Should Police Wear Cameras?

Christian Santiago, Writer

There have been many debates lately resulting from the aftermath of Ferguson. For those who don’t know, teenager Michael Brown was shot dead in the streets in Ferguson, Missouri, sparking a series of protests in the community and a militarized-response from the police. These debates have ranged from race to police brutality. But one of the hottest topics that’s been popping up is whether or not police should wear cameras?

Nowadays, police tend to skew the truth from events, and the law goes in their favor. With no one being clear about what happened to Micheal Brown, due to two different stories in the media and no solid evidence, people are pushing for new regulations for police.

The idea of a wearable camera’s have a lot of benefits to it. It affects professionalism of cops, helping to improve the accountability of police officers as well as reduce complaints of police misconduct. Video evidence also increases the ability to obtain convictions and the ability to obtain guilty pleas prior to trial, so it helps the judicial process.

The idea of wearable cameras for police has been around for nearly 10 years. In the U.K., testing of wearable cameras have proving useful in prosecution of crimes, by providing additional, and uniquely compelling evidence.

Recently, more and more cities across the nation have been starting to test pilot wearable cameras. Just last week, a California-group based group called “We Copwatch” has raised more than $6,000 to buy video equipment for people in the Canfield Green Apartments, which are near the spot where Michael Brown was killed.

Let’s face it, sometimes police can be somewhat non helpful, to put it lightly. Police can be hostile for the most ridiculous things, from speeding to just by being a different color of skin or race. People are getting angry when they see the men and women of the law getting away with some ridiculous or just plain false situations.

We live in a world where some are skeptical and no longer trust the authority or the government. While yes, of course not all police are bad, there a lot of examples of cops who are great people and are committed to their jobs.

My dad’s childhood friend is a cop. My best childhood friend’s parents are a sergeant and a chief of police. I looked up to Jim Gordon, Commissioner of Gotham police, growing up. But suddenly one day you wake up and realize most police officers are in a moral grey and they can control how an incident happens.

Say you get pulled over, and a police officer searches your car, even though you stated you don’t want them too. By doing so, they are violating your Fourth Amendment rights. But you don’t have solid proof, because there were no cameras.

Police, the public and the government need a way to have solid evidence of incidents with police, and Wearable camera’s it a huge step in the right direction.