Police accountability has gained a prime concern in the United State. To enhance the service of state and local police, White House has extended $ 263 million for law enforcement agencies to buy body worn cameras and improve training. With this huge amount of fund the state and local police can purchase 50,000 body-fit cameras. This fund has come as the White House wants to calm down the protest across the country over a Ferguson, grand Jury’s, decision to not charge police officer Darren Wilson in the shooting down of Michael Brown, an unarmed black of 18 years old.
This has raised issues on police’s discrimination about the minority community and criticized the Ferguson force’s taking up heavy equipment to control the violent summer protest over Browne’s death.
The US president Mr. Barak Obama has invited the cabinet officials and civil rights leaders to come to a solution over the raised issue between local communities and law enforcement agencies. Mr. Obama has taken an appreciative step by asking his administration to make a draft on executive order that focuses on promoting effective crime reduction while building public trust. From the $263 million about $75 million of the fund goes for purchasing the cameras for 50,000 cops and rest can be used for storage, training, and other programs to renew the trust between cops and the communities they serve. The use of body cameras will keep the evidence of the actual event that can be used in the court to gain justice over each incidence. The cameras will provide transparency against each incident that shows police brutality while behaving with the black. These body cameras are in use back in 2012 in Rialto, California and complaints were minimized up to 88% against officials for the first year. This reveals that cameras not only document the events in exact way, but also compel the official to follow the rules and behave in an appropriate way. Likewise, in Washington D.C. also the usage of body camera for a period of six months helps law officials to expect less complaint against police officers. These body cameras give the unbiased witness and many a time saves the life of a police officer from baseless complaints. Additionally, reducing the amount of time supervisors had to spend investigating allegation these body cameras allow the police force bring more transparency into the department as well.
However, there are lots of speculations on the benefits of the body cameras. These have faced criticism as the video footage can be interpreted through different points of view by people and a police force. Sometimes, these fail to catch some important events, spots, or occurrences. In such cases, it can be fatal to use camera footage, which can mislead the whole happening.
Though these body cameras have certain demerits, their benefits cannot be denied. White House has taken an exemplifying step by offering $263 million for police body cameras to gain more clearance about any occurrence or riots.