Body Camera Intrudes Into Our Privacy
The use of camera goes against the privacy of both the police and the civilians. This is especially when the police responds on family matters or domestic violence while wearing cameras. The incidents captured in the house can be traumatic and go viral when accessed online. In a situation where one is sharing personal details, an individual may opt to sift the information to share. This will go a long way in affecting the targeted results. In this case, the body cameras will have deterred the citizen from seeking the required help.
According to the Harvard Law Review (2015), the use of body cameras was a push by protesters against the killing of black people. The protests arose after the killing of Michael Brown by Darren Wilson. Worse still, the court failed to indict Warren of the murder. A week later, another innocent underage; Eric Garner was shot and killed by the police. The use of body cameras would assist in training as the evidences will be used for remedial trainings for the officers to correct their behaviors. According to the review the footages can be incorporated into the training as they depict the civilian encounters.
Body cameras might stop being utilized for accuracy purposes and become a fresh form of surveillance (Griggs, 2015). This will give the government an opportunity to spy on the citizens. This will negatively affect the relationship between the administration and the people it is supposed to protect. In addition, this will counter the reason for the adoption of the cameras and further break the trust between the masses and the administrative bodies.
The privacy of the principals of the police will be interfered with by asking them to wear cameras all day long. This will interfere will their privacy and the execution of their mandate. It will be not be easy to tell whether the police have tuned the camera on or off. To ensure that the privacy of the citizens is maintained, the police should inform the individual when they are filming.
The use of body camera will not solve the problem existing between the police and the society. This is because the problem goes deeper than technological advancements (Mims, 2014). The use needs to be addressed from the behavioral point of view. The distinctive habits in each party need to be identified and addressed. This should be done from the top in the management structure. When the populace is sure that they are safe in the hands of the police and that the police will not use force on them, they will collaborate. The intended trust will gradually develop and eventually, the society will fully trust the police.
The adoption of camera is just a temporary solution to problem of police abuse. This will just be a band-aid. The police should address the larger system problem. Racial biasness should be dealt with effectively. Moreover, the body camera is just a mere accessory. The lenses of the police officers and justice systems are out of focus. This should also be rectified.
Body cameras cannot restrain the police from using force. This is because a police can shoot a civilian in the head while wearing the camera. It is worth noting that the police can turn off the camera in situations that do not favor them. On their part, the citizens may respond positively in situations where they know they are being filmed. This would be to objectively show themselves as obedience and law abiding citizens, which may not have been the case.
The pictures and the video that will be captured by police body cameras will not help in getting justice. Justice will only be attained if the cases will not be argued depending on the footages captured. The videos will not make the police accountable of their actions. Cole, Smith and DeJong (2010) cited that the mounting of body cameras by the police would affect their privacy when the police forget to turn off the camera and engages in private matters like taking a shower or private conversations.
Cole, G., Smith C., & DeJong, C. (2015). Criminal justice in America. Cengage Leraning publishers.
Griggs,Brandon (2015). Should cops wear cameras?. CNN. January 2, 2015. Accessed from: http://edition.cnn.com/2014/12/31/tech/cnn-10-ideas-cameras-cops/
Harvard Law Review. (2015). Considering Police Body Cameras. April 10th, 2015 Accessed from: http://harvardlawreview.org/2015/04/considering-police-body-cameras/
Mims, Christopher. (2014). What happens when the Police Officers Wear Body cameras. The Wall Street Journal. Accessed from: http://www.wsj.com/articles/what-happens-when-police-officers-wear-body-cameras-1408320244