Are body cameras a quick fix?
If we are totally honest with ourselves, we know that there is no quick fix to bring about the necessary changes to reduce police brutality. In this day and age, we expect technology to do the hard work and quickly solve problems that are complex and difficult. The irresistible consensus is that body cameras worn by officers will change police behavior. The suggestion of body cameras being worn by policeman are a good start towards transparency, we cannot depend on this technology to revolutionize policing.
Police already know that any passerby with a cell phone could start recording their actions at any time. Placing a chest-mounted camera on an officer’s uniform could be a constant reminder that their actions are in the public eye; perhaps it will encourage them to act professionally and responsibly when dealing with the public. Maybe wearing a camera will remind them that they work for the public, and the public has a right to know what they are doing and how they are doing it.
Special exception for law enforcement
It is well documented that police officers are rarely charged in crimes of misconduct, and convictions are far scarcer. The CATO Institute, a public policy research organization and think tank reports that there were 8,300 instances of alleged mistreatment by law enforcement officers between April 2009 and December 2010. Of those cases, only 3,200 led to the law officer being charged and only 1,063 led to a conviction. One would question as to whether body cameras would provide any incentive for policeman to respond with less brutality, or do they simply believe that they are afforded special exception by the law because of the nature of their job.
The benefits of body cameras
There are some genuine benefits to policemen wearing body cameras. The first benefit is that the cameras will provide a rich source of real life video for analysis of police procedures and training to help police and the public to understand how police actually do their work. Police departments will be able to use video in their own evaluations and in training. Being stopped by a law enforcement officer wearing a body camera will give the public some reassurance. It may also help de-escalate tense situations if detained persons knew that their actions and behaviors were being recorded.
Police brutality is not a new problem
With all of the current news stories surrounding cases of police brutality, one would think that police brutality is a recent phenomenon. The reality is that police brutality has existed for as long as there has been law enforcement. This is because there are bad professionals in every profession, whether it is retail, restaurants, public transportation, or even education; there are always a few bad individuals who choose not to do the right thing. However, police misconduct seems more egregious to us because our law enforcement officers are in place to protect and serve. Police brutality and abuses went virtually unchecked until the general public started carrying cameras, and social media made every common individual a news reporter. This is why there is such a strong drive to have law enforcement wear body cameras. This will not fix the problem, but it will help prosecutors, juries, and the public to focus on the problems associated with police misconduct.
One of the top attorneys for police brutality victims
Corrupt and brutal law enforcement officers must be weeded out, and held accountable for their behavior. If you feel that you have been a victim of police brutality or misconduct, contact one of the top personal injury law firms in the country. The Olive Law Firm of Charlotte, NC has nearly 60 years of experience fighting for the rights of injured victims. They have earned a reputation as a trusted and compassionate Firm that prepares to take every case to court in order to obtain the best possible outcomes for their clients. If you feel that you have been a victim of police brutality, and you want the best representation possible, call the Olive Law Firm for a free consultation with an experienced personal injury attorney.