BlackParentSpeaks is compelled to speak AGAINST the case of requiring local police officers to wear body cameras while on duty. Perhaps something in this BlackAngryWomen post will touch the raw nerve of each reader.
BlackParentSpeaks values both privacy and the ‘right not to incriminate self’ laws. Violations of ‘privacy’ abound and the ‘privacy of our homes’ is a precious remaining ‘right’ — at least in theory.
Requiring local police officers to wear body cameras while on duty is a misnomer at best and a violation of ‘right to privacy’ practices and theories.
Body cameras will not stop our police officers who are bent towards wrongful practices involving ‘general’ abuses or racist abuses of power. If we truly believe that body cameras are a solution, we are wrong.
Police wearing of body cameras while on duty makes us all subject to invasion of our ‘rights to privacy’. Footage and ‘supposed unaltered fluid footage’ will be available and in the public domain. Likewise, such footage will be kept for years lest the camera footage no longer be ‘considered and deemed’ relevant.
First, the efficacy of cataloging and storing continuous footage and ‘alleged’ footage from local police body cameras is both costly and ridiculous. Safeguarding such footage is another questionable task. Where will such be stored and who will be in charge of maintaining the integrity and security of such? Who will handle the cataloging of this massive endeavor?
Already, ‘hacking’ and viruses present a major problem for all – including the Pentagon and other government agencies. Leaks abound. We are inundated regularly with breaches to security. What makes any of us believe that body camera footage and ‘supposed’ UNtampered footage will be kept and maintained with ‘greater’ security?
When thinking about police body camera footage, at a minimum, we must think about the movie making industry. Daily, we watch our TVs and many of us view movies. Camera footage is altered, transposed, manipulated, deleted, and otherwise pieced together to present a fluid story for viewers to ‘feel’ and believe. We are able to change ‘original’ footage on our computers at home and at work. ‘Is it real or is it Xerox?’ Who will have the legal authority to certify whether police body camera footage is UNchanged or CHANGED and what about ensuing disagreements? Who decides and determines ‘integrity’?
Will the footage filmed by body cameras flow constantly into a central computer system located away from the police officer who is wearing the body camera? Or, will each body camera contain its separate film footage for later download into a central computer located in individual precinct locations or…?
What happens when and if an officer’s body camera becomes nonfunctional or has blips?
What will be the dollar value of a police body camera on the public and non-public market? Will a police officer’s safety be jeopardized as a result of his body camera? How many body cameras will be ‘lifted’ and/or ‘liberated’ and/or confiscated and/or simply ‘lost’?
What will happen if a police officer fails by accident or on purpose to ‘continually and consistently’ wear his or her body camera? Will there be ‘real and effective’ consequences? Will local police officers be subject to dismissal as a result? Will body cameras operate while police officers are using the bathrooms? Afterall, incidents can happen in bathrooms and all spaces. If there are exceptions, what will be considered an exception?
Will body camera footage be reviewed randomly or continually and constantly by an oversight group or body? Or, will the review of the footage be solely ‘triggered’ by officially-filed complaints? And, who is – in fact – allowed to file complaints against local police officers? Can a person who is UNinvolved in a police situation file a citizen complaint? Can anonymous individuals and entities file complaints that ‘trigger’ the review of police body camera footage? Will the media have access? Will individuals have access under ‘freedom of information’ laws and policies?
If body cameras do become law, all that is visible in a person’s home will be on camera if and when the police enter a person’s home! Homes will become ‘public-viewing’ spaces for all to see. People who have ‘desired’ items inside their homes can and will become visible prey….
A person’s home will no longer be private. Folk can anonymously summon police officers and police officers can mistakenly go to and enter the wrong home. Yet, if an officer enters that home, all will be recorded on camera footage to be viewed later….
What will happen if ‘suspected’ illegal substances or items are subsequently viewed on body camera footage? What will happen when police enter homes where people are UNclothed or viewed as improperly clothed? Will we be seen ‘naked’ on body camera footage and where will that footage go? Do we really believe that ‘integrity’ will be employed or keep us safe from public viewing?
How many citizens will be co-opted as a result of body camera footage? How many people will be discouraged from calling for help as a result of police wearing body cameras? What victim of abuse wants to be publicly viewed as a result of the requirement for body cameras! Who really wants a police person to enter his or her home while wearing a body camera that puts ALL and everyone inside on film?
Police wearing body cameras is NOT a solution to racist police brutality!
The requirement for local police officers to wear body cameras puts all at risk. Local police officers will also be targeted as a result. If body cameras are made policy or law, there will be occasions when police officers wearing body cameras will unknowingly enter spaces that subject them to danger as a result of their body cameras. Afterall, the body cameras will film what police officers fail to see….
Do not be tricked by emotions or alleged hypes. If police body cameras are made law or required, please ‘insist’ that all police officers everywhere in America be required to wear body cameras — without exception or excuse. And, insist that police body camera video be continuous and fluid while the officer is on duty — regardless of the situation and circumstances.
Be Aware! Be Informed!
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Don’t forget our reparations.