The Dangers Of Police Brutality And Chest Cameras

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Police Brutality and Chest Cameras In recent years, we’ve noticed an increase in claims of police brutality. However, without any hard evidence, they’re just that: claims. With such controversial events such as the Mike Brown, Eric Garner, and John crawford shootings, police brutality and racism has become more and more in the forefront of the public eye. Some have suggested improvements and precautions for the police to take, such as chest cams in addition to already existing dash cams. Are police brutality rates really increasing, or are documented police brutality incidents increasing? With an estimated “4.6 billion mobile phones [were] in use at any moment in 2010” and “More than one billion mobile phones [are] equipped with cameras” …show more content…
With poverty rates increasing in 2000 from 17.4% to 19.2% in 2010, the town of Rialto had crime rates above the national average every year from 1999 to 2007, but lower than the national average from 2008 to 2010 ("Rialto, California"). However, after the chest cameras were introduced, “public complaints against officers plunged 88% compared with the previous 12 months. Officers ' use of force fell by 60%” (Carroll, Rory). By having the police document each incident instead of random bystanders, there’s less chance of riots, citizen involvement, and less chance for anyone involved to claim they did or did not do something that didn’t actually happen. Chest cams cause both the wearer (the police) and the watched (the victim/suspect) to behave more civilly, and thus, less likely to act out, or act more excessively. This accountability would lead to a “decrease” in public involvement where it did not need to be, as well as a decrease in the amount of publicly displayed false accusations. From this, there would be less chaos--like that of the aftermath of the Ferguson, Mike Brown shooting--and even less crimes committed after a police involved shooting. Though this town is just one example of many, it’s a very promising prospect that chest cams do indeed, lower complaints against the police, as well as lower police brutality …show more content…
With no privacy or use guidelines yet in place, some are weary of the use of these cameras, “Without strong policies …departments could lose the public 's trust. The public needs to know cameras aren 't only being turned on when it 'll help officers.” ("Police Body Cameras Raise Privacy Concerns"). Not only is the general public weary, but officers themselves are afraid of getting caught saying or doing something that would risk their job--so much so that they started breaking off antennas of the cameras at one police department, “but mysteriously the recorders stopped working...officers were purposefully breaking off the antennas on their recorders to disable them” (Hu, Elise). With this kind of activity going on, certain privacy and use guidelines need to be put in place to protect both the officer and the suspect(s) from any possibly embarrassing video footage, as well as ensuring the proper documentation of each

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