Police Body Cameras Considered In New York City

Police body cameras are being looked into as a new rule in New York City. Public Advocate Letitia James says it should help increase accountability in the police force if every officer wore something to record what they do on duty.

The initial goal is to outfit 15 percent of the precincts in the city to see how effective it is before making it a city-wide rule.

Letitia James is calling for the initiative after last month’s death due to a police choke-hold. Eric Garner lost his life in the encounter which led to an officer being given a desk job and possibly more serious charges, as previously reported by The Inquisitr.

The police camera action could be a good or bad idea, though the positives seem to hold the most weight for now. If officers’ actions are being recorded while on duty, they won’t be as likely to abuse their rights as law enforcement. There will be evidence against anything they do wrong, as long as the camera isn’t broken or tampered with.

Police body cameras could also be a problem, because one bullet or attack aimed just right could probably destroy it, wasting the officer’s time and the precinct’s resources as it gets replaced simply to follow protocol. There are also questions of invasion of privacy.

Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association President Patrick Lynch isn’t yet convinced that the devices will be effective, and wants to see evidence. The cost alone could put a significant dent in the millions that the City paid in settlements over police misconduct last year.

James is confident that the system will pay off:

“We are living in an increasingly technological world, and we should take measures to incorporate video cameras into policing to improve public safety.”

While the police body cameras could significantly reduce the amount of officer misconduct, the cost of implementing the technology is what’s holding it back.

Would you feel safer knowing that the officer who stopped you is recording the event?

[image via startribune]