Profile
Search
Register
Log in
Cops wearing cameras
View previous topic | View next topic >

Post new topic Reply to topic
Strange Famous Forum > The General Forum

Author Message
Sage Francis
Self Fighteous


Joined: 30 Jun 2002
Posts: 21635
Cops wearing cameras  Reply with quote  

An interesting side-discussion opened up in the Ferguson thread regarding cops wearing cameras. Mark In Minnesota explained how he thinks the cameras will be used and misused, which I think we all have to prepare ourselves for. We have the chance to educate ourselves now and hopefully stay ahead of the curve as far as how to prevent abuse. I figure the best way to do that might be to understand the pros and cons as they are right now. Here's an article I just came across on Reddit, but I know there's a lot more out there:

"There was a really remarkable drop in complaints against officers who were wearing cameras. We're talking on the order of 88 or 90 percent. That is truly remarkable. Officer use of force also dropped. ... So, a lot of people have been talking about those findings and suggesting that when officers wear cameras, it changes the dynamics of the encounter. The term I use is, it has a 'civilizing effect.' That is, officers are less likely to engage in rude or inappropriate behavior, and citizens are less likely to be aggressive and resistant.

On potential downsides of body-worn cameras

Clearly, there are times when citizens have an expectation of privacy that could potentially be violated by a police officer's use of a body-worn camera — the interview of a child, the interview of a sexual assault victim, for example. ... Perhaps a police officer is talking to a confidential informant or someone else trying to get intelligence on criminal activity. When that encounter is recorded, it becomes, in many places, a public document that can be requested by citizens, by press and certainly by prosecutors.

It's clear that police officers and police unions have not universally embraced this technology. They have concerns about when cameras will be on and off, when supervisors can go and review footage. And then, perhaps most importantly, how are you going to store the tremendous amount of video data that's generated by officers wearing these cameras?"

http://www.northcountrypublicradio.org/news/npr/345784091/can-body-cameras-civilize-police-encounters
Post Mon Dec 08, 2014 8:52 am
 View user's profile Send private message
Mark in Minnesota



Joined: 02 Jan 2004
Posts: 2042
Location: Saint Louis Park, MN
 Reply with quote  

I think the appropriate norm is that body cameras should be switched on manually any time their footage could turn out to be relevant to a criminal investigation. First steps through a crime scene, initial collection of evidence, first contacts with a suspect in a criminal complaint, individuals about to be placed under arrest, etc. Another appropriate norm would be for the cameras to switch on automatically any time a cop's gun is drawn; same for use of stun weapons, pepper spray, even handcuffs. SWAT staff and police on crowd control duty should have to use them at all times they are in armed contact with civilians.

Storing the video for posterity is just a Big Data problem, one of many that governments have begun to wrestle with; the more difficult technical questions are about how it will be indexed, archived, secured against unauthorized access and especially against tampering.

There will also be policy questions about how frames of video collected from police body cameras will be used as part of larger Big Data policing. The EFF has been in a fight with the LAPD about a program where cameras deployed on police cars and at fixed locations throughout the city are having their video fed to a license plate recognition system that's fueling a database which tracks the movement of cars throughout the city over time, to the tune of millions of scans per week. In a time when the Supreme Court is wrestling with whether or not police should need a warrant to access GPS data from phones, you won't be able to drive down a major roadway without police knowing exactly when your car was there. And they're refusing to release any of this data to the public, stating that all of it is part of ongoing criminal investigations. With this sort of secrecy all sorts of abuse are possible--and it's perfectly reasonable to assume that video from police body cameras will be fed into the same sorts of systems. License plate recognition, facial recognition... correlated not just with stolen vehicle databases, criminal background databases, and gang affiliate registries, but with DMV records, immigration records, welfare rolls, even credit bureaus and social media profiles.

One could imagine body cameras streaming data to the computers in police cruisers in real time, with cops getting immediate feedback on police-issue mobile devices about who they're interacting with. What does stop and frisk look like in a city of millions when a police computer network can tell cops in real time who you are, who your friends are, and what your prior arrests look like?

