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Should police have cameras recording their work at all times?

Displaying poll results.
It's not needed
  701 votes / 2%
It should be at the officers' discretion
  508 votes / 2%
It should depend on an officer's training/history
  554 votes / 2%
It should be incentivized but not required
  907 votes / 3%
It should happen whenever a city/state has funding
  2504 votes / 10%
It should happen everywhere, regardless of cost
  12782 votes / 53%
It's not feasible from a data storage/IT standpoint
  657 votes / 2%
The cameras are likely to "accidentally" break anyway
  5481 votes / 22%
24094 total votes.
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  • Don't complain about lack of options. You've got to pick a few when you do multiple choice. Those are the breaks.
  • Feel free to suggest poll ideas if you're feeling creative. I'd strongly suggest reading the past polls first.
  • This whole thing is wildly inaccurate. Rounding errors, ballot stuffers, dynamic IPs, firewalls. If you're using these numbers to do anything important, you're insane.
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Should police have cameras recording their work at all times?

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  • "Accidentally" (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 27, 2014 @05:10PM (#47769385)

    Prosecution: "Officer O'Malley, why was your camera off from 2:35-2:40am, the precise time of the incident?"

    The last poll option is not a valid reason to not deploy the cameras. Every officer will be required to explain every missing second of video and audio. Every missing second is extremely incriminating.

    • Re:"Accidentally" (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Coffeesloth (669850) on Wednesday August 27, 2014 @07:04PM (#47770337)
      I agree with you and frankly I think having the camera would be a good thing for the officers. If anything it would prove if they were being reasonable and were attacked first. I think it's easy for any incident to devolve into a "He said/he said" situation so a recording of the incident would make that harder. After all isn't that the reason we have dashboard cams in the police cars now?
    • The last poll option is not a valid reason to not deploy the cameras. Every officer will be required to explain every missing second of video and audio. Every missing second is extremely incriminating.

      Not to mention that these video cameras are, or will be, commodity devices; just have two cams on each cop. If one fails, meh - but if both fail: "Officer, you got some 'splainin' to do!"

    • "Every officer will be required to explain every missing second of video and audio."

      Why? It doesn't happen now. In fact I think in Texas not long ago an appellate court ruled that police could destroy dash cam video footage despite specific requests from the defense that they preserve the footage. I agree wholeheartedly that officers SHOULD have to explain any missing footage, but every instance that I can think of suggests that the current justice system does have any perception that missing footage ref

      • Keyword: "Texas." Nuke it from orbit, it's the only way to be sure.
  • by CurryCamel (2265886) on Wednesday August 27, 2014 @05:11PM (#47769409) Journal

    Finally, we have an answer to that. Not sure if I like the answer, though:
    Youtube.

  • by Voyager529 (1363959) <voyager529.yahoo@com> on Wednesday August 27, 2014 @05:18PM (#47769459)

    Yes, it will likely happen. However, that is, in my opinion, insufficient disincentive, for the following reasons:

    1.) If it "accidentally breaks" 50% of the time, it still means that half the time it's working, which is higher than the 0% we have now.
    2.) secondary units could be kept in the glove box; most juries would have a very difficult time believing that both cameras failed, or that a known-dangerous situation wouldn't warrant having both cameras on anyway, or that both police officers involved both had faulty cameras, or if only one went in that he/she was not following protocol....basically, the lack of evidence when there damn well should be would lend more credence to the victim than the police officer, leaving it in the officer's best interest to keep it working (or report it malfunctioning sooner than later).
    3.) It would help curb selective enforcement; officers would be more likely to more fully follow protocol.
    4.) random footage audits, like random drug tests, would assist in internal investigations; officers whose cameras are 'accidentally broken' during an audit would be much easier to penalize, again, keeping it in the officer's best interest to avoid having a malfunctioning camera.
    5.) "I have nothing to hide" is a reason frequently given for giving up one's privacy when prompted to do so. If it's true, then "I have nothing to hide" should most certainly hold accurate for people on the public payroll.
    6.) A highly trivial reason, compared to the major ones: checking cameras and footage in and out is a good way to add a few dozen jobs to the local precincts.

