Here Come Police Cameras!!!! Truly A Good Idea or Just More Big Brother Watching?

News — February 18, 2015 at 11:27 pm by

A Baltimore task force, and the Mayor’s office, is recommending that Baltimore City should start their police body camera program with a six-month trial run that would start in November and involve 100 officers of the law.  The six month test would cost the city $1.4 million.

This all means that police cameras are soon coming to a neighborhood near you.  On the surface these cameras seem like a grand idea.  They will give an exacting and clear picture of any police interaction with the public and they will extinguish the problem of the faulty eyewitness account.  If a tragedy occurs like the one in Ferguson last summer, then the camera will capture the event as it unfolds.  There will be no more debate as to who did what or why.  And there will be no need for 50 witnesses to step forward with 50 different accounts of what they think happened.

The cameras will also force officers to act professionally and the cameras may even show the civilian world what a tough job these officers really have.  Maybe, just maybe, cameras will finally be the piece of the puzzle that fits the community and the police department together in a relationship of courtesy and mutual respect.  The truth will set us all free, babes.  Nobody can argue with recorded and documented footage.

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Of course, that’s best case scenario. There will be problems with the cameras.  When will police turn them on?  Or off? Can a suspect request they be turned off? What happens in hospitals or private residences?  Are the cameras going to be turned off if there is no warrant?  Can we be sure that they will be?  Will court cases come down to whether or not a camera was supposed to be on or off?  Will this create another loophole for lawyers to exploit and will cameras ironically allow the guilty to go free if they aren’t used properly?

And most importantly, is this the first step towards a government openly recording the free movements of its citizens?

Worst case scenario, it’s exactly that.  We’ve already got blue light cameras in the streets of Baltimore and juvenile curfews.  We’ve got cameras on our highways, streets, and traffic lights. Now come the body cameras.  Soon the cameras may be on suburban streets and on every government official.  There are already too many cameras watching us.  Big Brother is here, babes.

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When I first heard about the police body cameras, I was all for them. Let’s erase the doubt.  But as I think on it, I’m not so sure.  There will always be lying criminals and there will always be police officers who abuse their power, and I don’t think slapping cameras on cops will change any of that.

There are a ton of socio-economic issues that the implementation of body cameras is trying to quick fix. The government and civil rights groups are putting a Band-Aid over a gunshot wound.  Cameras won’t cure racism, they won’t build new schools and educate children, and they won’t bring manufacturing jobs back to America.  These are the real roots of crime and police brutality.  Real change won’t occur until the issues of racism, poverty, and the hiring and training practices of police departments are thoroughly addressed.  But all that would be too complicated for our government.  More cameras and more government eyes on its populace is the easy fix. After all, we’re asking for it.

 

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