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Crime Technology

Cameras On Cops: Coming To a Town Near You 264

An anonymous reader writes "The trend of police officers using body-mounted cameras is going nationwide. As we discussed last month, the NYPD is pondering the cameras, and the LAPD is actively testing them. A town in California (population ~100,000) has tested them with seeming success: incidents involving officers using force have dropped more than half, and citizen complaints have dropped almost 90%. '[C]ops are required to turn on their cameras in any confrontation with a suspect or citizen. The footage is uploaded to computers when they return to the station, and is typically retained for one to three months.' The town's success is even drawing interest from police departments in other countries. The ACLU likes the idea, but has problems with it in practice, so they're opposing the trend (PDF). They worry about privacy abuses, and they want citizens caught on camera to be allowed equal access to the footage."
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Cameras On Cops: Coming To a Town Near You

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  • by calzones ( 890942 ) on Friday March 14, 2014 @02:15PM (#46485173)

    Just wait, til the cops start uploading all their footage to a central server for the NSA to add to its collection so they can start cataloging every social interaction that cops see while on their beat. Someone who's face matches a potential subject of interest in a database will get flagged when they show up on the footage and the NSA will then start tracking them based on geolocation data in the footage.

  • by sjames ( 1099 ) on Friday March 14, 2014 @02:24PM (#46485283) Homepage Journal

    It will never happen, but if a law was passed that when the video is unavailable, the citizen's report is presumed to be true and complete, I'll bet those cameras would suddenly get a lot more reliable.

  • by smooth wombat ( 796938 ) on Friday March 14, 2014 @02:38PM (#46485471) Journal
    makes it a lot harder for people to lie about their interaction with a police officer.

    I remember a case where a woman claimed she was beaten in the back of a patrol car by the two responding officers. Too bad for her there was an in-car camera pointed to the back seat which clearly showed her yelling and screaming, telling the cops to stop beating her, and she was the only one in the scene the whole time.
  • by dave562 ( 969951 ) on Friday March 14, 2014 @02:40PM (#46485497) Journal

    I used to think that the ACLU was a force for good, and they might be. But they do not know when to quit, or compromise on anything. Here we are finally getting accountability for law enforcement, and now they want to stop the program?

    I wonder if anyone told them that nothing is perfect and life is all about compromises.

  • by WillAffleckUW ( 858324 ) on Friday March 14, 2014 @02:48PM (#46485607) Homepage Journal

    Sorry, but our state constitution in Washington State is pretty darned clear on that.

    You can't record people without a warrant. Or their express permission.

    That includes you Google Glassholes.

  • by SecurityGuy ( 217807 ) on Friday March 14, 2014 @02:52PM (#46485637)

    IIRC, there's some evidence principle that if you should have records of a thing and I claim those records exonerate me, if you can't provide the records, then the court assumes they say what I claim they do. A principle like that would work well here. If you had or should have had camera footage of our interaction and I claim you punched me in the nose, if your recording is "lost" or your camera was "broken", then you punched me in the nose.

    If ya don't like that, don't lose your recording and make sure your cameras work.

  • Re:Broken camera (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 14, 2014 @04:15PM (#46486509)

    If you can't tell the difference between a cane and a rifle from a distance of thirty feet, you have no business being a police officer.
    ( Officer Tip: The entire non-law enforcement population is NOT your God Damned enemy. Quit treating us like we are unless you truly want us to go down that path. . . . )

    Had the guy been dressed like a ninja, cartwheeled out of the truck cab, tossed a few smoke bombs and filled the air with throwing stars, and amazing acrobatics, then fine. Shoot him.

    Elderly gentleman who can barely move without a cane ? Really ? Holy shit, imagine if he had pulled something REALLY EVIL from the truck. . . . like a ( that can't be a walker, it must be a QUAD ROCKET LAUNCHER ) what then ? Going to call in a swat team ? Sick the canine on him ? Call in air support ? :|

    Thought: If YOU or I had done this we would be rotting in jail for eternity. Regardless of what you THOUGHT it looked like, the fact of the matter is: YOU WERE WRONG and someone was seriously injured because of your piss poor observation skills. Go ahead, try it out. Randomly walk down the street and open fire on anyone carrying anything that you might perceive to be a gun and watch what happens.

    At the very least the officer should be fired and his peace officer certificate revoked. At the very LEAST.

"I don't believe in sweeping social change being manifested by one person, unless he has an atomic weapon." -- Howard Chaykin