Police Brutality: Here’s Why Body Cameras Are An Eyewash

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Written by: Vandita

 

President Obama announced this week that White House will ask Congress for $75 million over three years to subsidize the purchase of up to 50,000 body-worn cameras for local police in an attempt to bring accountability.

Body cameras are expected to provide ‘evidence’ of encounters between police and civilians; however, whether they will end police brutality is a different question altogether.

Consider this:

  • A Staten Island grand jury decided not to indict the police officer Daniel Pantaleo who placed Eric Garner in a chokehold. The act was filmed by a bystander.
  • A St. Louis County grand jury decided not to indict police officer Darren Wilson in killing of teenager Michael Brown. The murder was video-taped.
  • A Greene County grand jury declined to indict police officer Sean Williams who shot John Crawford, 22. Surveillance cameras captured the homicide.

The recent murders of Garner, Brown and Crawford at the hands of police stirred public protests, inflamed communities across the country and raging anger against police brutality. Obama’s attempt to restore trust of the police in minority communities by making police wear body cameras is being met with mixed response.

While New York Mayor Bill de Blasio believes “body cameras are one of the ways to create a real sense of transparency and accountability”, the Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh believes “the body cameras aren’t going to help with the fundamental problems between community and police”.

Here’s what the common people feel about police adopting body cameras as an accountability and evidence-gathering tool…

https://twitter.com/DonxFigueroa/status/540227634148696066

https://twitter.com/handymariyah/status/540619540787257345


https://twitter.com/iN3RT_/status/540224594469478400


Even if Obama arms officers with body cameras to prevent police violence, nothing can be done if they never turn them on in the first place. And then, the body cameras are not pointed at the police officer so filming an off-camera brutality, confrontation or altercation seems next to impossible.

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References:

http://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/2014/12/02/mayor-walsh-area-police-offer-mixed-response-use-body-cameras/mKaYU3RJIqr32KnJXB5x6L/story.html

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/12/04/nyregion/new-york-city-police-speeding-up-effort-to-give-officers-body-cameras.html?partner=rss&emc=rss&smid=tw-nytimes&_r=0

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32 COMMENTS

  1. There is no video of Brown actually being murdered. Only after. Please don’t spread mis-information. While I believe he was wrongly brought to death, you have to be careful what you say.

  2. the reality of watch dogs becomes a part of reality on the streets. like in the ‘prison break’ mission – some smart outsider could see what the cops are doing and copy their personal data if these cameras include them 🙂

  3. A not to the NOT impartial writer of this article. Mike Brown was not “Mudered” as you wrote! A murder as defined by Webster’s Dictionary, or any dictionary is the “unlawful” killing of a human by another human. Brown had tried once to kill the officer and was coming back to try again. He got what any person doing the same thing would get, shot! Now we have blacks all over this country walking down the middle of the street. Stopping cars, especially if they contain white people. Dragging them out of their cars beating and killing them! Stop stoking the fires of racial violence! Because when they attempt to drag me and mine out of our car they will be met with a number of well placed shots that will only stop if I am killed or out of ammo, and the I will use my car. I will not be a wimpy POS liberal that thinks that because they are liberal democrats that the black hoard will not harm them. Wake the fuck up people! This administration, and the media are creating racial discourse not seen since the Rodney King riots. This time they are creating it everywhere they can, nationwide.

        • Hard to say either way, the writer was pretty specific in saying things like “the black horde”, etc. Thats rather “insane”. I read very well with my eyes open a I see exactly what the commeny meant.

          • I don’t think he’s insane, he does sound like a racist but I do agree with him that the government is fanning the flames of racial tensions through its failed actions and bias media, if we are all busy killing each other we are too busy to realize what they are putting over on everyone

        • Gordon, branbon, not trying to insult u, but I’m white, and I protested. And I haven’t pulled anyone out theirs cars. This is bigger than a cop who killed a black teen. The is the ppl vs. The police state in this country. Fox news, cnn, etc. Are government/corporate owned news outlets. That pump propaganda to sway and manipulate the American ppl. The media/government want to divide the ppl, and it want u to have ur exact opinion. They also want black ppl to be like “fuck white ppl” and they want everyone making this a race thing. While we bicker over dump shit, they are ploting and planing, they, the 1%. (The rich ppl paying other rich ppl, to tell middle class ppl to blame the poor). Face it ur government has falled you. U have a black socialist as president. Yes ur government has failed u!!!! And u probly bitch about. At least these ppl are getting out and off there ass to do something about it. Instead of believe the brainwashing on the tv. The fact is these ppl are fighting for ur future brandon and greg. Because if they don’t, no one will. Protest is democracy at it finest!, violent or peaceful, it’s making a stand for what u stand for. WAke up! Stand up.for ur right to stand up for right, (if nothing else) before u lose the right. Cause it’s happening, I hope and prey I’m wrong. But I don’t give a fuck, sheep! But what if I’m right!