Jared Paul got to the root of who American cops are when he described them in "ABCs For Roger" as the only people holding guns in the name of the law. As long as that's who they are, we need to subject them to the kind of heightened scrutiny that body cameras will provide. For this reason the cameras are a good and even necessary thing--but we would be naïve to think that police accountability will be the primary use for this footage. Technology principally empowers those who control it.
Post Mon Dec 08, 2014 11:32 am
 View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Mark in Minnesota



Joined: 02 Jan 2004
Posts: 2042
Location: Saint Louis Park, MN
 Reply with quote  

https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2014/12/obamas-plan-better-policing-good-bad-and-body-cameras

December 8, 2014 | By Nadia Kayyali
Obama’s Plan for Better Policing: The Good, the Bad, and the Body Cameras

You may be shocked to hear that EFF doesn't think technology is a solution to every problem. That includes problems with the police and with public safety. And, as we’ve pointed out when it comes to drones and other types of local surveillance, we think adoption of new technology requires communities to understand and discuss the pros and cons.

That’s why we think President Obama’s announcement last week about federal assistance to local law enforcement was a little lackluster. The President made it clear that he plans to leave largely untouched the controversial programs that funnel military equipment and surveillance technology to communities like Ferguson, and fund programs like fusion centers. The announcement accompanies the release of a 19-page report [PDF] on “Federal Support for Local Law Enforcement Acquisition” from the President’s office.

The Good
The report recommends increased local community engagement around the acquisition of equipment. President Obama has asked staff to draft an order “directing relevant agencies to work together and with law enforcement and civil rights and civil liberties organizations to develop specific recommendations within 120 days,” for process improvements.

And consistent with calls from ACLU of California, EFF, and others, the order might “require local civilian (non-police) review of and authorization for LEAs [law enforcement agencies] to request or acquire controlled equipment.” This should be the baseline for implementation of any new technology, and we’re glad to see that it’s being considered. Similarly, the order might “require after-action analysis reports for significant incidents involving federally provided or federally-funded equipment,” as well as increased training.

But these are minor improvements. And they’re not actually in the implementation stage, so as Phil Mattingly over at Bloomberg put it, “Obama's review will lead to ... more review?”

The Bad
Worse, the bad significantly outweighs the good in the report and recommendations. Here’s why: the review and the President’s plan for action doesn’t do anything to end or even slow any of these equipment transfers. In fact, as Guardian columnist and former EFF activist Trevor Timm points out, the report “largely defend[s] the variety of federal programs that funnel billions of dollars of weaponry and high-tech surveillance gear to local police every year.” It spends 2 pages providing recommendations, and 17 describing the programs.

And as with the bulk of the Congressional hearing that happened on September 9 around military equipment transfer, the President's review broadly overlooks surveillance technology. But the same DHS money that funds armored vehicles and night vision goggles funds intelligence gathering at the local level through fusion centers and drones, and events like Urban Shield, a 4 day long event that featured "preparedness" exercises as well as a marketplace of military and surveillance technology. And automated license plate readers, iris scanners, and facial recognition technology are all candidates for federal assistance.

The Body Cameras
Body cameras are the most concrete piece of President Obama's proposal. The “new Body Worn Camera Partnership Program would provide a 50 percent match to States/localities who purchase body worn cameras and requisite storage” through a “$75 million investment over three years [that] could help purchase 50,000 body worn cameras.”

But not everyone thinks body cameras will help.

The basic premise of body cameras, of course, is that police officers who are being recorded will behave better. And if they don’t, it will be easier to obtain evidence of their bad behavior. After all, it is videos like the one showing the horrific choking of Eric Garner that have spurred the national conversation around police brutality—making this a tempting proposition.

And an oft-cited study backs this up: police in Rialto, California began wearing body cameras for a year in February 2012, and as the Guardian reported, “public complaints against officers plunged 88% compared with the previous 12 months. Officers’ use of force fell by 60%.”

Those results are impressive, but have failed to convince some critics. Jacob Crawford, an activist who has long been involved in Copwatch, worked with the Canfield Watchmen, residents at the Canfield housing project in Ferguson to help them obtain their own cameras. Along with civil rights attorney Rachel Lederman, he points out that the widely publicized Rialto study has been stretched beyond belief:
Quote:

