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Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Miami Mayor Wants Bodycams On All Cops

Written by Justin King | The Anti-Media
The Mayor of Miami-Dade is calling for cameras to be worn by hundreds of officers while they are on duty. Mayor Carlos Giménez is calling for the cameras in the wake of the massive civil unrest caused by the shooting of an unarmed teen in Ferguson, Missouri.
Giménez included the funds to purchase 500 of the cameras in this year’s proposed budget. That would be enough to issue cameras to roughly half of the department’s patrol officers. It is expected that the program would be expanded next year to include all officers. Giménez sees the cameras as a common sense approach to combat police brutality and provide accountability. 

He said:
 “The body cam is a way to assure that there’s confidence in the police department, that if they had been wearing a body cam, say, in the incident that happened in Missouri, there would be no debate as to what exactly happened.”

Police officer wearing a body camera
Police officer wearing a body camera
The purchase cost of the cameras is roughly $1 million with an additional $400,000 in expenses for data storage. The cost would certainly be offset by a reduction in excessive force and police misconduct lawsuits. Under Florida’s Sunshine Law, the footage would be openly available to the citizens.
Unsurprisingly, police unions are opposed to the measure. Such a measure would provide clear accountability of officers’ actions, but it would also easily clear an officer that was wrongly accused of misconduct. It seems clear that the unions know that documenting the actions of law enforcement would cause criminal prosecutions of officers more often than it would provide evidence to clear an officer of wrongdoing. The opposition of the unions is a clear indication that the Miami-Dade area is in desperate need of such devices.
When a town in California adopted body cameras, use of force fell by 60% and complaints against police fell 88%. Miami’s citizens should demand the cameras be purchased. Donors should immediately cease all support for the Police Benevolent Association in Miami until the union supports the common sense proposal that would help protect the public and the officers they claim to represent.
The dashboard for the New York Police Department's 'Domain Awareness System' (DAS) is seen in New York
As officers are known for saying when they unreasonably demand to search a vehicle,
If you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to fear.”
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