    • Just saying, there may be biased sides to the police officers. BUT I am sure that there are plenty of Black People killing White People.
      People and society make it seem like if a White person does it then it is bad and racist. Although if a Black person does it then “it happens everyday, oh well”.

      Maybe, did people ever think, the police officers were just in the moment and not doing it because they were Black.

    • No surprise seeing one trigger happy maniac advicating for another trigger happy lunatic. Gordon, join the police force if your trigger finger is itching. Apparently you can kill all the color people you want without getting your sorry ass to rot in jail.

    • You all need a refresher sociology course.

      Race relations aren’t bad and no where near as bad as they use to be. People are just finally fed up, it happens. I am not black but have lived in black communities.

      Honestly, it is very tough. Just because Bush ignored blacks, doesnt mean racial tensions were ok.

      Now with a black president, the black community just wants the same level of respect as a white citizen. Mike Brown is not the only case…maybe in that instance he was guilty..

      But there are so many other forms of systemic racism, invisible to uneducated whites. They do not see it, because you all do not face it. You live in this little white utopia.

      I know those of you spewing racist comments live in a majority white city/state or else you would not be talking like this.

      They are not “the blacks”, they are human beings and respecting their individual rights does not make me a liberal whimp.

      It makes me a true American, who respects all peoples right to equality. The difference between you and I, is that I do not fear “the blacks”.

      I dont need to shoot until I “run out of ammo”. They are not savages, like you want to believe.

      Maybe if we make a fucking change in the way things are done, race relations would ease up but because people are finally talking about the racial issues in this country….does not mean that things are worse.

      We are just finally talking about something whites have always been afraid to talk about. So here we are, 2014…and its time to talk about it.

      the blacks and minorities just aimt having it anymore. Either something changes or you go full on racist and start killing all blacks and minorities.

      Which I am sure some of you would love, modern day Nazis, Modern day civil war. You call us liberals…whimps..just like when we freed slaves.

      Now 2014…you still call us whimps because we treat “the blacks” with respect.

      Ok i am done here. Have fun arguing me, insulting me, I could careless. My life is perfect and I am happy. We will never be afraid like you. I dont need your gun.

      I have a much higher power.
      Peace.

  4. What the cameras give us a massive data base of police behavior. Even if there are not direct convictions, the data are there for civil actions. I believe a significant number of Americans feel the police are out of control I understand that perception but I don’t really have good data to support an informed opinion. The failure to indict is an indication that there are deep problems with the existing system, but the cameras will let us see the patterns we assume are behind the incidents.

  5. The only way I can see this being affective is if they could not turn them off and on so the true picture can be seen, not what they want you to see. Kind off like the black box on aircraft. As long as they have control over the switch, it can be conveniently shut off. And by the way, Micheal Brown was not murdered, he resisted an officer with deadly force and was meet with deadly force.

  6. F them cops, government and the people making a big deal out of it and f them people who breaks the law, they get what they deserve…I hate cops for what they stand for now and days but it don’t mean all of them…

  7. The legal remedy is to shut down the Government Unions as Unconstitutionally infirm the Supremacy Clause Pursuant to U.C.C. Commerce Clause forbids the Government to Unionise that is for the American Public only! Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin removed Collective Bargaining from the Bureaucrates they hated it however he didn’t fix this! If one can repeal their Unions then these Frat orders of the Police State would cease to exsist! We are the Masters they are the Servants! The Tree of Liberty, must be refreshed from time to time by the blood of patriots and tyrants! Thomas Jefferson! And is CICADA 3301 developed by the Scientologist?? Time will tell next Omion coming up next year comrades We will be Watching! JADSTR5

