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Militarized Police and the Dangers to the Public

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Do you believe that Law Enforcement Officers should have to wear video recorders?

  1. 1. Do you believe that Law Enforcement Officers should have to wear video recorders?

20 members have participated

"Though it's a national phenomenon, Mississippi currently leads the way in turning school behavior into a police issue. The Hospitality State has imposed felony charges on schoolchildren for "crimes" like throwing peanuts on a bus. Wearing the wrong color belt to school got one child handcuffed to a railing for several hours. All of this goes under the rubric of "zero-tolerance" discipline, which turns out to be just another form of violence legally imported into schools." http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2013/12/american-society-police-state-criminalization-militarization

I submit that there is a war against the American citizen who is viewed increasingly as a criminal.

Too often, encounters between citizens and law enforcement officers have ended very badly for the citizen. This has not gone unnoticed and now some LEOs are being required to wear video cameras in addition to having them on their vehicles. USF studied the question of requiring the use of body cameras http://www.tampabay.com/news/education/college/usf-to-study-police-officers-wearing-body-cameras/2160669

And now LA LEOs are going to be wearing them. http://abclocal.go.com/kabc/story?id=9395264 Given the history of police brutality cases in Los Angelos this should come as no surprise. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/news/lapd-brutality/

In today's technological world it is easy to find audio and video evidence of police abusing their power and the very laws that they are charged with upholding. What is the recourse of the public when we cannot even safely protest on the public streets?

Do you believe that all police should have to wear video recording devices when working?

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I doubt these cameras will work any better than the dash cams. When there is something going to happen that some do not want documented there is an increasing amount of "camera failure". I suspect if I were a warrior cop that I would pull the camera off before doing things not appropriate. It would be easy enough to push the blame for this to the civilian in any confrontation.

I do believe most police are honest, hard working and really have a huge capacity not to react to negative behaviors towards them. I also believe much of this is dependent of pre- acceptance into the police academy, and the type of training and education utilized in the academy.

We see police dressed as paramilitary. There seems to be a lock step persona in some areas and regions of the country. Personally, I have never had bad issues with police. I do think in at least one incident the interaction by police was sub par, but not hostile. Certainly they do profile. I have been stopped and never asked to have vehicle searched while my DSS is frequently stopped, and has had his car searched each time. His NA key chain has prevented a great deal of hassle. He often drives a car full of NA members to and from meetings and certainly a car full of ex-users who are not quite mainstream attract much police attention when they are traveling through druggie neighborhoods. (in our area of the country that includes a great deal of territory)

I believe much of the problems are caused by the "war on drugs", just another war we are losing. The prison system is flourishing. The stakeholders of the prison systems are getting rich, we see more families destroyed as people as non-violent offenders are placed into long sentences for possession. Society is is a free fall and our Congress keeps collecting a paycheck and failing to address any of the issues.

I think in the absence of appropriate legislative support it is easy for the police to become more emboldened to take a more military stance. Many come from military backgrounds and have been taught how to kill well, but not how to deal with those on your own side.

I do think people could learn a great deal about what the police face daily if police did wear cameras, similar to what se see from dash cams. So, perhaps the education to the public is worth something. I do believe that I would not wish to be filmed and know that the video might become viral.

No, I don't think cameras are the correct answer. I do believe they might help in certain cases. Routine use will not be reviewed so it will not be a good tool.

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I voted for the cameras in the poll. Though I'm not sure it would change much. There have been many excessive force or "officer involved shootings" that have been filmed which seem cut and dried. Police misconduct has little oversight even with cameras.

What good do the cameras do in a society that thinks it's fine to criminalize children for throwing peanuts on a bus?

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What good do the cameras do in a society that thinks it's fine to criminalize children for throwing peanuts on a bus?

In a society where it is perfectly okay to suspend a 6 or 7 year old from school for biting his pop tart into what someone thinks is the shape of a pistol, then of course throwing peanuts is going to become a criminal act.

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I think cameras are the best friend for the honest person. The cases of police brutality I've seen lately have been caught by private video and only in one case confirmed by police video that was originally ignored.

I have no problem with the police carrying video equipment which can clarify events later. I'm not big on requiring it though.

Militarizing the police increases the danger to criminals much more than it does to the public. Neutering the police might make the public a wee bit safer from the police but would greatly increase the danger to the public from criminals.

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I also meant to say in the above post, cameras would also possibly protect police officers from unwarranted complaints. I know that a couple of times during my nursing career I wished I had been on camera. Complaints such as "Mom says she didn't get her pills" or "nobody ever checks on my Mom" could have been proven to be unfounded.

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Some very good points made here.

I am most concerned about what is done with the video when questionable behavior has resulted in injury to the public.

To date, few police have been convicted when video evidence has seemed to verify an overly aggressive approach or a breach of the public trust.

Police misconduct case studies

It is frustrating to the public when there seems to be a double standard for behavior and punishment.

PoliceMisconduct.net | The Cato Institute's National Police Misconduct Reporting Project

The comment that "Many come from military backgrounds and have been taught how to kill well, but not how to deal with those on your own side" is an interesting point. Dependent upon what the military experience is, the psychological status of the officer relative to "combatants v. friendlies" and how to de-escalate a potentially violent situation comes into question. Some of the video offered regularly on YouTube clearly point to LEOs who actually make a bad situation worse.

