I believe that for the mutually respectful treatment between the police and the citizen, there must be trust. And this trust could be employed through these body cameras, ensuring that the suspects are being fairly treated despite their socioeconomic status, race, or the area they are in. If someone distrusts the police because of everything they have seen on the news, they are more likely to flee or act violently, simply because they feel targeted and fear for their life. And this perpetuates the violence against these people, and thus, requiring body cameras is a step in the right direction to employ trust and respect between the officer and the citizen.
I like the point that you're taking, as trust is essential between law enforcement and citizens in any properly functioning society. Without trust, which these body cams provide, citizens will be more likely to experience feelings of fear and lack of trust and belief in the system. Certain bias/discrimination (if you would call it that) are formed, and it becomes a game of us vs. them. And without body cameras, it's ultimately a "who can tell the story better" type of situation, as without them, there is absolutely no proof on what happened at the time.
Precisely, Sam. I wholeheartedly agree-- this distrust perpetuates so many and promotes and us vs. them mentality.
I completely agree with your point of view, but as you know, police officers have turned off their cameras and therefore omitted their brutal actions. Do you think increased regulations and holding the officers accountable for every time the camera was turned off would be an effective way to make the police force completely transparent?
Absolutely, Isabella. The officers should be trusted by the department not to do this, and if they do, they should be held accountable. In addition, perhaps if they didn't have the option to turn their body cameras off, this system would also be improved.
I agree. It is imperative that there is a feeling of mutual respect and trust between the officer and the citizen. Without trust and respect, there is more crime and more abuse. Body cameras (if employed correctly) can ease the issues of police brutality and discrimination and increase transparancy. They can make it clear that most police officers are good, just, law enforcers and peace keepers, and that those that are not will not be tolerated.
However, I also believe those officers should not wear cameras because their actions could be "staged." To clarify, when I know my teacher is looking over my shoulder watching me work, I automatically make myself seem like I am on task (i.e., silently, focussing on work despite being on task, etc.) These simple "corrective actions" could be seen by officers on duty. Not only might the camera heighten their focus on thinking and their surrounding senses, but the camera may also lead to their lack of judgment while focusing too hard on seeming to be "perfect" for those who might watch later.
That's a good point, however, isn't it good if officers try hard to be "perfect"? Enforcing the law is a huge responsibility that isn't to be taken lightly. Being "perfect" means following their job requirements and procedures. When officers don't do what they are supposed to do, trouble arises whether in the form of unnecessary conflict, police brutality, etc.
Yes, I think the idea is that police officers will always feel someone watching over their shoulders. Unfortunately, in some cities, they have the discretion to turn off the cameras so they can do something off the record.
While I do agree with you that striving for perfection is a good thing in almost all respects, I do think it could negatively impact police officers because of the heightened pressure it would place on them. What with recent events, police officers are under even more stress to stay within the letter of the law, not discriminate, evaluate every option, and while body cameras might force them to do this, it might also cost them the quick-thinking skills that are necessary for them to stay safe and keep citizens safe. If police officers have to keep analyzing every move they make, they might hesitate and hurt themselves or someone else because they are scared of messing up on camera.
Yes, they should. We need to ensure that policemen and policewomen are executing their duties efficiently and more importantly, properly. In the past few months, we've seen how bad the abuse of police authority can get. However, by making sure that law enforcement officials wear body cameras, we can monitor how they address tense situations. For instance, Philando Castile was shot by a police officer in Minnesota for a minor traffic violation. After his death, there was an enormous debate about police brutality. Castile's death shows the importance of police officer's wearing body cameras, since it allows people to have a better view of the situation that takes place.
Transparency is owed to the public and is often undermined by rash police brutality. Transparency will also motivate police officers to not use police brutality, and could mend the public's dying faith in the police force.
Body-Cameras for police seem good in theory. However, there are too many liability issues with police officers having cameras. One, if there is something that is missed, is it the officers fault? Will he or she be charged? As there are hundreds of hours of footage, who would monitor all of it?
Yes, body cameras should always be on with exemption for bathrooms. There should never be interaction with public without them. No camera, no case.
But why? I gotta know!
Police brutality has been a huge discussion in our country. Having police officers wear cameras would prevent further problems such as abuse of power. If they had a camera we would know exactly what they do and how they handle a situation. I'm not saying all cops abuse their power but the media has shown videos of cops shooting civilians who were unarmed. The only negative side to this would be going through all the data that the cameras would capture. I think the cameras would make people feel safer because if anything were to happen there would be evidence.However, the cameras alone will not eliminate police brutality but it is a step we should consider taking.
Having all police officers wear body cameras would ensure that they feel the need to uphold the right conduct and rules. We all know police brutality exists and cameras would help. In terms of delayed reaction, officers should be trained to adjust to the camera and know what is appropriate and inappropriate conduct.