Police Body Cameras Aren't As Reliable You Think
Currently

No, Body Cameras Aren't As Reliable You Think

We need to hold the police accountable, but body cams aren't even that good at doing their intended purpose of holding them reliable.

151

As the nation continues to protest in support of the Black Lives Matter movement, I've had this question at the back of my mind. We are living in the digital age where everyone has a minicomputer in their pocket. Thanks to the power of social media and smartphones the murders of innocent black men by law enforcement are able to be documented and shared to millions.

For years, Black Americans have tried to show the truth that they were being victimized by the police but people often disbelieved them.

Nowadays there are laws in place that allow the public to video the police with one-party consent. With this new age of recording, police departments have made body cameras for their officers more common than ever. At first, this may seem like a good thing, but looking deeper into it, there seem to be a bunch of loopholes present with the use of body cameras.

This question first came to my mind when I watched a short film on YouTube by the channel Omeleto. The film, titled "Two Black Men Get Pulled Over by a Cop on a Power Trip," features an ending, without spoiling, with a body camera. After watching the film I decided to look into the protocol for body cameras with police.

I stumbled on several YouTube videos from a couple of years ago and they explained how different departments used them.

The fifth precinct police department of Phoenix, AZ had an interview with several officials that revealed the process these cameras were used. For one, the officers are responsible for turning them on and off; this was immediately a red flag to me. The officer being interviewed revealed that they wanted their officers to feel responsible for turning them on and off. The department said they didn't want their officers to rely on technology. You can watch the video here.

With a lot of things, police in America always try and find a way to weasel out of any responsibility for incidents. For example, a police officer has special protection to where when a deadly incident occurs requiring an incident report, the officer can wait till 48 hours after the crime occurred to submit their side of the story. On top of that, police officers are subject to "qualified immunity." According to Cornell University, "Qualified immunity balances two important interests — the need to hold public officials accountable when they exercise power irresponsibly and the need to shield officials from harassment, distraction, and liability when they perform their duties reasonably." For a simplified version, this TikTok video by user @karan_menon basically summed it up to where police are protected from a lot of repercussions that an officer might do in the field. A good example of this is the excessive force many police officers used on protestors for the Black Lives Matter movement.

There are numerous videos and pictures where we see officers covering their badge number, something people are legally allowed to ask. With police officers basically having their identities hidden, they were permitted to be brutal because they faced no true repercussions. We've seen the videos of police officers rushing crowds, beating individuals with clubs, and spraying people with tear gas, and shooting them with rubber bullets. And as the movement starts becoming talked about less and less, these officers know they are not going to faced any repercussions individually because it is very difficult for a civilian to ID which officer did it.

Officers are getting caught, but not enough.

There have been some officers who got caught like the officers in Buffalo, NY, and some NYPD officers. But the fight is far from over. That is why I feel officers should have their body cams on at all times. Because if billions of dollars are going to these police departments, then surely they can afford the server space and 24-7 recording cameras. There is no excuse, and I pray more people to speak up about it. Black Lives Matter isn't a trend and can't go away. And having us have body cams on more cops, then justice can be served for families who have had members unjustly murdered.

Report this Content
Currently

Harvard Just Announced Its 2020-21 School Year Will Be Taught Online — At Full $50K Tuition

While students attending degree-granting programs are set to pay the massive bill, Harvard still has widely available public courses that they offer for free.

Harvard University has announced that all classes for the 2020-2021 academic schedule will be held online. However, they will still be charging the typically more than $50,000 price tag to pay for tuition alone — a number that can inflate to more than $70,000 when additional costs are added together.

Keep Reading... Show less
Currently

ICE To International Students With Remote Fall Classes: Transfer Or Face Deportation

The new rule aims to pressure universities into holding in-person classes this fall.

In a news release on Monday, ICE announced that "The U.S. Department of State will not issue visas to students enrolled in schools and/or programs that are fully online for the fall semester nor will U.S. Customs and Border Protection permit these students to enter the United States."

Keep Reading... Show less
Currently

Elijah McClain's Case Is Being Reopened — His Family Is Still Waiting For Justice

The killing of an innocent Black man will be reinvestigated, and that news that brought me to tears.

9News / YouTube

On August 24, 2019, in Aurora, CO, a 23-year-old Black man named Elijah McClain was walking home from a convenience store after buying iced tea for his brother. He was wearing a ski mask because he was anemic and easily got cold. He was listening to music and dancing while he walked when someone called 911 on this Black man simply walking home.

Keep Reading... Show less
Currently

Despite COVID-19, Alabamans Return To Beaches

Noncompliance with CDC recommendations on beaches may contribute to outbreaks in Republican-controlled states.

Last week, I was in Orange Beach, AL. It, along with other Alabama beaches, seems to be quickly becoming a hotspot for coronavirus (COVID-19) cases, yet one could not discern this by observing the behavior of beachgoers. The situation on the ground was absolutely bonkers, and no one seemed to even be aware of the ongoing pandemic. Several restaurants that my family and I frequently visit on our annual trips to the beach had closed their doors this year due to an employee or employees contracting the virus. But at the ones that remained open, people neither wore masks nor maintained social distance.

Keep Reading... Show less
Currently

8 Stories About BLM's Impact On Local Communities That'll Inspire You To Take Action

The power of the movement comes at the local level, where grassroots organizers are the spark that could instigate systemic change across the country.

Photo by Clay Banks on Unsplash

This month, Black Lives Matter protests have taken place across the country following the police killing of George Floyd — which was ruled a homicide by multiple medical examiner reports — and Breonna Taylor, who was shot dead by police in her home.

The protests have been a powerful outcry of energy that has put the nation on notice. The time has come for racism to be dismantled in institutions like the police that many claim still upholds a culture of brute force and stereotyping people of color.

Keep Reading... Show less
Currently

What Protesting For Black Lives Matter In Orlando Has Actually Been Like

What it's like fighting for Black Lives Matter on the front lines in Orlando, Florida.

Tipso Photo/Michael Lothrop

I, among hundreds of thousands of others across the globe, have participated in the peaceful protests against the attacks on civil rights at the hands of the police and under the command of our elected officials. This call to action is from the killing of George Floyd, 46, whose neck was knelt on by a white police officer for eight minutes and 46 seconds while Floyd was handcuffed and lying face down on the road.

Keep Reading... Show less
Currently

To End Systemic Racism, Black People Need To Be Heard

We don't need you to feel sorry for us, we need you to empathize with us.

Lindsay Mogle

These past few weeks have been some of the toughest in my lifetime. Something needs to be done, people are still losing their lives because of the color of their skin. In order for change, I can't be quiet anymore. This isn't political, and this isn't just about how I'm feeling at this moment. We, the Black people in this country, need our voices to be heard and our messages finally understood, because this time needs to be different.

Keep Reading... Show less
Facebook Comments