Rialto is a small city with only 66 cops, and its Police Chief, Tony Farrar, collaborated with Taser International, Inc., in the study. The Taser corporation has gained record profits by marketing body cameras to hundreds of cities, along with a cloud-based backup and search service called Evidence.com, which was used to collect the data for the Rialto study that led to many of these sales.
And of course, there’s the problem that, unless used very carefully, body cameras incidentally capture footage of anyone in the line of a police officer’s sight. That’s why an ACLU policy paper notes that body cameras can be a good thing— when accompanied by strong policies to address the privacy concerns. It points out several issues that must be considered in developing such policies:
    -Police must not be able to "edit on the fly, meaning police cannot have control over when a camera is turned off or on,” (although if cameras are always on, that poses a serious threat to privacy);
    - police must provide notice that recording is happening;
    - data should be retained only as long as necessary;
    - recordings should be used only for misconduct hearings and where there is a reasonable suspicion that a recording has evidence of a crime;
    - policies for access to footage should ensure that individual’s privacy is maintained, while also allowing transparency and oversight; and
    - body camera systems must be carefully designed to ensure data is strictly controlled.


But others question the efficacy of cameras. After all, the shocking video of police brutality in cases like Eric Garner's have surely helped spark public protest—but didn't discourage the actual conduct. And in reference to multiple specific incidents over the last few years where police were filmed engaging in serious misconduct, Guardian columnist and criminal defense attorney Alexa Van Brunt notes, "video didn’t deter them, and it didn’t help their victims. Instead, officers in each case thought they could get away with police brutality—and they may have been right.”

WeCopwatch's Crawford also points out that in Oakland, one of the first localities to implement the use of body cams, results have not been encouraging. Cameras have issues with battery life, and have “shown themselves highly likely to malfunction during crucial incidents—or fall off, or be left behind or not turned on, despite policies which require officers to wear them and activate them during stops and other encounters.” And Oakland’s independent police monitor (appointed because of civil rights litigation against the department) noted in a [url=http://www.cand.uscourts.gov/filelibrary/1350/2014-01%20monitoring%20report.pdfJanuary 2014 report[/url] that “[t]he matter of the proper use of the Department’s PDRDs remains a concern. In too many instances, there are questions about the measure to which personnel throughout the Department understand the use, review, and utility of these devices.”

Finally, as Crawford points out, body cameras don’t “show close proximity physical encounters between an officer and victim,” while still, “allowing the officer to supply his own narration, such as yelling 'Stop resisting' while pummeling a person.”

Oh, and the Ugly
Underlying all these concerns is an ugly truth: none of these suggestions can fully address the structural problems—especially racism—that allow police to brutalize and even kill unarmed civilians (predominantly people of color, in particular young black men) with impunity. And until that happens, all the technology in the world won’t help. Many communities deeply mistrust law enforcement, a mistrust based on documented police misconduct. That mistrust, and the reasons for it, have been around much longer than wearable cameras. We shouldn’t pretend that cameras will solve the problem.
Post Tue Dec 09, 2014 1:51 am
 View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Neuro
A champion of Kurtis SP


Joined: 19 Jul 2002
Posts: 7831
 Reply with quote  

http://www.infowars.com/its-now-illegal-in-illinois-to-film-cops/
Post Thu Dec 11, 2014 11:30 pm
 View user's profile Send private message
Sage Francis
Self Fighteous


Joined: 30 Jun 2002
Posts: 21635
 Reply with quote  

Did you just link to infowars? Please no. Because then I'm going to have to link to a site that is almost equally as shitty.

No, Illinois Did Not Just Pass A Law Making It Illegal To Record Police Officers.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/12/10/illinois-eavesdropping-law_n_6303454.html
Post Fri Dec 12, 2014 7:21 am
 View user's profile Send private message
DeadAwake



Joined: 17 Feb 2007
Posts: 579
Location: Aus.
 Reply with quote  

Is this the new thing, to speak in URL's now? No, it has been around since the time of the bible.

Anyway, as i see it, when im at work i'm recorded, so are most who in a hospitality or retail environment (and many other fields, no doubt) than why shouldn't people who's actions directly impact the community? Merchandise or money is easily replaced compared to peoples well being. It kind of shows what people value. Matthew 6:24 - "Man cannot serve two masters, or God or Mammon", American dollar bill - "In God we Trust". Of course the whole explosion of monitoring each other is symptomatic of such mass distrust, but thats the path thats been chosen collectively, at least, in "The West".

If anything it will provide an extra view of 'police business', objective in nature, but will be filtered through peoples subjectivity. One of the problems with the 'justice system' in general is, one, ulterior motives (that in favour of commercial, industrial, governmental interests) and secondly what i believe is a lack of developed conscience and too much partial discernment.

Though in many cases it should be able to dispel unneccesary speculation and theorizing.

