After the Michael Brown case in Ferguson, Missouri and other controversial events in recent years, police body cameras are an up and coming idea. Police body cameras are even being implemented in some states.
Police body cameras have a lot of pros. Some of these pros include: minimizing complaints about officer behavior, videos can be used as evidence, videos can protect any misconduct or abuse against officers, increase the accountability of officers, video footage may help speed up court proceedings because of the useful evidence the video cameras can provide, and finally police body cameras may reduce the amount of court cases.
While police body cameras seem like a wonderful idea, there are a few cons. The first major concern is that officers may physically have to activate the camera, so an officer basically decides when the camera actually records—or they can choose not to record a certain incident. There are also privacy issues for both police officers and citizens. Citizens may also be less likely to come forward as a witness if they know what they are saying is being recorded. There are also technical issues that could occur that would interfere with the footage like a dead battery, damaged components, or an obstructed lens. The last con is the expense of these body cameras. Some of these expenses include the device itself, ongoing maintenance, and costs associated with storing the recorded videos.
The idea of police body cameras will continue to be up to debate by public officials, city governments, members of Congress, and the general public. But, in my opinion, the pros seem to outweigh the cons if used properly.
Forensic Summary by Marissa Felinczak