Monday, May 25, 2015

Body Cameras Are Not Pointed at the Police; They're Pointed at You

Something unusual happened during a Senate subcommittee hearing on Tuesday - the committee reached a consensus, at least informally. Although they admitted that there is no "silver bullet" for restoring the public's faith in law enforcement in the wake of several high-profile cases involving killer cops, lawmakers from both parties, along with every witness called in to testify, agreed that police officers across the country should wear body cameras.

"If you could get the right protocols to protect privacy and make sure the officer is using the camera in an appropriate manner, do you think it's best for the nation to go down this road?" Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) asked Wade Henderson, CEO of the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, a broad coalition of civil rights groups that have drawn up guidelines for body camera deployment.

"Without question, I think it's absolutely essential," Henderson replied.

"Does everybody agree with that? If you don't, speak up," Graham said. The room was silent.

Polls indicate that the vast majority of the public agrees, as well. The highly publicized deaths of one unarmed Black man after another at the hands of police have given body cameras serious political momentum.


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