After this woman told me she met Mike Bloomberg and he was a really nice man, I said his view on police wearing cameras was disgusting. How anybody could be against the idea, is mind-blowing.
She, much to my surprise, didn't think police should wear cameras. (her first justification was "how much money would it cost to have cops wear cameras?" and then the discussion got shut down, for other reasons--but if money is really the objection....well...)
Well, here is why Every. Single. Cop. NEEDS to wear a camera, just like his badge.
Youtube gives you a warning, that this might not be suitable for all users. It's less graphic than the Tony Bologna pepper-spraying, or the UC Berkeley pepper-spraying, but it is VERY clear:
At the 30 second mark (it's over by the 34 second mark, lower left hand corner, look closely), you see an officer at least twice punch a man who is prone on the ground with multiple officers who are ontop of him. While these punches are being thrown blue-shirts (aka grunts) were pushing people back and telling them to back up.
Cause ya know, those dangerous cameras might just capture the police using violence without need.
Well, fuck you Bloomberg and anyone else who thinks police don't need to wear cameras.
Luckily, I've never been punched by a cop, and I hope I never will be. But if I do get punched by a cop, I damn well want video evidence.
I can't think of any single proposal that might help curb police brutality as much as cops wearing cameras. Can you?
After making the mistake of reading some of the youtube comments in response to that video, I want to say this:
I believe that there are situations where police need to use force to subdue a person who is resisting them. I believe that there are situations where police do not need to use force, but they do.
While no camera angle will capture *all* the details needed to paint a full picture, the more angles you have, the more information you can gather in a way that is *NOT* dependent upon biased, humanly flawed, memory. You have an unbiased recording of events--no more "he said, she said" of "the victim was resisting arrest" or "the police attacked me without reason"
Given that non-professionals can, and do, capture angles of arrests that indict the guilty, I see no reason why professional police couldn't be trained to make sure they get the correct angle as well--and it might just look reallly shady if a police officer said "he did X or Y which was violent and that caused me to respond with force" and yet X or Y wasn't on camera.
Also note the way that the police use their physical bodies to block the camera angle that *does* capture an officer of the law punching a prone person.