15, 2014, that, despite “formal similarities” between images, depictions of the police “could not have been more different,” as “[t]oday’s riot police officers [are] wearing military-style camouflage and carrying military-style rifles, their heads and faces obscured by black helmets and gas masks as they [stand] in front of an armored vehicle”); Dani Mc Clain, — began largely in response to a Missouri grand jury’s decision not to indict police officer Darren Wilson for any crime related to his fatal shooting of Michael Brown, a black teenager who was unarmed when shot.
While the tree lighting proceeded as planned, the ceremony’s speakers (none of whom acknowledged the demonstration) were forced to “shout over protesters.” They carried with them signs inscribed with the mantras of that movement —phrases like “Hands Up, Don’t Shoot” and “Black Lives Matter” — and they joined together to call for justice, for police accountability, and for the nation to address the structural forces that permit white police officers to kill a black person at least every eighty-four hours. 15, 2014, AM), [ (finding that white police officers killed black people an average of two times per week based on self-reported statistics). 11, 2014, AM), [ (detailing protests of over 1500 individuals and noting that 223 protestors had already been arrested)., Aug.
Prior to the grand jury’s decision, both protestors and politicians were calling for police departments across the country to outfit their officers with body cameras.
The hope was that video recordings of police-civilian interactions would deter officer misconduct and eliminate the ambiguity present in cases like Michael Brown’s, making it easier to punish officers’ use of excessive force. 25, 2014, PM), (“Civil liberties advocates argue that video records prevent cops from abusing their authority, while law enforcement groups note that a person cannot falsely accuse an officer if their encounter is recorded.”).
Jeter’s story is just one example of the endemic problem of police misconduct, which has long been an issue of public concern, particularly with respect to interactions between police and people of color. Geller & Hans Toch eds., 1996) (discussing a Gallup poll in 1991 that found that “20 percent of respondents, and 30 percent of nonwhite respondents, said that they knew someone who had been physically abused by police”). 5, 2011, AM), [ (finding that 23.8% of all misconduct allegations involved excessive force, with sexual misconduct complaints the next most common at 9.3%)..
(“There have been 127 fatalities associated with credible excessive force allegations within 2010, which means approximately 8.1% of reported excessive force cases involved fatalities. Moreover, a healthy relationship between the police and the community diminishes the prospect of the police using excessive force at all.”); At first glance, then, body cameras may appear to be a panacea for police departments struggling to provide transparency to their communities and resolve civilian complaints efficiently.
Section C catalogs several downsides of the cameras, all of which should be critically explored prior to their widespread adoption.
Section D then discusses recommendations for other legal reforms necessary to ensure that body cameras do in fact increase transparency and improve relations between police and the communities they are supposed to serve. The footage also clearly shows Jeter with his hands in the air, sitting passively in the driver’s seat as officers approach the car — one pointing a pistol at the window, the other armed with a shotgun.
The White House estimate[d] that aspect of the program, which would cost million, would help fund the purchase of 50,000 body-worn cameras.” The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) also repeatedly voiced its support for widespread adoption of this new technology, heralding body cameras as “a win-win” as long as civilian privacy remained properly protected.
exemplifies the human tendency, in times of tragedy, to latch on to the most readily available solution to a complex problem. This lack of accountability occurred despite the deadly use of a chokehold, Goodman & Baker, . 7, 2014, PM), [ (discussing the chokehold ban, but adding that the department has still received over 1000 allegations of chokeholds between 20).
Historically, many reforms undertaken for the professed purpose of “protecting” civilians have ultimately ended up empowering police officers. [y]et the high level of force seldom translated into arrests”); Donald Braman, (Mar.
For example, the stop-and-frisk programs, ostensibly implemented to deter violence in high-crime neighborhoods, have enabled officers to stop and search a grossly disproportionate number of minorities without any proven efficacy. 15, 2012), that NYPD officers made 680,000 stops in 2011, over 80% of which involved stopping a black or Latino individual, and finding that “police used some level of physical force in more than one in five stops across the city . 26, 2014, PM), [ (“There’s no good evidence that the invasive policing strategy brought down crime.”).
But as the outcome of Garner’s case demonstrates, even when high-quality, graphic footage is available, officers may still not be indicted, let alone convicted. The ban “specifically [does] not distinguish between various types of holds, but rather ban[s] them categorically.” Ian Fisher, Moreover, body cameras are a powerful — and indiscriminate — technology.