Police Body Worn Cameras
Communities expect officers to honor their oath by protecting and serving the neighborhoods they work in, treating everyone fairly, and most importantly to not abuse the powers granted to them by the citizens that reside in the jurisdiction they serve. Police excessive use of force and other official misconduct is a major emerging issue that tremendously plagued the relationship between law enforcement officials and the public the last several years (Ariel et al., 2015). Police misconduct translates into continuous complaints against the police by citizens, which is the reason why various departments around the United States have implemented the use of body cameras. The purpose of police body cameras is to reduce …show more content…
One of the major issues is when officers enter an individual’s home while recording what is occurring inside a private residence. In Lopez V. U.S. (1963), the United States Supreme Court ruled that officers can record everything they can lawfully see or hear without violating the Fourth Amendment (Brocklin, 2016). Brocklin (2016) notes that the Lopez V. U.S. (1963) case does not address other privacy issues body cameras present. Body cameras will enable officers to review incidents and manipulate the recording by using the slow monition feature and zooming in. This will allow officers to potentially see incriminating evidence they missed, which should require a warrant to investigate further (Brocklin, 2016). U.S. Supreme court rulings have addressed the right of defendants in regards to privacy rights, but not those who are not charged with a crime, which leaves witnesses of a crime and victims vulnerable to privacy violations.
In addition, supporters of body cameras have argued that this new innovation to policing is positive and beneficial for both police department’s administrators, police officers, citizens, and the courts in plenty of ways. Those who are in favor body camera note that recording police interactions keep the officer and the subject they are addressing well behaved because video recording is viewed as an oversight. According to Katz et al. (2014), numbers of arrests are higher among officers who wear body cameras
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Over the last few years there has been much controversy leading up to the need for law enforcement officers to wear body cameras. This is not only for citizens but also for the officers’ protection. With so much debate regarding police brutality and excessive force body cameras are quickly on the rise. New technology is giving police on a state and federal level a new opportunity to cut back on some of the allegations and negativity we have seen in the last few years. On the other hand it is giving citizens all over the country the safety they should feel when being approached by law enforcement. Our technology has improved significantly over the years and this seems to be something that will benefit everyone.
Within recent years there has been much controversy surrounding police officers and whether or not they should be wearing body cameras to document their everyday interactions with the public. While the use of body cameras may seem to invade the public or police privacy. Police-worn body cameras will be beneficial to law enforcement and civilians all over the world. Police must be equipped with body cameras to alleviate any doubt in the effectiveness of officers. Law enforcement worn body cameras would enhance the trust of the public by keeping both the officers and the citizens accountable for their actions, providing evidence, and helping protect them from false accusations, while protecting privacy
In today 's society, one highly debatable topic is whether or not law enforcement agents should wear body cameras. Most cameras used by law enforcement agencies across the country record audio and video, therefore, the cameras see and hear nearly everything a law enforcement officer does. There are many advantages to law enforcement personnel using body cameras while on duty because it holds the officers accountable, is used to document the contact made between the officers and the victims and/or suspects, supports the “use of force” action, keeps the officers and citizens honest, and the videos can even be used for training for other officers.
Body cameras in policing are still new, but more and more agencies are beginning to implement this technology into their line of work. At first police officers were very hesitant to wear these body cameras because they were afraid they would infringe themselves and give away their own privacy. Later, as body cameras were beginning to see more use in the work place, officers began to realize that these very own body cameras that they once thought would only cause themselves harm would actual prove to be useful in a variety of situations. Some of these situations can be citizen complaints, to even backing up an officers use of force. Body cameras can be the one sole thing that can give
I selected an article about police body cameras. The article cited several studies, as well as the authors’ ideas and thoughts. The article, titled Police Body Cameras, is part of the CATO Institute’s National Police Misconduct Reporting Project, and prepared by Matthew Feeney in 2015. The theme throughout the article is that the use of body cameras will reduce police misconduct. Although we all hope this is the case, we must also look at the other issues involved with the wearing of body cameras. In an effort to gain citizen buy-in and obtain their opinions, they conducted surveys. Interestingly enough, most people did not want the officers to record them, unless it was during an enforcement encounter, such as a traffic stop or arrest situation.
Rialto, California is an example of a city with positive results from the use of body-cameras. In Rialto, police began wearing body-cameras a little less than three years ago. As a result of officers wearing body-cameras, citizens’ complaints against police officers dropped 88 percent and use of force by police officers dropped 60 percent from the previous 12 month period when body-cameras were not in use. Rialto’s police chief said, “When you put a camera on a police officer, they tend to behave a little better, follow the rules a little better. And if the citizen knows the officer is wearing a camera, chances are the citizen will behave a little better” (Lovett).
