More Bay Area Police Wearing Cameras

Calling it an “unstoppable” trend, the San Francisco Chronicle is reporting that police in the Bay Area have jumped on board the wearable camera wagon. (We’ve posted on Vievus before – they’re devices you can clip to your bag or shirt to capture your perspective for four hours.) Law enforcement have come to see the devices as protection — a way they can “show their side” in a “YouTube society,” as Officer Ronnie Lopez of the San Jose Police Department put it.

I agree. Ain’t nothing wrong with both sides having video evidence of what went down during an incident.

There are considerations though. On the suspect’s (or “person of interest”) side, can the police be trusted not to delete or alter footage? And on the officers’ side, will the use of video inhibit them or make them apprehensive about using force even when it’s necessary? (See Seattle cop punching jaywalker and all the uproar that provoked.)

As Brentwood (CA) Officer George Aguirre said:

“I’d rather you see what I did than hear accusations,” said Aguirre, who does traffic enforcement on a motorcycle and commercial vehicle enforcement in a truck. “When you do everything you’re supposed to do and someone challenges you, there’s nothing better than being able to show the video to them or my supervisors.”

Article from San Francisco Chronicle

4 Responses to “More Bay Area Police Wearing Cameras”

  1. 1 discarted July 28, 2010 at 8:44 pm

    All I know is that cops’ side in the incident where the mounted police beat that kid was an absolute lie.

    More important, the surveillance video that showed the cops beating the kid mysteriously disappeared. And the female cop who was in charge of the video just happened to be married to one of the cops who beat the student.

    And I wonder what Aguirre would do if it was someone else’s video camera was recording him.

    Lie like most cops, and tell the person it’s illegal to videotape cops.

    The more cops start wearing cameras, the more footage we’ll see be deleted or “lost” when someone accuses them of wrong doing.

  2. 2 martin July 29, 2010 at 9:47 am

    Win, win. If there’s a foul incident and the police delete the footage, then that’s clearly not going to help them make their case. This protects good cops and does nothing to help bad cops.

  3. 3 discarted July 29, 2010 at 10:13 am

    How come the good cops also protect the bad cops by never speaking up and exposing the bad cops for the public’s safety. Good cops are just as guilty because of the thinning blue line. They protect their own before the public.

    More important, how come none of these apparent “good cops” that witnessed their fellow officers beating a college student in Maryland never spoke out about the violent assault, or tried to prevent the beating, and went along with the lies told by other officers to cover up their illegal actions. Where are these good cops you speak of?

    Anybody else who acted this way, would be thrown in jail and not just suspended from their job. But like we all know, cops are above the law that they have sworn to uphold and follow. And when they behave like animals, they’re just “acting outside of policy and direction”, rather than breaking the law.

    And let’s just see what excuse is made when future videos are “accidentally” deleted, or go “missing” while the rest of the footage (which includes hours upon hours) still exists, like in the Maryland incident.

    Do you really think anything is going to happen to this bad female cop who deleted the surveillance footage in order to protect her husband and her fellow “good” cops.

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