Whenever a statistic is mentioned, i wonder, in this case for instance, what were the nature of the complaints, what was the sample population, over how long a period etc. Though a 9/10s drop in complaints seems to be unquestionably good. It also says something. that the police are doing a shitty job or that people like to complain. I'm willing to bet its both. I have known of people who are dicks around cops unnecessarily, than complain that the cop was a dick. Eh? I'm not disputing a good deal of cops are or can be bastards and will be quick to charge you with "harassing an officer" or "obstructing/stifling police business" or whatever the offenses are called, if you argue. Those are relatively trivial matters (though an abuse of authority) and the much more significant complaints are breaching rights, brutality, corruption. Which i hope the reduction of, is the main focus of these body cameras. Being a police officer, i have no doubts you cop a lot of flack. Whenever i interact with them i take extra measures to be tactful, respectful while remaining assertive and so far i've been lucky. There are big ego's on both sides of the barbed-wire fence, and the whole unfairness of it all resides in the fact that they have a ticket to be pricks and destroy peoples lives and we don't.

I also think that such footage should become public property to a degree. Lets say when there are riots and protests or any situations with police - civilian interaction on a large public level. If a child is interrogated, than the parents should have access to the recording of that. Imagine volunteer work that consists of checking police work and giving it another route to public scrutiny. Now, people who are interested in it will find video of police brutality (youtube), but if this happens than there should be awareness brought to those exposed to mass media. A wider audience.

I'm guessing the cameras would be operated like so, HQ radios officers on duty about some kind of event (as usually happens) then from that time on or until the officers arrive at the scene (or near it) the cameras would be turned on. Or am i out-of-date? Footage of anything dubious in nature or any significant event should be kept. Footage of public events (protests) should be kept. The dissapearance of significant footage would have to be an offense. Refinement and the opening of loop-holes will develop with time and experience.

But yeah, a good deal depends on how the whole thing is implemented, as has been already said.

Another facet of this "can-of-worms-raring-to-be-opened" is some of the psychology. Generally when we are on camera we edit our behaviour or adopt an exterior of greater phoniness. On the side of corruption police officers with unwieldy egos would develop more cuningness to exact their "authority", not radioing in when a confrontation is inevitable or wearing their uniform when not on the job to fuck with people. Two i can think of off the top. It could even give people an opportunity to empathize more with cops or give greater incentive to them to be more tactful/less argumentative when dealing with them.
Post Sat Dec 13, 2014 12:24 am
 View user's profile Send private message
Mark in Minnesota



Joined: 02 Jan 2004
Posts: 2042
Location: Saint Louis Park, MN
 Reply with quote  

Via redball on Facebook:
http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2015/01/lapd-orders-over-3000-tasers-that-will-turn-on-body-cameras-when-fired/

My opinion: This is a bad design. If the camera only activates when the Taser is discharged we've lost crucial minutes of framing footage. Violence is supposed to be the last resort of police, which means we need body cameras to capture the exhaustion of nonviolent options as well.

When I play my Xbox One and have a particularly good or frustrating sequence play out, I can just say "Xbox record that," and the console will automatically save the last 30 seconds of gameplay footage to a video file. This concept is referred to as a ring buffer.

What we actually need are continuously running cameras that continuously store the last 15 minutes of footage in a ring buffer, and have a record button which immediately creates a video file starting with that 15 minutes and continuing forward until the button is pressed a second time, saving the file and returning the camera to buffering mode. This retroactive recording should also happen any time a police car lights its flashers, any time a police officer takes out a weapon, any time a police officer takes out an evidence bag, a citation pad, or a pair of handcuffs.
Post Wed Jan 07, 2015 2:13 pm
 View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
anomaly
Loserface


Joined: 22 May 2008
Posts: 2604
Location: DFW, TX
 Reply with quote  

Voice activated recorders work the same way. I'm sure that's an option in there
Post Wed Jan 07, 2015 3:11 pm
 View user's profile Send private message
redball



Joined: 12 May 2006
Posts: 6877
Location: Northern New Jersey
 Reply with quote  

http://fusion.net/story/31986/investigation-of-5-cities-finds-body-cameras-usually-help-police/

Quote:

A three-month Fusion investigation that reviewed hundreds of pages of records from five police departments with body camera programs reveals that the way body cameras are used usually serve police more than citizens charging misconduct. And in the data from two cities provided to Fusion, there was little evidence police body cameras reduced police involved shootings or use of force incidents.


