% sure that the officer isn't telling a flat-out lie when they say something like that in court.

  • by swillden (191260) <shawn-ds@willden.org> on Wednesday August 27, 2014 @02:31PM (#47768263) Homepage Journal

    The federal government has acted as a check on the tyranny of state governments

    Utter red herring.

    The tyrannies to which you refer were fought by amending the federal constitution and enacting appropriate federal laws to curb the abuses. That's a Good Thing, both the process and the outcome. But it has nothing to do with mi's point. The things the federal government manipulates through funding are things that it has no authority to control, and for which there is no national political will sufficient to give the government that control. Hence this back door method.

    If cop cameras are sufficiently important that the federal government should mandate them, then Congress should pass a law mandating them. If the courts knock the law down as unconstitutional (as they would), then we should amend the constitution to give the federal government the authority required. This sneaky backdoor manipulation of state policy via federal funding, though... it's a tool that has no essential limits and no constitutional controls. It's a bad idea, and we should stop it.

  • by netsavior (627338) on Wednesday August 27, 2014 @02:37PM (#47768329)
    +1 to the parent. Selective enforcement blows.
    The saying goes: "If everyone is guilty of something, they can punish anyone for anything."

    Don't like someone's youtube channel? Find a video which has a poster of Tinkerbell in the background and get Disney to DMCA
    Don't like someone's racial background or religion, wait until they fail to stop 10 feet behind an intersection and give them a ticket. Search their car while you are at it
    I commit thousands of crimes a year, and so do you. That isn't a problem with me or you, or even law enforcement. The letter of the law is so screwed up that there is no possible way to root out corruption and discrimination.
  • by zerofoo (262795) on Wednesday August 27, 2014 @02:38PM (#47768351)

    Was Michael Brown surrendering with his hands up when he was shot, or was he attacking the police officer? Body cam video would have gone a long way to answering that question.

    When investigating complex matters like police shootings, more evidence is better. There is no way you can convince me that less data would make the investigation better.

  • Re:I like... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ShanghaiBill (739463) on Wednesday August 27, 2014 @02:42PM (#47768391)

    Nor would it change the fact that people would still bring (founded and unfounded) lawsuits against the police.

    This is flat out wrong. All the evidence to date shows that cop-cams result in a dramatic reduction in complaints, for two reasons:
    1. Since there is a recording, there are far fewer false allegations
    2. Since they are being recorded, the cops behave better, so there are fewer incidents that result in valid allegations.

    Here is a typical result [informatio...ration.com]:

    THE Rialto study began in February 2012 and will run until this July. The results from the first 12 months are striking. Even with only half of the 54 uniformed patrol officers wearing cameras at any given time, the department over all had an 88 percent decline in the number of complaints filed against officers, compared with the 12 months before the study, to 3 from 24.

    But body cameras will solve all that, right?

    In the case of Michael Brown, YES, a camera likely would have prevented the riots. The riots didn't occur because a white cop killed a black kid, but because there was a perception that it was unjustified and the cop "got away with it". If there was a camera, there would be much less dispute about what happened. The camera would either show that the shooting was justified, or it would show that it was not and the cop would be charged with murder. In either case, I don't think there would be a riot.

  • by i kan reed (749298) on Wednesday August 27, 2014 @02:45PM (#47768433) Homepage Journal

    We're not asking for perfect. We're asking for better

  • Re:I like... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Lumpy (12016) on Wednesday August 27, 2014 @02:46PM (#47768449) Homepage

    They can sell the M16's and assault vehicles they dont need to fund the cameras.

  • Re:I like... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by DroolTwist (1357725) on Wednesday August 27, 2014 @03:11PM (#47768749)
    I agree with your post, except for the last part about rioting. There would absolutely be riots, because the rioting had nothing to do with the issue at hand. The riots were nothing more than a means to an end (ie, a bunch of thugs getting free stuff). Heck, half of the rioters came in from out of town if you believed the news reports, and people that lived in the area who were interviewed.
  • Re:I like... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by funwithBSD (245349) on Wednesday August 27, 2014 @03:15PM (#47768795)

    As a Republican, I 100% agree with the idea and want it to happen.

