The fallout from Ferguson, Missouri, has been felt across the nation. The death of another black teenager at the hands of the police, the usurpation of the Constitution, arrest of journalists, and the scary unthinkable levels of the militarization of the police state.
The Mayor of Miami-Dade, Carlos Gimenez, had a reaction of his own.
I want a camera on every police officer
FINALLY! Is this what it really takes to get an elected official to see the importance of holding the law enforcement officials accountable?
Miami-Dade stands as one of the largest municipal police precincts in the nation this could be trendsetting. It has already been shown to be effective for both the police as well as the citizens with whom they interact. In Rialto, California where the wearing of body-cameras was mandated there was an 88% drop in complaints and a 60% drop in violence.
With this pure scientific study showing the true effectiveness of body worn cameras for officers we must wonder why it took such an extreme measure to finally push the issue for other police precincts as well.
There is no doubt that had the officer been wearing a camera many of the questions surrounding the death of Michael Brown could have been laid to rest. However, that does not mean they would have been.
The police are under no compunction to release the footage from these videotapes. Even after an investigation has concluded they can still retain the video footage without release for the public. This is a double-edged sword as the information under those tapes can be used either to exonerate or to incriminate someone. Without proper procedures and laws in place to ensure that the police are still answering to the public with the content of these videos it is a slippery slope.
Nonetheless, it is heartening to see that Mayor Gimenez has taken the initiative to roll out the entire police force with body cameras. He has made a proposed $6billion spending plan at a town hall meeting in Little Haiti, which is where the subject of the body cameras came into play.
h/t Crooks and Liars