Available 24/7 925.308.6861
Karlstrom & Krebs Helping Thousands Face Their Criminal Charges

Should police officers be required to wear body cameras?

On behalf of Kenneth Krebs of Law Offices of Karlstrom & Krebs posted in Weapons Crimes on Friday, August 29, 2014.

On Aug. 9, an unarmed black teenager named Michael Brown was shot and killed by a white police officer. The now infamous shooting was witnessed by some residents in the area and the aftermath and images of Brown's body lying in the street were even captured via cellphone photos.

Since Brown's shooting, there has been much debate and rage over the use of unnecessary force and in this case firearm use, by police officers across America. As outraged citizens demand that criminal charges be brought against the police officer who shot Brown, details related to the events that took place immediately before the shooting are still unclear. This would not, however, be the case had the police officer who shot Brown been required to wear a body camera similar to the ones used by police officers in Rialto, California.

Disputed cases like the Michael Brown shooting and countless other cases across the country in which police officers are accused of using excessive force or unfairly charging individuals with additional criminal charges like resisting arrest, could benefit greatly from police officers’ use of body cameras. In the year following the mandated use of body cameras in Rialto, "the use of force by officers declined 60%, and citizen complaints against police fell 88%."

Police officers who know their every word and action is being recorded are more likely to approach individuals in a respectful manner thereby positively changing interactions and, ideally, relations between everyday American citizens and members of the police force. While concerns have been raised with regard to privacy laws and how to securely store video footage, recent tragic events prove there is a need for this type of technology and increased oversight.

Source: The Wall Street Journal, " What Happens When Police Officers Wear Body Cameras," Christopher Mims, August 18, 2014