In light of recent events, I hope police departments, state troopers, and other armed law enforcement agency adopt two resolutions:
1. To purchase and use vest cameras and dashcams.
2. To permit unfettered civilian recording of police activity.
Neither would solve every problem, but wouldn’t video recordings shed a whole lot more light on these otherwise controversial incidents that make national news? Wouldn’t they reduce reliance on faulty human memory? And wouldn’t they lead to greater confidence that if the police are misbehaving, they’ll be punished accordingly? Wouldn’t this help
restore build up greater trust in the cops?
Expensive? Sure. But at this stage a PD’s dollar seems better spent on building public trust than on surplus military hardware.
I was about to edit #2 above, to address those scenarios in which a cameraman is physically interfering with legitimate police activity. But then I had a bigger concern: my use of the word “permit,” which implies that recording the police should be something other than a right or civil liberty. It’s not a privilege. It’s not something we need permission to do. It’s a right.