Does the body camera decline police brutality? Are body cameras more effective in urban or rural areas? Could these cameras decline corruption in policing? These are a few of countless questions that might be brought up about this newly relevant issue. Without even undertaking exploration on this subject you could question a sample of individuals these burning questions. I think that they would agree that it is a necessary evil when dealing with criminals. It’s logical to assume that your every move is being documented and you are theoretically always being “watched”, in saying that one will in turn do their career to the best of their capabilities. Its elementary science that the independent variable being the camera. The dependent variable is the logged evidence which is
Moreover, to stop the crime and police brutality, body cameras would not be a bad idea if they were to be taken a step forward. Nancy La Vigne writer of “Body Cameras for Police Could Be One Smart Step” talks about supervisors monitoring the cameras in case an altercation were to happen (6). Nancy also talks about body cameras invading constitutional rights of the citizens. Vigne writes, “Body cameras will capture not just an officers actions, but also those of the citizens with whom they interact – or even individuals walking by or in the background” (Vigne). Nancy’s point is that with the body cameras and civilians being recorded, should the citizens know they are being recorded. Another solution for the body cameras to be able to work would be for the cops to have no access to the cameras.
With so many incidents occurring between law enforcement and civilians, it’s about time we have our officers wear body cameras. Law enforcement wants to use body cameras, many politicians are in favor for them, Civil-rights groups are advocating them, and communities that already have a strong police presence in their neighborhoods are requesting that the police get cameras now. With the uproar of law enforcement and the death of many black American’s, body cameras can be very useful. There is always that missing link when trying to put these horrible moments back together. Far too many times we end up with the suspect dead and only get one side of the story. With the use of body cameras, we can now get more insight on the events that happen (Boyd, 2015).
These, however, are all easily solved. The expense of body cameras can be covered by cutting the funding for unnecessary, expensive weapons such as the third armored personnel carrier that Tampa, Florida recently purchased, or the weaponized drone that Montgomery County, Texas recently purchased. Aside from transferring funding, a solution has been found by the Los Angeles Police Department. They have decided that, as long as they have permission, the officers can use personal recording devices. The LAPD has also found solutions to the storage and recording requirement issues. The LAPD saves videos for at least 2 years unless they are relevant to a case. They allow recording in public places so long as they are not off duty or in plain clothes, but as soon as they are on private property they must turn off the recording device, and are not required to state that they are recording. The recordings are available to the LAPD, criminal investigators, lawyers, and prosecutors if they are requested (Aguilar). With these reasonable, logical solutions, there is no reason for cameras to remain unenforced in police forces.
Not having body cameras in the line of duty is becoming an issue, legally and ethically, for both officers and citizens. Body cameras show the objective perspective of police in the field, and show everything that occurred, whether it reflects positively or negatively on the officer. There is not much evidence yet on the effect body cameras have. However, one study that was done shows positive feedback from the use of body cameras. In Rialto, California, a study was conducted and showed that use of force by police officers and complaints by citizens were dramatically decreased after they began to use
Recent news headlines with vivid video evidence of police brutality have inspired debates around law enforcement’s use of excessive force particularly against those in minority communities. Historically, there has been tension between minority communities and law enforcement resulting in mutual distrust. In order to dissolve these tensions and build this trust, policy initiatives have been put in place to encourage accountability and transparency. This paper will discuss the prospects that body cameras offer to help achieve transparency, accountability, and build trust. However, policies promoting transparency and accountability are not enough.
The article of Should Police wear Body Cameras, described that civilians and police officers are far more mindful when being recorded. Both police officers and civilians are less likely to use violence if they are being recorded with a body camera. For instance, the article More Local Police Departments May start using Body Cameras stated that “ever since 120 police officer in California were given body cameras the reports of Police abuse dropped. Civilians could make up fake claims that police officers are abusing them and we wouldn’t be able to prove them wrong, but now that those officers are wearing cameras while on duty, the reports against officers have sufficiently decreased. Officers wearing body cameras on duty would help violence claims and incidents
Furthermore, as opposed to popular belief, body cameras can not only lead citizens to act lawfully, they can also provide amenity for both officers and citizens. Throughout history, times have arisen where an officer has acted out of the law. Body cameras can ensure that officers acting unlawful are punished for their wrongdoings. (The Police Foundation) A a result, this can assure citizens that they are not the only ones being punished for acting out of the law. Officers and citizens will also be more likely to act within the law, knowing that they are on camera. (Weisburg) In response, studies have shown, that citizens have developed comfort towards officers equipped with body cameras. (Fullerton Police Department) This new found trust has the ability to change the mentality of a community in an affirmative manner. (Mims) This alone could help revive a community such as Ferguson, that has been in shambles ever since Michael Brown was killed. In addition, Officer Drumond a highly respected officer at Sherwood said “I support body cameras and find it very comforting that everything I do is on camera”. (Weisburg) If body cameras can give officers a sense of comfort it can help improve their work ethic as well as keep them relaxed while on shift. This can lead to trust between officers and the community. Ultimately, body cameras have the ability to restore trust in a community as well as keeping both citizens and officers safe and acting within the law.
I will identify the advantages of using body cameras as well as the drawbacks (Pollack, 2017). I will discuss if I was stopped by a police officer for a traffic offense would I want to be videotaped. If I was involved in a domestic violence incident would I want to be videotaped when the officers arrived? Then I will discuss whether the police should have the discretion to turn off the camera when they believe a person’s privacy is being invaded regardless of what the person involved thinks so.