Persuasive Essay On Body Worn Cameras

On August 9, 2014 an unarmed man was shot and killed by a police officer in Ferguson, MO. There are many conflicting witness accounts as to what happened that night which could have answered if the officer involved in the shooting was wearing a body camera. This incident as well as many others has led to a push by citizens, civil rights groups, as well as President Obama for police officers all over the United States to begin wearing body cameras. Studies have shown that there are less complaints of police brutality and unnecessary use of force by citizens and better relations with people in the community when police wear body cams. They also can help protect officers from false accusations of misconduct as much as they can support valid …show more content…
Body-worn cameras can simultaneously record both audio and video unlike many traditional surveillance methods. They are able to document a great deal of information regarding people’s movements, activities, and associates which is causing concerns about this wide-ranging surveillance and the misuse and hacking of data. How footage from body-worn cameras might be stored and utilized is causing a good deal of apprehension.
In order to protect the privacy of citizens and victims, policies need to be put into place that ensure the use of body cameras protects citizens without becoming a form of surveillance of the public while maintaining peoples’ privacy. Police departments should clearly outline guidelines for the length of time they will retain video recordings before deletion and who will have access to these recordings. There needs to be strict disciplinary protocols for policy violations against unauthorized access and tampering of video footage. Obtaining consent or informing
Police Body Cameras 4 citizens that they are being recorded, although not always necessary, may be good practice for police
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This number has increased greatly since 2013 as one-third of police departments are now outfitting policemen with wearable cameras (Delong, 2015). This can be attributed to increasing calls for police to wear body cameras to provide more accountability of police officers after accusations of police brutality in numerous high-profile cases (Vega, 2015). Although it has been shown that wearing body cameras greatly lessens incidents of officer use of force, as well as decreases the number of citizen complaints against police officers, there are privacy issues involved (Delong, 2015). There are also legal questions regarding who would have access to the video recordings, how to prevent selective editing, and how to ensure that

Police Body Cameras 5 police officers do not have the body cameras turned off at a precarious time (Pickler, 2014). Lawmakers and police departments are being encouraged to “consider the risks of over-surveillance and profiling of citizens

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