One of the most talked about arguments in public safety today is if police officers should wear body cameras while on duty.
After the Michael Brown shooting in Ferguson, Missouri, this argument has sprouted immensely. Some argue that it could stop police brutality and false witness accounts while others believe that it is a waste of money and time.
I believe that it is an incredibly good idea for the state governments to invest in body cameras for their police officers. The monitoring of police officers’ actions would allow for an increase in liability and transparency in tense situations.
While outfitting every police officer in a major city would cost millions, it also is incredibly beneficial. The American government already spends millions of tax dollars on useless things, and I believe that these cameras are not one of them.
Imagine if Officer Darren Wilson was outfitted with a body camera during the time when he had the confrontation with Michael Brown. If there was first person footage from that incident, all of the questions and riots would have never happened. A video could have let people immediately see if it was cold blooded murder or just self-defense.
Many cities have already started outfitting their police officers with cameras, while others are starting to experiment with them. According to The New York Times, New York City has already invested in several body cameras and dressed them with some of their finest.
Police commissioners whose officers have tested the cameras have noticed how beneficial they are to keeping police officers in line. They have also stated that people who are confronted by police are also much more complying and less likely to do anything rash when being recorded.
Critics say that the cameras will not do anything and that it is a complete waste of time. They say that video evidence can be interpreted wrong and sometimes show an unclear view of what is actually happening.
Recently, a white police officer shot and killed an African American man in the back eight times while he was running away. The man was unarmed and the police officer had no right to kill him. The cop was immediately fired and arrested and no angry riots started.
This was all because a witness recorded the whole incident on his phone, creating undisputed evidence for everyone to see. Outcomes like this, that are true to what happened, could occur every time if body cameras were present.
The government should absolutely invest in body cameras for police officers because the pros easily out weigh the cons. The benefits for investing in these cameras would be revolutionary for the police force and judiciary system.
All information for this article came from CNN.com, The New York Times, and nbcnews.com