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"Pistol cam" urged for NYPD cops

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posted on May, 5 2008 @ 08:18 AM

The makers of a small, digital camera that attaches to the barrel of a gun say the device would have ended any dispute about what happened in the Sean Bell shooting.

Now, a former Bronx homicide prosecutor who helped develop the Pistol Cam wants the NYPD to consider putting the audio and video gadget on its service weapons.

By using the mini-cams to review their actions, "hopefully, [officers] will make better decisions under the most stressful circumstances," ex-Assistant District Attorney Bill DeProspo said.

Although a judge last month cleared three police officers of any crimes in Bell's death, the training and procedures that the cops followed face almost certain review.

If the cameras had been used in that case, they would have given investigators instant video from several perspectives and provided audio to show whether the officers identified themselves before they unloaded 50 bullets.

DeProspo said the device could even be used to try to prevent such deadly shootings. Its footage could be made part of NYPD training to better show what to do - and not to do.

Bell was unarmed when he was shot dead by the cops in Queens 18 months ago. He and his friends were leaving his bachelor party at a Jamaica strip club at the time.

Cops who followed Bell and his friends to his car said they thought one of them had a weapon, although no gun was ever recovered.

Instead of relying solely on eyewitness testimony in such cases, investigators would have crucial footage if the gun-mounted cameras were used. The device is turned on by a magnetic switch as soon as the firearm is pulled from its holster, DeProspo said.

Encrypted software would keep unauthorized officers from tampering with the data, which can instantly be uploaded to a laptop via a USB connection, he said.

DeProspo said the cost of the cameras - $600 a piece - would be offset by money the city could save in lawsuits if armed with such devices.

I can see it now. The pistol cam would "accidentally" get its lenses covered by lint in officers' holsters. I think its almost certain in many case if the camera footage backs the officers it would work, if not there would be some technical difficulties.

posted on May, 5 2008 @ 09:20 AM
The camera has a encryption and neither the patrol officer or his immediate superiors can open, delete or modify the footage. It would be limited fo internal investigation/prosecutors use (or at least only they would have the codes) only.

But i can foresee a lot of small pieces of ducttape accidentally finding their way on to cam lenses...

posted on May, 5 2008 @ 09:28 AM

That way, there would be "he said/they said", it would be all black and white. Make it a presumption of law that if the camera "malfunctions" then the "suspects" version is to be considered the absolute truth.

You'll find that the abuse by the police would go WAY down.

posted on May, 5 2008 @ 09:56 AM
Now criminals will be required to SMILE when they look down the barrel of a gun.

posted on May, 5 2008 @ 01:16 PM
This will just increase the already high amounts of second guessing and monday morning quarterbacking which already goes on.

posted on May, 5 2008 @ 03:20 PM

Originally posted by Alxandro
Now criminals will be required to SMILE when they look down the barrel of a gun.

Smile, wait for flash?

EDIT: Even if they cover the camera, there'll still be a timestamp on the photo, which ought to provide *some* useful evidence.

[edit on 5-5-2008 by mdiinican]

posted on May, 14 2008 @ 06:53 AM

Originally posted by sir_chancealot
Make it a presumption of law that if the camera "malfunctions" then the "suspects" version is to be considered the absolute truth.

You'll find that the abuse by the police would go WAY down.

And what would happen if there was a justified shoot but there was a genuine malfunction of the camera? Just because a piece of equipment fails to function, does that remove the police officers right/duty to defend himself or the public for fear of pending prosecution, and allow the criminal to walk?

Plus after a shooting the suspect often doesn't have a "version", what with him being dead and all...

posted on May, 14 2008 @ 12:40 PM
reply to post by sir_chancealot

Yes, why don't we continue to nerf the cops and give more rights to the criminals?

Remember what happened to that 11 year old kid who got shot for trying to run over some cops with a stolen car? It occurred in Los Angeles. Its sad the kid died. But that was the training officers had ingrained in their heads. Treat moving vehicles as a lethal weapon. Which is TRUE.

Now LAPD can not treat moving vehicles as a lethal weapon. Plus, when cops exit their squad cars, they must take 3 steps back and 2 side-steps away from the squad car. Where does that leave the police officers? Right in plain sight for any criminal to shoot them.

Wrong thing to do. Band-aid solutions only hurt our society.

[edit on 14-5-2008 by guppy]

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