    It will happen, of course...but if it even partially helps the situation at hand of "he said she said" where either no one trusts the cop (in cases where the officer was either genuinely right or ultimately wrong, but in a split-second decision situation), or victims of police brutality are further victimized by the 'ol boys club', then I'd say it's a hell of a much better use of both my tax dollars and Seagate hard drives than the use of either by the NSA.

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Crowd-Source the auditing. All footage to be audited by the public, anything flagged goes to IA.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      But chances are YOU WANT SELECTIVE ENFORCEMENT.
      For the good of the community you want police officers to make value judgements.

      If you leave officers to have to follow the letter of the law, those same terribly vindictive laws are going to lock a lot of otherwise good people away for years.
      If now all on film and archived, there's also the possibility of: as evident, officer X let this granny go free for this, we have record of it, selective enforcement, now my client (who is a terrible piece of trash) clearl

    • It would help curb selective enforcement; officers would be more likely to more fully follow protocol.

      I'm skeptical of that one. Eric Holder proudly announced to the press that he has broad discretion in enforcing laws.

      As vile as it is, selective enforcement has somehow become acceptable to our court system.

    • by tompaulco (629533)

      If it "accidentally breaks" 50% of the time, it still means that half the time it's working, which is higher than the 0% we have now.

      The problem with accidental breakage is that it it always occurs when it would have corroborated the defendants story. The problem with this ubiquitous recording is that it never seems to be able to be used for your benefit. My friend had his debit card used at a local branch ATM. it had never left his possession, so he was curious as to who had used it. He requested the tapes from the bank. Of course, the camera had not been working that day. Undoubtedly they would have been working that day if someone ha

    • by ihtoit (3393327) on Thursday August 28, 2014 @07:12PM (#47780005)

      there is no expectation of privacy for a public servant in the performance of his duty, period. Therefore, the "nothing to hide" argument is moot.
      Public oversight begins and ends with a truthful account of a public servant's actions. Such accounting can ONLY be achieved technologically with a camera, because we KNOW FOR A FACT that public servants LIE. If they are confronted with the truth, then their only defence to breaking the Law by which they expect to hold us to, is smashed by the facts as presented on that which *they* so vehemently (and perhaps ironically) oppose.

  • by Citizen of Earth (569446) on Wednesday August 27, 2014 @06:13PM (#47769959)

    The cameras are likely to "accidentally" break anyway

    The won't be "accidentally" breaking when the perp is actually being belligerant, which is most of the time there is an incident. If we were to posit that the cop is telling the truth in the Michael Brown case, the weeks of disruption, rioting, looting, vandalism, and arson could have been obviated by the timely release of the video.

  • What happens when an officer feels that he can't let people off the hook because he's constantly being watched? It might spell the end of "I'm just going to let you off with a warning this time".
    • by fustakrakich (1673220) on Wednesday August 27, 2014 @06:40PM (#47770179) Journal

      Nothing wrong with that. If a politician can get nailed for the same offense that we do, they might write the law a bit more carefully.

      • But many laws are designed with some level of discretion in mind. That is, the laws themselves are far more strict than any LEO would enforce, and thus they get to use their discretion to determine whether someone who is breaking a law is actually posing a threat to public safety.

        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by Anonymous Coward

          Then should it even be a law? Get rid of all those laws. I choose liberty.

    • by cogeek (2425448)
      Realistically the only time the footage would be viewed would be when there's an offense that warrants it, such as an officer shooting a suspect or a reported abuse. There's no way you could have every officer wearing a camera and every moment of video reviewed. Most of the solutions I've seen that are in place now don't keep every minute of every day recorded. They buffer 30 minutes or so and when the officer hits a button to indicate it needs to keep the footage it does.
    • What happens when an officer feels that he can't let people off the hook because he's constantly being watched? It might spell the end of "I'm just going to let you off with a warning this time".

      If it is routinely inappropriate to enforce the law, they ought to change the law, not make exceptions for whoever they like.

