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1,450 Cleveland Cops to Get Body Cams After Tamir Rice Shooting

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posted on Feb, 7 2015 @ 06:46 AM
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Too bad for Tamir Rice that this is a reactive response to the tragedy. Hopefully this coarse of action will save some lives in the future.

Gawker



On Wednesday, police in Cleveland began wearing some of the 1,500 body cameras the city bought for officers last month, the Associated Press reports. Cleveland Police plan to outfit every officer in the department with the devices by June.

From Cleveland.com:

"According to the newly drafted policy, officers will be required to record during pedestrian or vehicle investigative stops, pursuits and emergency driving situations, crime or accident scenes, physical violence, civil disturbances, criminal suspicious activity or police use-of-force incidents.
The move comes less than three months after the killing of Tamir Rice, the 12-year-old boy shot to death by police while holding a toy gun in Cleveland park. Police departments in other cities, including New York and Ferguson, MO, have similarly implemented body cameras after alleged police misconduct."


Not everyone, however, is convinced the cameras will effectively prevent police abuses.

"You will have to prove to me that this will mean you will discipline officers who cross the line, because in the past, not even video accomplished that," one Cleveland councilman told the city's police chief. "A tool can be misused by any supervisor. It means you will have to do your jobs with this new equipment."


Clevland.com



CLEVELAND, Ohio -- Cleveland police officers began wearing body cameras during their patrols of the city's East Side on Wednesday, after four hours of training on the cameras'functions and policy governing their use, Chief Calvin Williams told members of City Council's Safety Committee.

Williams and other police officials gave council members a presentation similar to those given at community forums last week - highlighting the police department's policies on activating the cameras, uploading and accessing footage as well as policies governing record retention and privacy.

Cleveland chose Taser International's AXON flex and body cameras and bought a five-year subscription to EVIDENCE.com, the company's digital evidence storage and management system.

The city bought 1,500 cameras last month - 375 flex and 1,125 body cameras. The program will cost $2.4 million. Police officials said they expect to deploy all of the cameras by the end of June.

The flex cameras, which retail on the Taser website for $599 a-piece, can be mounted to an officer's eye wear, hat, collar, body or the dash of a cruiser. The body cameras can be worn on an officer's button or zipper shirt, utility belt or uniform shirt pockets, the site states.

According to the newly drafted policy, officers will be required to record during pedestrian or vehicle investigative stops, pursuits and emergency driving situations, crime or accident scenes, physical violence, civil disturbances, criminal suspicious activity or police use-of-force incidents.

Encounters with victims, witnesses or suspects also will be recorded. Officers are required to alert citizens that the interaction is being recorded. A victim or witness can ask the officer to turn off the camera. A supervisor must approve the decision to deactivate, and when practical, officers are advised to record the victim or witness stating that they do not wish to be recorded.

Other situations that should not be recorded include entering a private residence that is not a crime scene, entering dressing rooms or restrooms or having conversations that are unrelated to police investigations, according to the policy.

Officers would be responsible for charging their cameras and uploading their own footage by docking the unit at the end of each shift. The footage is automatically uploaded to EVIDENCE.com, where video clips can be grouped into case files, tracked for chain of custody, accessed from anywhere and shared with those given security clearance.

Deputy Chief Dornat Drummond told council members that the docking stations will be located in a secure room, and that officers will have to pass through the office of the shift commander to gain access to the room.

Williams said representatives from Taser International and the police training academy are running three training sessions a day for the rest of the week for officers in the Fourth District.

The chief said that the department will give officers time to become accustomed to the technology. But eventually officers will face discipline for failing to turn on their cameras or upload footage. Discipline would begin with a written reprimand. Subsequent infractions could lead to a 10-day suspension, Williams said.

Cleveland City Councilman Jeffrey Johnson challenged Williams on whether the footage will actually be used to hold officers accountable for their behavior.

"You will have to prove to me that this will mean you will discipline officers who cross the line, because in the past, not even video accomplished that," Johnson said. "A tool can be misused by any supervisor. It means you will have to do your jobs with this new equipment."

Johnson also criticized the department for taking too long to respond to public records requests, and he expressed concern that adding a layer of technology would create further delays.

Williams defended the department.

"The members of the division of police do not sit on public records requests. Period," Williams said.

Committee Chairman Matt Zone said that in November he requested a list of use-of-fatal-force incidents for the past 25 years, and police officials still have not produced it.



It's unfortunate that it has come to this. We shouldn't need these measures to protect us from the people that are supposed to be protecting us.


edit on 2 7 2015 by SgtHamsandwich because: (no reason given)




posted on Feb, 7 2015 @ 06:51 AM
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If I were an officer, I'd be glad to get a body cam. Cuts down on successful lawsuits against the officer. They work both ways. They can protect the public from bad cops, and protect cops from bad people.



posted on Feb, 7 2015 @ 06:53 AM
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so the answer to the issue is give the cops a camera that they can turn on or off at will.
what could possibly go wrong?



posted on Feb, 7 2015 @ 07:04 AM
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originally posted by: EyesOpenMouthShut
so the answer to the issue is give the cops a camera that they can turn on or off at will.
what could possibly go wrong?


It needs to be an automatic termination if you are found turning off your body cam for any reason when your on the clock. That would be a perfect world scenario. In reality though, with their brotherhood, we protect our own, mentality, that would never come to be.



posted on Feb, 7 2015 @ 08:42 AM
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I would like to know of the company who are making these police body cams. I'm sure there's going to be some record profits if every police department in the U.S. turns to body cams $$$$.



posted on Feb, 7 2015 @ 09:01 AM
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originally posted by: WeRpeons
I would like to know of the company who are making these police body cams. I'm sure there's going to be some record profits if every police department in the U.S. turns to body cams $$$$.


Looks like they are getting them from Taser International.

From Clevland.com:

The city bought 1,500 cameras last month - 375 flex and 1,125 body cameras. The program will cost $2.4 million. Police officials said they expect to deploy all of the cameras by the end of June.

The flex cameras, which retail on the Taser website for $599 a-piece, can be mounted to an officer's eye wear, hat, collar, body or the dash of a cruiser. The body cameras can be worn on an officer's button or zipper shirt, utility belt or uniform shirt pockets, the site states.



posted on Feb, 7 2015 @ 09:03 AM
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originally posted by: SgtHamsandwich


"You will have to prove to me that this will mean you will discipline officers who cross the line, because in the past, not even video accomplished that," one Cleveland councilman told the city's police chief. "A tool can be misused by any supervisor. It means you will have to do your jobs with this new equipment."


Clevland.com



I second the sentiment. Nothing will work until the superiors and the unions allow the perps (cops) to be disciplined.



posted on Feb, 7 2015 @ 11:32 AM
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Its time we the people started wearing similar gear......
Its obvious the technology exists to create personal witness to every event.....
It remains to be seen whether this tactic could stem the tide of police violence and abuse of power and privilege.....
In the meantime I think every citizen who is capable of bearing arms should be armed at all times when out of their homes......



posted on Feb, 7 2015 @ 11:51 AM
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originally posted by: stirling
Its time we the people started wearing similar gear......
Its obvious the technology exists to create personal witness to every event.....


We already are, it's called a smartphone.

That is why all of a sudden we are seeing a huge influx of these bad LEO videos is because everybody and their brother are carrying HD video capable devices in their pockets. Who knows how long all of this has been going on.

The whole "few bad apples" argument is swiftly turning into a lot of bad apple trees in the orchard argument.



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