Okay. Enough is enough. Way too many police crimes are being caught on video. Are we just stupid people to let this go on without holding our politicians accountable? What are city councils waiting for? Shouldn’t city councils be protecting its people and trying to reduce the temptation faced by police to violate citizen rights?
Though we hear the rationale that there are only a “few bad apples” in any police department, statistics dictate otherwise. That’s a good, comfortable line for the consumption of the general public. But it doesn’t hold water.
The most recent visual record of police committing a major criminal offense was captured by a news camera in a helicopter hovering above police while they beat the crap out of a man prostrate, passive and rendered unconscious within 30 seconds when the first police office kicked the defenseless VICTIM in the head. Was that just to “soften him up a little” so the 12 highly trained officers could pound the crap out of the unconscious body? Then I learned of their “punishment”: paid leave. What? A REWARD for police officer criminal behavior? A vacation of sorts. Let me understand this. If a police officer commits a crime he or she gets a paid vacation? If you or I commit a crime we go straight to jail until we get a court date?
Double standards and violation of public trust aside, at what point do city councils take action to stop police from committing crime or at least reduce the temptation for police to commit crime? Police committing crime has to stop.
It was in the late 1980’s when a visionary from Australia relocated to the hallowed halls of a major FORTUNE-500 company in the USA. He took with him an Australian-invention to which he assigned the name, “Tamper Protected Recording System”, (TPR), designed specifically for use by police forces everywhere. That would have significantly reduced police crime, discrimination, brutality, whatever. It was a great system by technological standards.
At that time the technology in recording and digital sciences was leading edge and involved over 13 digitally encrypted algorithms superimposed to achieve tamper resistance on an 8-hour continuous recording mini-cassette tape. A portable, comfortable tape recorder was carried on a police officer’s belt. The microphone was sensitive enough to pick up sounds over 50 meters, (approx. 50 yards), and responsive enough to bounce back in milliseconds from sudden loud noises, example, gunshots near the microphone. This device earned its moniker: “the silent witness”, for that is exactly what that was. An electronic, objective, tamper-resistant, witness to both efficient police methods and any criminal police act.
Unfortunately, the push back from all parties was great. The device was short-lived on the market then disappeared from the marketplace. Police officers went about their business without carrying that “silent witness” with them. And we know how that’s been working out.
Crimes happen because of motive, opportunity, and low-risk of getting caught. It is proven that SOME, but certainly NOT ALL, police officers are willing to commit a crime if the opportunity exists, especially if they believe there is low-risk of getting caught. Just witness news reports of surreptitious whistle blowers with handhelds who caught officers doing evil things. [Just click here to review some statistics way back in year 2000, (and it is growing each year!!), that further justifies the existence of temptation among police officers: https://www.ncjrs.gov/pdffiles1/nij/181312.pdf ]
For years citizens have been asking for their politicians to equip their police departments with body cameras. What’s taking so long to supply those cameras? Here we are, almost THREE DECADES AFTER THE NEED was identified to have a silent witness mounted on police officers in the commission of their daily routines. Yet, almost no action is being taken, after all these decades. The recent shootings and brutality by “bad apple” policemen presses the need for politicians to mandate police officer body cameras in their jurisdictions.
Each police officer needs to be equipped with a personal “silent witness” and equipped SOON.
These days, video technology and miniaturization has progressed so much that it becomes practical to wear body cameras in almost any endeavor. What are you and your elected politicians waiting for? There is no need to wait 3 more decades to adorn police officers with a “silent witness”. They should have body cameras NOW.
[And…No, I do NOT knowingly OWN shares in any body camera corporations or “silent witness” device companies of any sort as I write this.]