I agree that the "war on drugs" has made things much worse. It might be different if marijuana was not included at the level that it is, but that is a different topic. In the current "war" large numbers of Americans are considered criminal according to drug law and are treated accordingly. Having said that, not all LEOs treat young men, especially young white men, badly relative to possession of small amounts of pot. My youngest son experienced that favor although it did occur in the small town where he grew up rather than in a large urban center where there is more drug related violence.

I believe that the cameras are in everyone's best interest, including the LEOs.

I suspect that whenever there is an injury to a civilian or an altercation between citizen and LEO that the video will be reviewed.

What they do with that information and how it is interpreted are different matters I suppose.

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Also, many times the LEOs do not want to be videotaped by bystanders during an interaction with a citizen. Often, in the available video or audio recordings, the LEO is asking or sometimes demanding that the filming/recording stop. In most venues, they have no legal stance which allows them to demand that, and when they remove or destroy the camera they are violating the law.

Clearly some large urban areas have a larger problem with police misconduct than others. There are, however, bad people in every walk of life. There are emotionally stressed and poorly adapting people in all walks of life. Most walks of life, however, don't routinely put those people in the line of extreme stress armed with implements of violence.

Good discussion.

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Video Shows Man Suffering Deliverance-Style Treatment by Small-town Texas Cops (Video) | Progressive Populist

I was not looking for this but it does show the good, the bad, and the indifferent. It is overly long and as such it does include some really good points that might be missed if shortened.http://progressivepopulist.org/2014/03/02/video-shows-man-suffering-deliverance-style-treatment-small-town-texas-cops-video/

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Standing up for one's rights is not illegal and the thought of "if you have nothing to hide..." does not cut it with me. Every time we allow LEO to violate rights we are encouraging governmental interference in our lives. The video clearly shows how the police escalated when the person claimed his legal rights. I would not allow a search of my vehicle without a warrant. It has nothing to do with what they might find. It has to do with what is right and legal.

The end of the video is true and very upsetting. It calls for an Uncle Tom response of step and shuffle in order to survive an illegal activity by the police. We are not slaves to the police and if we act like we are then they will become emboldened to push another step. Texas has had a number of illegal body cavity searches that were actually rapes. We need to call them out each time one occurs.

I am still considering the wearable cameras. After seeing the police in the video and reading much about the body cavity searches when the police actually thought it was OK, perhaps the cameras might be useful. It seems like some of the offending cops do not know they are illegal.

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Video Shows Man Suffering Deliverance-Style Treatment by Small-town Texas Cops (Video) | Progressive Populist

I was not looking for this but it does show the good, the bad, and the indifferent. It is overly long and as such it does include some really good points that might be missed if shortened.http://progressivepopulist.org/2014/03/02/video-shows-man-suffering-deliverance-style-treatment-small-town-texas-cops-video/

This video is an example of several problems; 1) police who knowingly and willingly break the law and violate the constitutional rights of citizens, 2) prosecutors who lie to defendants, and 3) judges who don't care about the constitutional rights of citizens.

Too many people don't know that they are not required to provide ID if they are not under arrest. Too many people don't know that the police cannot search their vehicle or possessions simply because they want to. Too many LEOs are willing to take advantage of that ignorance and too many are angered if the citizen is NOT ignorant of their rights and seek to protect them.

Thanks for sharing.

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Standing up for one's rights is not illegal and the thought of "if you have nothing to hide..." does not cut it with me. Every time we allow LEO to violate rights we are encouraging governmental interference in our lives. The video clearly shows how the police escalated when the person claimed his legal rights. I would not allow a search of my vehicle without a warrant. It has nothing to do with what they might find. It has to do with what is right and legal.

The end of the video is true and very upsetting. It calls for an Uncle Tom response of step and shuffle in order to survive an illegal activity by the police. We are not slaves to the police and if we act like we are then they will become emboldened to push another step. Texas has had a number of illegal body cavity searches that were actually rapes. We need to call them out each time one occurs.

I am still considering the wearable cameras. After seeing the police in the video and reading much about the body cavity searches when the police actually thought it was OK, perhaps the cameras might be useful. It seems like some of the offending cops do not know they are illegal.

Years ago my husband left his restaurant to go to a 24 hour grocery store to buy items he was running out of. It was after 10:00 pm.

LAPD stopped him, handcuffed and frisked him. They took his small Buck pocket knife. The pulled their gins and told him that he resembled a wanted drug dealer. (The wanted dealer was over 6 ft and 200 pounds. My DH was then 5'5" and 120 pounds. What they had in common was gender and race.)

Then they searched his car. When they got a crowbar to open the trunk he gave permission to use the key. They removed the seats from the car, the spare tire, and the groceries. They left them on the sidewalk and then removed the handcuffs.

He was able to call pregnant me to come get him. We put the seats back in the car and locked the doors and the trunk. The groceries went into my car, then I took him back to work. The next morning a group of friends came to put the seats back in the car so it could be driven.

We went to the police station where after filling out forms, proving identity, and waiting he was given his knife back. his father had given it to him.

He still has it. A couple times he has had it in his pocket at the airport, but I put it with checked luggage.

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