https://www.themarshallproject.org/2014/12/02/what-you-need-to-know-about-body-cameras


Quote:

A greater obstacle may be ambivalence about whether the technology is a good idea in the first place. The concerns come from a wide array of sources. The ACLU came out this fall in favor of equipping cops, but in the past has stopped short of full endorsement because of fear that body cams will become “another broad surveillance tool.” Ensuring this doesn’t happen will mean navigating murky and untested legal terrain – what one ACLU analyst called a “wild West situation.” In Seattle, for example, Courts have wrestled with the question of what consent is required to initiate camera recording. In Denver, policymakers are anticipating a range of thorny issues. What happens to an officer who intentionally turns the camera off? When will footage be made available? Where? To whom?


I should note that my impetus for posting the taser link was to bring up that I feel body cameras should be automatically triggered. I think the worst part about them is that the cop gets to choose when to forget to turn them on. But even when they do turn them on it doesn't mean much. I think cops will be a little more mindful of the way they interact with the public if they are being recorded at all times and certain actions trigger that recording to be automatically transferred to their headquarters. Those are things that are technically possible today, some are more expensive to implement than others, but if we're going to move forward with this we should demand it be done right.
Post Wed Jan 07, 2015 5:14 pm
 View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Mark in Minnesota



Joined: 02 Jan 2004
Posts: 2042
Location: Saint Louis Park, MN
 Reply with quote  

Yep. That thing in St. Louis a couple of weeks ago where a cop with a body camera shot a man at a gas station and it turns out that his dashboard camera and body camera were both conveniently switched off? Nope. Sorry. Shouldn't be suffered to happen. Draw a gun in the name of the law, and the same police-issue equipment should record how you use it and why you had to draw it.
Post Wed Jan 07, 2015 6:46 pm
 View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
anomaly
Loserface


Joined: 22 May 2008
Posts: 2604
Location: DFW, TX
 Reply with quote  

I think they should have a zero tolerance policy on camera compliance.

"Oh, your camera was off? That's unfortunate. We trained you on that, right? Yeah, so if you could just gather your shit out of your locker and leave....that'd be greeeeeeat. Mkay? We don't need you coming back tomorrow. Oh, and we'll be seeing you in court for failing to follow camera protocol, biiiiiiiiiiitch"

Seriously, there's zero tolerance on fuckups everywhere....this shouldn't be an exception

I'm in no way anti-cop cause I understand their jobs are tough and dangerous and I wouldn't want to do it, but fuck.....it can't be that hard to follow procedures and your oath, right?


Last edited by anomaly on Thu Jan 08, 2015 12:07 pm; edited 1 time in total
Post Wed Jan 07, 2015 11:35 pm
 View user's profile Send private message
Sage Francis
Self Fighteous


Joined: 30 Jun 2002
Posts: 21635
 Reply with quote  

Agreed.
Post Wed Jan 07, 2015 11:55 pm
 View user's profile Send private message
xGasPricesx



Joined: 23 May 2008
Posts: 1585
 Reply with quote  

anomaly wrote:

Seriously, there's zero tolerance on fuckups everywhere....this shouldn't be an exception


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qn3CdiyTXGM

(Side note: How do you even embed videos from YouTube on here nowadays? Even using an old embed code generator, it only shows up as a white box on my screen. Is it not even possible on here anymore or what?)
Post Thu Jan 08, 2015 12:52 am
 View user's profile Send private message
anomaly
Loserface


Joined: 22 May 2008
Posts: 2604
Location: DFW, TX
 Reply with quote  



test fail

Post Thu Jan 08, 2015 12:11 pm
 View user's profile Send private message
poopsnack



Joined: 15 Jan 2004
Posts: 2842
Location: Mid West
 Reply with quote  

Maybe the police firearms should have camera's on them that are triggered by the trigger or back of the handle. Maybe all guns should have GPS in them, too.
Post Thu Jan 08, 2015 10:32 pm
 View user's profile Send private message MSN Messenger

Post new topic Reply to topic
Jump to:  
Goto page 1, 2  Next
All times are GMT - 6 Hours.
The time now is Fri Jan 30, 2015 12:25 am
  Display posts from previous:      


Powered by phpBB: © 2001 phpBB Group
Template created by The Fathom
Based on template of Nick Mahon