The news: After weeks of clashes between protesters and heavily armed riot police in Ferguson, Mo., following the police killing of unarmed black teenager Mike Brown, one senator has a simple solution to help prevent future law enforcement excesses: mandatory body cameras for all uniformed officers whose departments receive federal funding.
Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) told the Springfield News-Leader that such a program requirement would constitute a "great legacy" stemming from Brown's death. She condemned the heavy-handed police crackdown on protesters, particularly officers who threatened reporters, and said that the body cams would protect police officers following legal guidelines for use of force, while reassuring community members that their rights would be respected.
Currently, video evidence usually only covers the tail end of a police incident, McCaskill told the News-Leader: "It gives the impression the police officer has overreacted when they haven't. If the police officer has a small body cam, then not only is the community reassured that's someone not being treated unfairly, it protects that police officer from being accused of treating someone unfairly."
McCaskill plans to chair hearings next month on the militarization of police in the U.S., which will hopefully include a discussion of body cameras.