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WASHINGTON (AP) — Requiring police officers to wear body cameras is one potential solution for bridging deep mistrust between law enforcement and the public, the White House said, weighing in on a national debate sparked by the shooting of an unarmed black man last month in Ferguson, Missouri.

In the days and weeks after 18-year-old Michael Brown’s death, more than 150,000 people took to the White House’s website to sign a petition urging Obama to create and sign a law requiring all police to wear body cameras — small, lapel-mounted gadgets that record law

enforcement’s interactions with the public. That would require an act of Congress, but in a blog post, the White House said police departments are increasingly choosing to use the devices.

“We support the use of cameras and video technology by law enforcement officers, and the Department of Justice continues to research best practices for implementation,” Roy Austin, a White House adviser on Justice and Urban Affairs issues, wrote in response to the petition.

Austin said the Justice Department is evaluating how body cameras are working for departments already using them so they can be better deployed in the future. Yet he warned there were financial costs that “cannot be ignored,” as well as unanswered questions about privacy — such as who should have access to the videos and how long they should be preserved.

An accompanying report from the Justice Department, long in the works before the Ferguson shooting, said there’s evidence both police and civilians behave better when they know there are cameras around. The report also cites how footage from the cameras can be used to train officers.

But Austin warned that cameras alone can’t solve the problem of mistrust. “Most Americans are law-abiding, and most law enforcement officers work hard day-in and day-out to protect and serve their communities,” Austin said.

Demands for police to wear the cameras have increased across the country since Brown’s death triggered raging street protests that drew the nation’s focus to Ferguson. Some officers in the St. Louis suburb have since started wearing the cameras, and the New York Police

department became the largest department in the U.S. to adopt the technology when it launched a pilot program in early September.

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4 thoughts on “White House Backs Use Of Body Cameras By Police

  1. Africa Fifth on said:

    BLACK FRIDAY November 28th SALES BOYCOTT

    NO JUSTICE, NO PROFIT
    AFRICAN AMERICANS AGAINST POLICE BRUTALITY

    The time has come for us and those who support us to take a stand and form a united front against the senseless, violent and murderous acts by the law enforcement officers throughout the United States . These are the American citizens both men and women that have sworn an oath to serve and protect the very citizens they victimize. This is the establishment that has a sworn duty to protect and serve but instead violate that contract of oath with the American people by its deplorable conduct. We are continuously victimized by these overzealous maniacs whose badge and uniform are supposed to be a representation of integrity and honor. We are supposed to feel safe and confident when we see these people in uniform but instead we feel threatened. As United States citizens it is our tax dollars that supports and pays the salaries of this Law Enforcement Agency. Yet we, who pay for the protection of this agency seek a need for protection against them. What have we become as a nation when we allow American citizens who wear the uniform of law to beat, kick, shoot, murder and violate the rights of the American citizens they have sworn to serve and protect. When has it become acceptable to shoot down in cold blood a young man in the street that has raised his hands in the air? When has it become acceptable to beat a woman with fists, to place them in a choke hold or to throw them to the ground with severe, unnecessary, and brutal force? When has it become acceptable to punch or tip over a handicapped person in a wheelchair? These are just a few vicious and heinous acts of violence by these officers of the law in blue. Maybe the badge and blue should represent black and blue…
    My proposal is that it is time for us to put our money where our mouth is. November 28th is Black Friday. It is this day that all the major department stores have sales and attempt to drive up their profit margin for the year. I am imploring all Americans and people of the world that are fed up with the deplorable conduct of our Law Enforcement Agency to boycott this day nation wide. If you say you are tired of the senseless beatings, if you say you are fed up with the murders, if you say you are done with the civil rights violations, harassments and profiling and you want to make a statement, this is your opportunity to do so. This can and should be a national if not global boycott that could possibly spread worldwide and have a huge impact for our cause. We can boycott this day and every other huge sale day if we have to in order to make our statement. If you are not willing to sacrifice buying the latest gadgets, toys or big screens then you are not ready for a change. If you can not keep your dollars in your pockets and you have very little faith in this then you are not ready for a change. We can not shoot them down in the streets but we can and must shoot them down with our dollars. This is not a huge sacrifice and I know that there are a lot of people who might be skeptical. However, it is what we can implement now and the sacrifice is not a huge one. Others before us have given so much more for what they believed in and the deaths of Mike Brown, Eric Garner and countless others will have been meaningless if we don’t take this stand now. We need to spread this throughout social media so that it catches on like a wildfire and has the impact that is necessary to effect a change. If we plan and spread the word now we can have our voices heard, our issues and demands reconciled. Boycott November 28th and all other huge sale days if necessary. This is not just an African American issue, it is a Human Rights issue.

  2. That’s what I’ve said, without guns the police and white America would be getting a good beat down. They can’t fight without weapons and without jumping you. “The first is going to be the last, and the last is going to be the first.” It’s just a matter of time.

  3. Whoop de do!!!!

    Most law enforcement officers probably don’t think this is a good idea–particulary the RACIST/UGLY ones who wish to continue murdering Black folks!

    This includes Black cops as well–who are often our worst nightmare when it comes to beating us, killing us, etc., for no apparent reason!

    PIGS in Amerykah need to be PUT IN CHECK NOW-or more of them will be slaughtered in the streets also.
    Just because you wear a badge and carry a gun does not mean you are also safe from harm!

    What comes around goes around-cops are no better than the civilian public they are supposed to PROTECT & SERVE!!!!!!!!

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