      • by Terry Pearson (935552) on Friday August 29, 2014 @11:33AM (#47784759) Homepage Journal

        If it is routinely inappropriate to enforce the law, they ought to change the law, not make exceptions for whoever they like.

        I like the way you think, penguinoid! If the inappropriate law was equally applied, the law would likely be changed or discarded.

        As an aside to this, I think we need to put sunset clauses on existing laws anyway. Every ten years or so, the law must be re-approved in order to stay on the books. Anything uncontroversial would just be passed easily. The other stuff would be rejected and we would move on. I think cameras on cops would hasten the need for cleaning the books of archaic laws that are not needed or equally enforceable.

    • by geekoid (135745)

      Good.
      I say that as someone who has been let off the hook many times.
      However, 'letting people off the hook' simple means the officer picks and chooses based on a bias.

    • What happens when an officer feels that he can't let people off the hook because he's constantly being watched?

      Perhaps that would finally be enough to get the laws changed?

      I consider it beyond disgusting that we have an excessive set of laws on the books, which can be ignored or enforced at the whim of politically appointed prosecutors.

  • by helobugz (2849599) on Wednesday August 27, 2014 @06:50PM (#47770249)

    see me on Facebook. Local undersherriff initiated a traffic stop in a dark territory valley (no cellular reception) while I was in my disabled vehicle waiting for traffic to go by before exiting to determine why I was having difficulty re-starting the engine.

    Guess what? He jumped out of a black unmarked chevy 4x4 SUV and pulled a gun, commanding me to get on the ground so he could restrain me with handcuffs FOR ABSOLUTELY NO REASON, WITH ZERO PROVOCATION.

    Tensions ran high for at least a minute while I desperately tried to calm the dude down enough to find out exactly who the fuck he was and what his problem was, or what crime he thought was being committed.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by mythosaz (572040)

      FOR ABSOLUTELY NO REASON, WITH ZERO PROVOCATION..

      ...for what appeared to me to be without reason or provocation.

      His reason might have sucked, but this idea that he was bored and just wanted to fuck around and pull his gun on some dude in the dark is nuts.

      • this idea that he was bored and just wanted to fuck around and pull his gun on some dude in the dark is nuts.

        You must not know any police officers.

    • by Kittenman (971447)

      see me on Facebook. Local undersherriff initiated a traffic stop in a dark territory valley (no cellular reception) while I was in my disabled vehicle waiting for traffic to go by before exiting to determine why I was having difficulty re-starting the engine.

      You may not know the full story.

      Cop: McClusky here
      Base: Go ahead, McClusky
      Cop: I'm in the Dark territory valley where Susie McSturgess went missing last month, and there's a vehicle here, parked. One person inside, apparently just sitting there.
      Base:Proceed with caution, McClusky. Remember, little Susie is still missing

  • Privacy (Score:5, Interesting)

    by jklovanc (1603149) on Wednesday August 27, 2014 @07:01PM (#47770317)

    There needs to be a way to disable the cameras for a short period of time. I don't think we need to see police officers using the restroom. Then there are times when officers have private conversations that are not work related. Do you really think it is valid to have anyone monitored every second from start of shift to end of shift? Would you work under those conditions?

    • by plover (150551)

      There are some jurisdictions that are talking about having the cameras enabled wirelessly whenever the light bar comes on, and then they keep the video rolling until the cop stops the car, gets out, gets back in, and starts driving at the posted speed. So if he stops at a rest area, restaurant, or wherever in a non-emergency capacity, it won't automatically turn on. Of course he'll have the option to turn it on or off whenever he wants. But a cop whose camera is coincidentally turned off every time he's

    • by geekoid (135745)

      Too damn bad. Years of abuse make you point irrelevant.
      On the clock? Then you should be recording.
      Taking a pee? I think the internet can handle a camera looking at a toilet while someone is peeing.

