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
It’s only taken two decades, but the LAPD is ready to install dashboard cameras in all squad cars. Officers in the Southeast Division will start using them beginning this Sunday.
From the LA Times article:
The cameras, which will capture video and audio of such encounters, are viewed as a vital tool for fulfilling a court order to guard against such racial profiling, as well as for protecting cops against bogus claims of abuse made by people during stops.
And, to be fair, protect citizens against bogus claims from cops.
Article from LA Times
Photo by discarted
It only took 17 years, but the LAPD is finally getting dashboard cameras installed in patrol cars. The issue was first suggested in the early 90s, and in an article in New American Media, Councilman Ed Reyes blamed the delay on the fact that it was a “low priority” for the previous administration. The first wave of cameras will be for about 300 cars in the South Bureau, which sees the highest rates of crime and violence.
There will be two different dashboard cams (one facing front, one facing the backseat) and the officers will wear wireless microphones. Data will be automatically uploaded and sent to a computer at the local station.
“From a patrol officer’s point of view, it’s a good thing,” said Officer Danny Hernandez.
From a suspect’s point of view, it’s also a good thing.
Article from New American Media.