In the wake of multiple incidents of police violence President Obama has taken steps to prevent future issues. The use of body cameras is believed to be one thing that will make use of force incidents less controversial.
With out an unbiased observer many of these situations become an issue of what the police say versus what witnesses say. In addition citizen filmed videos of use of force often pick up in the middle of the fight. Only after the fight starts does someone make a recording on their cell phone. Meaning the public does not know what initiated the fight.
Is it excessive force or is it a justifiable used of force?
A camera is not bias. Unedited, raw video cannot lie. If a suspect fights or is compliant will be on the video. This will leave very little for the arguments of if it was necessary force or not.
Many departments would love to use these cameras but budget issues prevent them from buying. By signing this executive order the president is mandating departments buy them now.
The order does have language in it to open up grant monies for police chief’s to access to make some initial purchases of body cameras. Once the initial grant dollars are gone the White House expects police chiefs to get creative with their budgets to make sure all officers have individual cameras by next year.
As one insider said off the record, “My city seems to get a new Chevy Tahoe every year. Maybe next year they can hold off and let their SUV rack up a few more miles. The cost of a Tahoe will buy a lot of body cameras.”
Manufactures of police Body Cameras has said they will need to triple their output to keep up with this new mandated demand.