  • Sarbanes-Oxley (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Kylon99 (2430624) on Wednesday August 27, 2014 @07:35PM (#47770533)

    We have this requirement of corporations where they must keep records of all electronic communications. Missing communications during a court case is considered to be 100% condemning on the part of the corporation that lost their data. So, I'm not saying this is working 100%, but if we can do this for corporations, can't the police do it for cameras too?

    How does Sarbanes-Oxley treat regular malfunctions vs. tampering?

    We can at least point to this to start the conversation.

  • ...like dash cams. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by mythosaz (572040) on Wednesday August 27, 2014 @07:55PM (#47770673)

    Dash cams in most/many/some police cars work when the officer engages his lights or sirens, passes a certain speed threshold, etc.

    It's my firm belief that the men and women serving in our police force should, for example, be allowed to pee, eat a sandwich, or talk to their partner about how bad their mortgage company is without being recorded -- but at the same time, it's my firm belief that their enforcement should be documented.

    Start by expanding the dashcam FOV and expand the triggers for dashcam recording to include a period of time after the opening and closing of the doors.

    How to let officers pee without also letting them turn off cameras at every "inconvenient" time presents a challenge...

    • by Khopesh (112447) on Wednesday August 27, 2014 @09:28PM (#47771195) Homepage Journal

      This works.

      Dashcam video clears NJ man [7online.com]:

      The tale of the police dashcam video has now helped clear a Bloomfield, New Jersey man who faced a multitude of criminal charges, including eluding police and assault.

    • by McGruber (1417641)

      How to let officers pee without also letting them turn off cameras at every "inconvenient" time presents a challenge...

      I don't see why it would necessary to turn the camera off when using the restroom -- the camera is looking forward, not downward, so it would be recording a close-up view of the top of the urinal.

      • by lakeland (218447)

        I agree.

        Also the camera could be set to encrypt to a set of keys that only a limited number of people have access to - the officer, their superior, a couple 'court' keys, etc.

        That way even if it records everything, that recording is inaccessible without a court order or similar.

    • by plover (150551)

      Simple: you can automatically activate and deactivate it in certain trigger conditions (light bar, high speed, etc.) but you always let the cop turn it on and off at will.

      If the cop has been issued a camera, but it's not recording at the same time that he's arresting someone who accuses him of using excessive force, what's that going to say to a lawyer, or to a jury? "Well, your Honor, we had three police officers trying to subdue the subject in the car when they all had to discharge their weapons and fat

    • by Type44Q (1233630)

      How to let officers pee without also letting them turn off cameras at every "inconvenient" time presents a challenge...

      There's a simple solution: require that the cameras be always on, unless the officers calls in and [temporarily] logs-off to use the restroom.

      Oviously, control of the cameras needs to be handled remotely anyhow, since individual officers have repeatedly shown that they can't be trusted not to turn off the cameras to avoid being recorded engaging in less-than-acceptable behavior...

    • by Kelbear (870538)

      I keep seeing this complaint, but it doesn't make sense. Are people assuming that for every 1 police officer, they will hire 1 video reviewer to watch that officer for his entire shift? That's silly.

      Any real-world application, would be local recording on the device. When an incident is reported, the police officer logs the time of his response just like he/she already does all the time. He/she turns in his camera, and any video corresponding to the officer's incident report is then archived and tagged to th

  • I also want to know if I can trust the people my tax dollars pay to protect me.
    The cops have betrayed that trust FAR too many times for MUCH too long.

  • by baegucb (18706) on Wednesday August 27, 2014 @10:22PM (#47771521)

    but imho, cops should have cameras. And a fake off button.

  • by Harlequin80 (1671040) on Wednesday August 27, 2014 @11:01PM (#47771671)

    Police wearing cameras have been trialled in Queensland. The cameras clipped to their uniforms and were tamper proof meaning officers couldn't delete footage. They had a requirement to wear them when ever the left the station. I don't however know the outcome of the trial, though from what I read storage of the video was the primary reason it didn't get rolled out.

    Brisbane is going to be hosting the G20 summit shortly and I believe that they are having 70 police mounted cameras deployed for that.

    There is a different relationship between police and the public between the two countries though. Of course no one likes being pulled over by the police but they are generally respected here and not seen to be abusing their powers.

