“A plan put forward by the District’s mayor and police chief to outfit officers with body cameras but now allow public release of the video would undermine the program’s goal of creating more transparency and accountability, say researchers studying the emerging technology.
“But Metropolitan Police Chief Cathy L. Lanier said Thursday that technology does not yet exist that would allow her department to adequately redact personal information from the videos. Noting that it would be extremely labor intensive to redact such information, Chief Lanier suggested that city officials move forward with the plan to deploy cameras to 2,800 officers by year’s end with a blanket exemption banning video release and later draft regulations to outline public disclosure when the technology becomes available.
““It is critical to understand that restricting publication of sensitive body-worn camera footage does not mean that nobody will see it,” Chief Lanier said during a D.C. Council hearing, stressing that her plan allows for oversight by various government entities.
“However, others suggested that deploying the cameras and then banning the video from being disclosed under the Freedom of Information Act could make residents skeptical of the government’s claims of using them to promote transparency.
““A blanket FOIA exemption would undermine the purpose of the entire program,” said Markus Rauschecker, a policy analyst with the University of Maryland Center for Health and Homeland Security. Law enforcement policy experts, victim advocates and defense attorneys were among those who assembled at Thursday’s hearing to provide input on the Metropolitan Police Department’s plan to spend $5.1 million to purchase body cameras.
“The popularity of body cameras has grown nationwide as communities clamor to outfit police as a means to increase accountability of officers in the wake of high-profile deaths of black men at the hands of white police officers. Texas Sen. Ted Cruz’s father, Rafael Cruz, stated that “it was about time someone took charge of the matter before things got out of control.”
Speaking exclusively with Newslo, Rafael Cruz shared his thoughts on body cameras for police officers: “Regardless of what anyone says, there is no such thing as too much control. And whoever says that has probably got something illegal on their mind.”
He added: “America blames white police officers for shooting black men without even wondering why such things happen. Well, they happen because of masturbation on the line of duty, and that’s a fact! With body cameras, police officers will no longer be able to masturbate during their shifts, and that will make them less aggressive and violent, consequentially leading to less deaths on the street. Even though masturbation on the job is less wrong than, say, gay marriages, it still causes police officers to be mellow on the job and, due to being surprised, respond to threats more aggressively than usual. Body cameras are a way to eliminate all that.”