    I also want codified in that same law that all citizens are able to video officers for any reason at any time if they can do so from pubic property or private property they are allowed to do so, and are not physically hampering what is going on.

    Any attempt to keep the public from recording or interfering with that recording is de facto proof of violating the civil rights of the photographer and the person that the officers are engaging.

  • by digsbo (1292334) on Wednesday August 27, 2014 @03:22PM (#47768903)

    You're cherry-picking information to attack libertarians, and your argument is flawed. Perhaps you forgot about the Japanese during WWII [wikipedia.org], or maybe the fact that state nullification of Federal laws was first used to protect people being pursued under the Fugitive Slave Act. [wikipedia.org]

    Or maybe the racist federal war on drugs [drugpolicy.org]: "Since the 1980s, federal penalties for crack were 100 times harsher than those for powder cocaine, with African Americans disproportionately sentenced to much lengthier terms.".

  • by Jason Levine (196982) on Wednesday August 27, 2014 @03:41PM (#47769105)

    The camera video doesn't mean a constant audit. If a cop pulls you over for speeding and lets you go with a warning, his supervisor isn't going to be viewing that recording. If the cop pulls you over for speeding, drags you out of the car, beats you, and then claims that you pulled a gun on him, the supervisor (and possibly jury too) will view the recording and be able to tell whether the officer was correct in his actions.

  • Re:I like... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by icebike (68054) on Wednesday August 27, 2014 @03:45PM (#47769153)

    he camera itself might be a tiny, tiny fraction of the salary of a cop, but it would still require a massive database and supporting infrastructure to run/maintain the entire implementation. Nor would it change the fact that people would still bring (founded and unfounded) lawsuits against the police.

    Don't be ridiculous
    We already bear massive costs of litigation and document storage.
    This saves money two ways, Cops know they are being watched, and criminals can't make bogus claims.
    The cost for several years of operation would be offset by the absence of ONE riot or bogus lawsuit.

    The whole thing can be automated.
    You come in from your shift, put your cam in bin, it gets copied to bulk storage.
    Key in your badge number, (maybe RFID) and machine dispenses an empty camera every morning.

    (Hint: storage is dirt cheap the backup/storage/indexing etc deletion can be entirely automated. )

    If all you did was patrol and never had a single arrest or confrontation it gets purged in 90 days.
    Every day, there better be video on the camera, or Internal Affairs is going to want to know why.

    By the way: for every ridiculous example you cite there are 33,000 arrests every day [fbi.gov] that are not convoluted contrived cases. And even in the situation you describe the police video would not be enough to convict anyone. Saying you should not have evidence because you can contrive a situation where it might not be the whole store is tantamount to shutting down all scientific research world wide. You, sir, are an idiot.

  • by Tokolosh (1256448) on Wednesday August 27, 2014 @04:04PM (#47769337)

    My garbage is collected by a private company, not the government. And I have alternatives if they do not perform to my satisfaction. So no cameras for them. But if my local government wants to get into the garbage business, they wear cameras, sorry.

    No time delay, no court. No exceptions - I'm looking at you, Mr. President, congressman, justice, TSA and NSA. And any tampering is evidence of malfeasance.

  • Re:I like... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ShanghaiBill (739463) on Wednesday August 27, 2014 @04:40PM (#47769655)

    The riots were nothing more than a means to an end (ie, a bunch of thugs getting free stuff).

    There were lots of peaceful protesters and far fewer rioters. The police were distracted, and rioters used the protests as cover. If there had been no protests, there would have been no riot. If there was a clear record of what happened, there would have been no protest. For instance, this shooting [youtube.com] looks unjustified to me, and the police lied about what happened, saying the perp came toward them with a raised knife, and they only fired when he was 2-3 feet away. None of that was true. But there was no protest or riot.

  • by Mantrid42 (972953) on Wednesday August 27, 2014 @06:47PM (#47770617)
    That's... not really the same. Average people should not be under surveillance at all times. Cops are different. They're special; they're tasked with upholding the law and keeping the peace. They have more power than an average person, so they need to be under more scrutiny than the average person.
  • Re:I like... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by BitZtream (692029) on Wednesday August 27, 2014 @08:25PM (#47771183)

    ... have you watched the full video ... because it confirms exactly what the police said, and has people on the video talking about how he ran at the cop with a knife even though its not visible in the video itself.