  8. I have been the victim of police brutality and i suffered due to it but,
    [These murders] that people say police are committing against blacks is just another example of African-American’s making racism the reasoning. Not a mo ago a white unarmed man was killed by police. Not one word was spoke by the media. I don’t blame or police! I blame the media.there is evidence of Martin giving reason for the actions to be justified. And that’s just 1 example. Not that they all are justifiable bc they aren’t. I just don’t get why it always has to be about racism! It’s Like an excuse to go out and protest and in most cases lute rob and break things. Tia is America. Maybe not as free as we would like it to be but it’s the freest we will ever get! I wonder how many lives are lost in our police dpt’s? Every time a cop’s berm KIA i can’t seem to remember people protesting for there lives. Give me a break man! Stop looking for a reason to justify your hate and if i could say one thing to the media it would be top stop fueling the B/S and leery the police due there job. Stone one knows when they’re confronted by an officer top not make sudden moves. There life is on the line with every confrontation.but I wish the media would atleast get away from the RACISM aspect and report facts for both sides. The more yoy promote the hate the more yoy the fires!!! Just saying

  9. Police brutality and corruption are not only a minority problem – it’s everyone’s problem. The point of having the cameras is to permanently record the ever increasing volume of absurd tragedies. Currently the opponents of this are claiming these are isolated incidents and not the norm – cameras on all cops will either prove this claim true or false, or else cause a change in behavior – either way the facts will become crystal and that helps everyone – This is everyone’s best bet for making any kind of meaningful difference. @ people claiming “what’s the point?” seriously? Apathy is rampant, and it’s the biggest reason everything is as messed up as it is. I don’t know about you but I will work towards a better world till my dying breath.

  10. Bleh… Police brutality and corruption are not only a minority problem, they are everyone’s problem. The point of having the cameras is to permanently record the ever increasing volume of absurd tragedies and why they are occurring. Some are claiming that these are isolated incidents and not the norm. Cameras on all cops will either prove this claim true or false, or potentially cause a change in behavior – either way the facts will become crystal and that in itself helps everyone. This is everyone’s best bet for making any kind of meaningful difference. @ people claiming “what’s the point?”, seriously? Apathy is rampant, and that is the biggest reason things are as messed up as they are. I don’t know about you but I will work towards a better world till my dying breath.

    and FFS stop looting… peaceful demonstration holds significantly more weight as the movement cannot then be simply dismissed as delinquent opportunists who need to have their skulls cracked…

  11. I was an ABC News cameraman in the early nineties, when news was “real news”, and not whatever is handy to push an agenda of politics or profit. We had an ethical News Director and in meetings, he would always ask, Is it credible, and does it hurt/affect except those in question. Once upon a time ethics ruled the newsroom and investigative journalism was real. They actually went after the bad guys and crooked politicians. I was part of the news crew that got to the bottom of the Henry Cisneros scandal and he paid dearly for it. Whatever happened to “conflict of interest”?

    BTW…congratulations Illinois, you just became the most police state friendly area in the world. It’s now a felony to video record the police…*slaps forehead* Wow, just WOW.

  12. Well first off, I would like to say that many of these posts bring different ideas and opinions together, which is very important. Discussions are vital for any kind of change to come about in the system…..discussions have the advantage of MAKING people think and adjust their outlook. Unless of course you know it all. But quite honestly, I think we can ALL agree that what story comes out of your paid television ‘programming’ is only going to allow you to indulge in what they choose fit for their agenda. So whatever “facts” everybody thinks they know about any case presented is null to me unless you can provide clear proof. We can bicker back and forth about this and that all day long, but this will change nothing. Other than making for a group of upset individuals. Why must we oppose each other? The vast majority of humans on this entire planet are nothing more than pawns for a select few that have no remorse for any action as long as THEY gain. We must unite as conscious humans working together to maintain a healthy life and planet!
    P.S. If you’re going to try be real brash and condescending to others that post; please show a tiny bit of intelligence in your grammar. Some of the chicken scratch I read was very disappointing .

  13. Pantaleo was indicted by the Unified United States Common Law Grand Jury.

    The people rule the public servants only when they step up to do so.

    NATIONALLIBERTYALLIANCE.ORG

  14. I keep saying this..As long as this is treated as a blacks vs police issue nothing is going to change, you are always going to have people like this Gordon guy spitting racial hate. Until people understand that police of all races are killing low income people of all races nothing will will change bet most of you know nothing about the young working class white man killed in Demver or that the cop was black. I am just as pissed about that as I am about eric gardner
    And all of us should be. THE COPS ARE THINKING THAT THEY ARE ABOVE THE LAW!

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