    • by Harlequin80 (1671040) on Wednesday August 27, 2014 @11:08PM (#47771701)

      Replying to myself.

      Turns out wearing a camera is an optional piece of equipment for Queensland Police. They are not mandated but any officer can choose to wear one. The guideline is apparently 1 officer in a group should be wearing one when likely to encounter situations where people are likely to be under the influence. So they tend to be worn but the city cbd officers on night patrol through the entertainment areas.

  • All you have to do is have a 5-10 minute buffer on the camera and the police be required to activate it whenever they interact with a member of the public.

    You can also have a separate gun-camera or have the gun (and possibly taser ) holsters hooked up to the activation switch, so that you get the entire incident plus the lead-up to it.

    That respects both the officer's privacy and provides a valuable tool to keep both officers and the public honest.

    It also doesn't require a lot of storage. A 64 GB card could

    • by SuiteSisterMary (123932) <<moc.liamg> <ta> <nurbels>> on Thursday August 28, 2014 @08:11AM (#47773079) Journal

      a) You do need to archive it, and b) it cannot be something that happens if the cop wants it to.

      Small device, 720p, two 64 GB cards (in case one breaks, happens to hit it's limit, etc etc.) They go in a rack at the precinct. Start of shift, you draw your camera, clip it on. The moment it leaves it's charging/upload rack, it starts recording. It continues to until it hit's it's rack again at night, whence it starts charging and uploading.

      Camera 'breaks?' Radio in, and RTB for a new one. No working camera? Too bad, it's part of your uniform. You are no longer an on-duty cop.

      Cop testifies about something where there SHOULD be video, but for some reason, isn't? His testimony is now considered unreliable.

      Guess what? You, Mr. Police Man, get extraordinary powers when dealing with civilians. You have powers and authority above and beyond. Therefore, you should be scrutinized.

      And yes, this is for your own protection, too. This eliminates any possibility of 'If you don't let me go, I'm going to scream that you grabbed my tits.' This reduces greatly IA's involvement in your life. "He was coming at me with a knife, and ignored my verbal warnings. Right about...here, on the video."

      • If it's recording all the time, the police unions are never going to accept it, because it is a major invasion of privacy. Nobody would want a camera recording when they use the bathroom, when they are on their lunchbreaks, et cetera and the Supreme Court probably would not allow it anyway.

        Other departments have had a lot of success with the types of model I mentioned, where the police officer activates it when interacting with the public and it has some sort of buffer. It also seriously reduces the need

        • by SuiteSisterMary (123932) <<moc.liamg> <ta> <nurbels>> on Thursday August 28, 2014 @04:28PM (#47778469) Journal
          I disagree, but we'll go with that. The camera now has an off switch. Any time the camera is not recording, the officer is off-duty, and does not have LEO authority and privileges. Note that this would be retroactive; you arrest a perp, it's all righteous, you get back to the station, and oh shit, your camera failed? Perp walks. On the spot. In court, the cop does not 'testify,' he comments on the video. No video? The cop doesn't get to talk. Period.
  • by hooiberg (1789158) on Thursday August 28, 2014 @01:59AM (#47772171)
    If you do not trust fellow countrymen in traffic, every car gets a dash cam. If you trust a police officer so badly that you want every action taped, the problem is somewhere else. All the good police work is hardly ever mentioned, and an occasional mistake is widely elaborated on my national media. Not because they are so common, but because they are so extremely rare! So rare that they make interesting news stories. Cops are only human, after all, and they are doing a mighty fine job. There is nothing as demotivational to work as having your every twitch recorded. The police force is already having great difficult recruiting new members. Let us not make it any harder.
    • Re:Media (Score:5, Insightful)

      by jd (1658) <[moc.oohay] [ta] [kapimi]> on Thursday August 28, 2014 @02:43AM (#47772299) Homepage Journal

      Cops are not doing a good job. Estimates range from 400-1000 unjustified deaths a year. To put it into context, since 9/11, there may well have been 4 times as many unjustified deaths by cops in America as unjustified deaths by Al Queda.