    Not sure at all how you got that it was all lies. Pretty much EVERYONE else recognizes that it was suicide by cop.

    You've watched an edited version that removes the beginning where the camera walks by the guy holding the knife. The camera man originally passed within a few feet of the victim from the same direction that cop vehicle came in from. You're also not seeing the ending where the witnesses are discussing the fact that he ran at the cop with a knife that THEY saw which you can't see on a shitty phone video.

    You're basically watching the Julian Assange edit of the video thats designed to mislead you into thinking collateral murder.

    There was no protest or riot because the full version of the video took away every excuse to protest. The guy had mental issues, had just robbed a store and was standing on the curb daring anyone to fuck with him and to try and get the two sodas he took from the store.

  • Re:I like... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by nbauman (624611) on Wednesday August 27, 2014 @08:44PM (#47771277) Homepage Journal

    The shooting in Ferguson was used as an excuse to riot.

    Look at the story, every 'witness' says he was shot in the back running away ... until the autopsy shows that NONE of the wounds were in his back. From the start every witness account was bullshit.

    No. "Every" witness didn't say that. Lawyers who regularly investigate situations like this say that when you have a lot of witnesses, you get different accounts. When every witness gives the same story, they assume that the witnesses got together and made up a story together -- which cops often do.

    Ferguson was a town in which most of the population was black, the cops were white, the district attorney was white, and most of the politicians were white. One of the main sources of income for the town was stopping black motorists and giving them traffic tickets.

    There were many incidents of brutality by white cops against black people, and this was only the last straw. Most of the demonstrators were peaceful.

    And oh yeah. The residents made a memorial for Michael Brown, his mother laid flowers on the spot that he was killed -- and one of the cops brought a police dog to urinate on it.

    http://www.motherjones.com/pol... [motherjones.com]
    Michael Brown's Mom Laid Flowers Where He Was Shot—and Police Crushed Them

    As darkness fell on Canfield Drive on August 9, a makeshift memorial sprang up in the middle of the street where Michael Brown's body had been sprawled in plain view for more than four hours. Flowers and candles were scattered over the bloodstains on the pavement. Someone had affixed a stuffed animal to a streetlight pole a few yards away. Neighborhood residents and others were gathering, many of them upset and angry.

    Soon, police vehicles reappeared, including from the St. Louis County Police Department, which had taken control of the investigation. Several officers emerged with dogs. What happened next, according to several sources, was emblematic of what has inflamed the city of Ferguson, Missouri, ever since the unarmed 18-year-old was gunned down: An officer on the street let the dog he was controlling urinate on the memorial site.

    Suppose some cop brought his police dog to piss on your mother's grave. Would you get mad?

    The reason they have race riots, all over this country, is that people go through the whole process of polite complaints and peaceful demonstrations, and get nowhere. They're routinely getting killed and the cops routinely get away with it. And then the cops stop them in the street and humiliate them, like they did here when they knew they were the center of attention with cameras around. What do you suppose they're doing when there aren't any reporters around?

    They riot because they found out that riots are the only thing that works. When they burn down the town, the white establishment finally pays attention.

    I doubt that you would pay attention otherwise.

  • Re:I like... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by schlachter (862210) on Wednesday August 27, 2014 @08:48PM (#47771313)

    The feds should mandate that all victims must wear cams too!

  • by Jim Sadler (3430529) on Wednesday August 27, 2014 @11:13PM (#47771905)
    Not only should cops and squad cars be mandated to have extensive cams working at all times we need exactly the same thing in our jails and prisons. Abuse by guards as well as inmates should be made impossible. And we need voice as well as video. No cop should ever be able to blackmail an inmate or make deals with inmates under any conditions. And inmates should find it vastly difficult to conspire with other inmates. The days when a guard could force a prisoner to have sex or sell drugs within the prison or be rewarded for being an enforcer for the guards needs to come to a total end. Secrets are evil in and of themselves and secrets perpetuate crime as well. To enable the Truth to set us free we need to turn on very bright search lights.

It was kinda like stuffing the wrong card in a computer, when you're stickin' those artificial stimulants in your arm. -- Dion, noted computer scientist

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