Tuesday, August 12, 2014
Police Officers and Lapel Cameras
Last year the Washington Post reported that police officers in Rialto, Calif., now carry cameras to record their every action while on duty. The city of Rialto says the program has reduced complaints against police officers by 88 percent during the first year. 88 PERCENT! That's huge.
That kind of reduction is phenomenal news for both citizens and police officers. Citizens have less instances of false arrests and police brutality and police officers have less concerns about fighting bunk complaints from scumbags with a grudge.
Today the New York Daily News reported that, a memo has been released, subsequent to the videotaped chokehold death of Eric Garner. This summer a guy named Ramsey Orta caught police on camera using a chokehold (prohibited by the NYPD policy) on Garner. The chokehold killed Garner. The memo, which was released by the Chief to all departments, states, “Members of the public are legally allowed to record police interactions,” the memo states. “Intentional interference such as blocking or obstructing cameras or ordering the person to cease constitutes censorship and also violates the First Amendment.”
In light of the Garner killing (murder?) and in light of the phenomenal success of the Rialto lapel camera program, isn’t it time we all got on board for lapel cameras?
Surely the cost of implementing the technology would be more than offset by the savings in administrative costs, court costs, lawyer fees, etc...
Anything that helps ensure the constitutional rights of the general public is certainly worth some discussion.