      That isn't acceptable by any standards.

      Or perhaps if you'd like, I can put it another way. There have been three times as many incidents of manslaughter and murder by American cop per capita of population than there have been incidents of manslaughter or murder in Britain in total.

      That number is WAY unacceptable.

      Cops carrying guns confer no benefit to those in the area (80% of bullets fired by police handguns miss their target, they don't vanish and they do hit passers-by, sound crew, hostages, etc).

      Cops carrying guns confer no benefits to law and order, since alternatives from stun guns to pain rays (microwave stimulation of nerve endings, if you prefer) to teargas (which isn't great but is less lethal than a lump of lead) already exist and criminals are less likely to carry when running is a more practical option than a shoot-out. That has always been the British experience, which is why you now get regular shoot-outs where British cops are stupid enough to carry where you'd previously have had maybe one a decade versus an armed response unit.

      Cops carrying guns confer no benefits to the cop, since dead weight can result a cop becoming dead, accidental shootings are very likely to produce retaliation, and "utility" belts stop utilizing when they terrify locals, intimidate visitors, but bolster thugs who gain greater mobility and dexterity from not wearing them.

      Look, this is all very simple. Too simple for nutters, perhaps, but simple nonetheless.

      First, preventing crime by eliminating prime environmental and psychological causes is a good start. If there's no crime, there's nobody to shoot and nobody shooting back.

      Second, preventing cops turning bad by preventing them developing a "them vs us" attitude is essential and you don't achieve that by giving them scrutineering powers and not those they are scrutinizing. It has to be a two-way street to prevent that kind of mindset.

      But that requires one additional ingredient to work properly:

      Third, preventing cops turning bad by preventing them from being have-a-go heros. They should work with the community, be a part of the community, guard it from within. And, like all good guards, they should NOT be on constant alert. They should be constantly engaging on a social level, not a paramilitary one. If a crime happens, let the criminal go somewhere where there ISN'T a huge danger to others. Inanimate objects can look after themselves, people need a bit more effort.

      It is better to let a gang "get away" from the scene, with no bullets fired, be tracked safely and then be apprehended INTACT when it is safe to do so. Going in there guns blazing will cause excessive damage, risk the lives of those supposedly protected and served, and for what? Some carcases. No trial, no determination of the chain of events, no proof even that the dead body is the guilty party. It can't exactly answer questions in the dock, can it?

      No, disarm the cops, give them high-res cameras (and maybe girls gone wild t-shirts, I dunno), and let them be what cops should be - good citizens. They are NOT the army, they should NEVER be allowed military-grade weapons, they should deal with matters calmly, quietly and sensibly.

      If they're not capable of that, they're incapable of good. Of any kind.

      • by ihtoit (3393327)

        lol I just fucking love that "less lethal". Death is a binary condition, not one of scale. You're either DEAD or YOU'RE NOT.

        • by jd (1658)

          Yeah, I can see you do great on statistics, too.

          Death stopped being binary some years back (suggest you read medical news) but this isn't about that. This is simple numbers. If device X kills N times out of 100 and device Y kills M times out of 100, where N != M, the lethality of the devices is not the same.

        • by geekoid (135745)

          But different action on a persons will have different probability of death. That what it means, and it should have been obvious to you.

    • by PPH (736903)

      Its not just a matter of trusting/not trusting cops. Cops deal with lying scumbags almost as often as I deal with PHBs. So when it comes to their word against the suspect's, I'd think cops would love to have an unbiased record of each encounter to back up their story.

      There is nothing as demotivational to work as having your every twitch recorded.

      Worse than that, there is nothing worse than having every twitch misrepresented by a bunch of political dirtbags in the press.

  • by jd (1658) <[moc.oohay] [ta] [kapimi]> on Thursday August 28, 2014 @02:19AM (#47772225) Homepage Journal

    Then it wasn't an accident. Simple as that. People seem to forget that you can build these devices to withstand any force a cop's skull is likely to take, and more besides.

