In light of recent events there appears to be a push in obtaining Body Cameras.
Video is such a great tool for the field of law. It is a memorialization of what happened. It helps both law enforcement and those accused. One key point I wonder is how long will the video be stored and not purged. For instance, someone accused of a San Diego DUI may be able to show they were in fact not the driver of a vehicle. The video would show who exited the drivers side. However, the police would not be wanting the video. It would be defense counsel. A person has to be arrested, get out of jail, find and retain and attorney. The attorney would have to gather facts before they would even have a chance to subpoena the video.
The CHP has Dash Cam videos called MVARS. The video is an effective tool in discerning how the San Diego DUI stop went. I have had situations where the client said something was said or done that just was not on the video. The fact it did not happen helped resolved the issues the client had and the case was resolved.
It could be weeks…. would the video be there? It is something to consider when choosing a video program. There is several instances when you realize incidents occur that the video could settle what happened.
As a former prosecutor and now as defense it was frustrating to try to obtain video only to find out it has been purged. The first part of advocating for clients is knowing as many resources to aid them. This video can be one of those aids.
I am proud to say SDPD (San Diego Police) has been implementing the body cameras earlier. The devices are not on every officer, which makes it tough because it is not known whether the officer is one that is fixed with the body camera. For example, most who deal with San Diego DUIs know that every CHP car has an MVARs video.
For all sides in the matter I hope the body cameras become an everyday tool of law enforcement.
The Presidents announcement can be found here.
President Barack Obama on Monday proposed new funding meant to help improve relations between police departments and minority communities, saying there is a “simmering distrust” between the two groups that extends well beyond the unrest in Ferguson, Missouri. The White House has asked for $263 million in funding for police body cameras and training in the wake of the shooting death of unarmed 18-year-old Michael Brown.
The program, which would need congressional approval, would offer a total of $75 million over three years to match state funding for the cameras by 50 percent, helping to pay for more than 50,000 of the devices.
The announcement came as Obama held a series of meetings with law enforcement personnel, civil rights leaders and Cabinet officials to discuss possible reforms to ease mistrust towards police, particularly in minority communities.
“This is not a problem just of Ferguson, Missouri. This is a national problem,” Obama said.
The administration also said Monday that it will not make major changes to a program that transfers military equipment to state and local law enforcement agencies, but will instead focus on better oversight, transparency and training to ensure that the equipment is used properly. The president did say he would work to ensure the United States is not building a “militarized culture” in its police forces.
Obama will also announce the creation of a new task force – led by Philadelphia Police Commissioner Charles H. Ramsey and former Office of Justice Programs AG Laurie Robinson – to prepare recommendations for “21st century policing.”
Obama acknowledged the inaction of previously assembled task forces, but pledged to “follow through” in his remaining two years as president.
“This time will be different because the president of the United States is deeply vested in making it different,” he said.
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