What will it take for our communities to trust police?
You should always feel safe when in the presence of somebody who is supposed to protect you. But why do people get nervous when police officers are around? Could it be our guilty conscience reminding us of all the things we have done wrong? Or is it the fact that thousands of people have been beaten and killed by police officers? Some people have suggested total reform for the justice system but major US cities are implementing body-equipped cameras on police. . Many studies have shown the body cameras to be effective in lowering rates of police brutality. A study coordinated by Los Angeles police chief Tony Farrar was argued against by Seth W. Stoughton, a law professor at University of South Carolina Major. U.S. Cities have started using body cameras but could be using them prematurely, based on several studies police will need training with cameras before they are used efficiently.
Using the cameras efficiently would include accurately recording all police interactions. The primary concern of police officers is that all their interactions are recorded, but supporters of body cameras disagree. The biggest issue supporters have is trusting police, Farrar says that the body cameras will help the police force regain the trust of the community. But for the community to trust police, they must be trained well and be effective. Based on Farrar’s studies, cameras have been proven to be effective because use of force dropped by 59% of all police with body cameras. This proves that cameras can be beneficial but will they be used to their full potential if not trained properly?
Other people who are questionable about cameras believe that they will work but might not provide the best evidence. Stoughton made a mini video series and the demonstrations show that video footage may be unclear. Stoughton gives a warning us to “keep in mind the cameras’ limits and viewers’ biases.” Unclear videos as well as previous biases will make the video footage less beneficial than everybody is expecting. This is why police must be trained properly, so there are minimal disagreements over video evidence. In other words, whether there is video evidence are not, Stoughton believes that there will always be disputes over what actually happened. Tony Briscoe for the Chicago Tribune wrote an article explaining the recent use of body cameras in Chicago. A large amount were given to the police force but no proper training was given. These police have yet to use these cameras, but many government officials are calling for training.
Body cameras will not immediately solve all our trust issues with police; however, it will at least lower the rates of police brutality since they will be under constant surveillance. Police must be trained well so cameras can help the situation at hand. There will still be disputes with the video evidence, but it is still one step closer to fixing the problem of police brutality. As citizens, we should be cautious of police, but we have one less thing to worry about with the addition of body cameras.(509)