    Storage is a non-issue because you don't need to store a lot locally. Local storage can be limited to the time the cop is outside of radio contact plus the time to clear enough buffer that no information is lost. So unless the cop is riding a motorbike in a cage, it's just not enough to create serious issues.

    Battery will be a bigger issue. It'll take a lot of batteries to keep transmitting at a decent resolution. However, as cops with guns cause more trouble than they prevent, that's also easy to fix. Sufficient batteries will consume no more weight than a sidearm plus extra ammunition.

    Actually, it might not be that bad. With the proposed mandate for vehicle-to-vehicle communication, a cop radio could turn the entire road network into a gigantic adhoc wireless network. You don't need as much power for a short-range transmission. Might as well get some value out of these stupid ideas.

  • by ihtoit (3393327) on Thursday August 28, 2014 @06:01AM (#47772743)

    ...the problem, this is not only totally feasible, it is also absolutely necessary.

    I prototyped a video recording device that started recording the second it was popped out of its charging/data cradle and kept going for thirty six hours straight during longevity testing - on a cellphone battery, through a HD (720p) sensor, at 30fps, with audio, onto a 64GB memory card.

    Hardware can be had for less than £75 per unit. That includes the memory card.

    POLICE LIE. THEY BULLSHIT THEIR WAY THROUGH COURT CASES TO SECURE A CONVICTION, AND THEY FABRICATE EVIDENCE AND FORCE CONFESSIONS. So called "public oversight" is nothing of the sort. IA are POLICE. In England, we now have Police Commissioners, who are themselves serving police officers. We are in the process of winding down the IPCC (the Independent Police Complaints Commission) which is also staffed by serving police officers. They all piss in the same fucking pot!

    And get off your privacy high horse, per Judge Munby in the Stafford case: PUBLIC SERVANTS IN THE COURSE OF THEIR DUTIES HAVE NO EXPECTATION OF PRIVACY. If you have a compact camera, keep the battery charged and carry it with you! RECORD every interaction you have or observe with police officers. I guarantee you, you will record evidence particularly when they "order" you to delete the file! (that's called "spoliation" and the mere mention of requiring someone else to do it is a criminal offence).

    • by psmears (629712)

      In England, we now have Police Commissioners, who are themselves serving police officers.

      I assume you're talking about Police and Crime commissioners, in which case no, they're not serving police officers, and indeed police officers are barred from holding that office.

  • by Moof123 (1292134) on Thursday August 28, 2014 @12:33PM (#47775349)

    My overriding issue is that the prosecutor's office is almost always on a very friendly basis with the cops. It usually takes a media frenzy for them to "investigate" alleged police abuse. Usually the "investigation" is just a stalling tactic to defuse and wait out public outrage. Once things have moved onto the next Paris Hilton nip slip, they announce benign findings on a Friday evening before a three day weekend. It is a pattern we have seen over and over. Even when there is overwhelming evidence, the prosecutors just drag their feet and mostly let things slide.

    With that as a backdrop, cops act with impunity. Every shooting results in all the cops at the scene emptying their guns. Backtalk results in a thuggish slam to the ground (or choke hold) with wails of "stop resisting" from the cops to crudely cover their unjustified violence.

    When one of their own crosses the line in a big way, they shut their mouths, get amnesia, or blatantly lie for each other.

    So with this as the backdrop, I see the cameras an being an small band-aid for a gaping wound. It won't hurt, but it probably won't do much for the real issue.

  • by Mike Buddha (10734) on Thursday August 28, 2014 @02:07PM (#47776845)

    There was a story a few months back about a suburb of LA instituting a 100% camera policy and finding that the number of police brutality complaints dropping precipitously. The reasons for the drop were not as cut and dried as people will have you believe. A lot of complaints were dropped after the complainant was confronted with video and audio of the incident after the fact. Also, the officers were able to calm many situations down by simply stating that the entire incident was on camera and could be used as evidence in court.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2013/04... [nytimes.com]

The bomb will never go off. I speak as an expert in explosives. -- Admiral William Leahy, U.S. Atomic Bomb Project

 



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