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Cavadus

Cameras on Cops

16 posts in this topic

As many late nights as we spent shooting the shit I dont think we ever talked about anything political. How do you feel about the recent issues surrounding law enforcement like the military offloading gear to state level authorities or changes in personnel management like cameras on cops?

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It's amazing what happens when you make someone accountable all the time. Making the system work independently of the officers is vital in my opinion. If you allow them to delete footage or turn off cameras you get incidents where the police abuse power and the footage coincidentally "vanishes" so there is no evidence to prosecute the officer.

 

It is kind of sad that we need cameras to keep officers professional, but it is what it is I guess.

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Honestly, I don't see any reason they WOULDN'T want this. As long as they handled situations "as trained", they would be far less liable. This is, of course, assuming that the police officer is actually doing their job properly. This would just be another CYA tool in their arsenal.  

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Guest DocOsok

Well if you have an actual opinion on this please feel free to ask me. I've been in law enforcement for roughly 16 years (20 if you count military). I've yet to strangle someone in broad daylight. I didn't even bother to see how this thread actually started, but it seems to revolve around body cameras. 

 

I personally am for leo's wearing them. There are still alot of issues to work out on them. Where to wear them, etc. There is also the issue of having to maintain all the footage since it has to be maintained for a certain amount of years. 

 

Officers have hundreds of thousands of citizen contacts a day around the country. You only hear about the .01% of whatever makes for good news. Yes there are several that have happened where the officers where in the wrong. And last I checked, they are going through the judicial system. I'm a little caught off guard by just the couple of statements I've seen on law enforcement. And honestly if the temperature of this clan is that LEO's are the bad guys. Then I will have to reassess my membership here.

 

If I have misread this thread, then I apologize in advance. From the little I've seen, there does seem to be something to it.

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The issue for me is that the relationship between LEO and citizen is 100% adversarial thanks to the drug war.  Additionally, though the instances of abuse are incredibly low in terms percentages those instances go universally unpunished.

And the frustrating thing is that, unlike we mere plebs, the prosecution in these cases usually advocates on behalf of LEOs which is not something the rest of us will ever enjoy.

I'm also greatly troubled by the "Thin Blue Line" bullshit attitude.  It seems like many LEOs will gladly or grudgingly cover for or allow abuses.

It's always the "a few bad apples" defense but nothing ever happens to the bad apples.  This is what shapes the national attitude.

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Guest DocOsok

The drug war? Ground level cops typically have nothing to do with the "drug war". The majority of my time is consumed by people on people crime. Whether that be violence or property related. This notion that a beat cop is running around trying to bust up the cartels is simply laughable. Just the amount of time and paperwork that goes into a simple dope arrest isn't practical. Do people get arrested for it? Of course, but it isn't normally the only reason. I'm guessing the cities that are experiencing a surge in heroin overdoses and deaths should blame LEOs. Look up Flakka and what it does to people. Guess who gets to handle them?

 

And your comment on plebs is interesting as well. Do some research on pleb murderers that go free. Or get probation for robbing someone at gunpoint. The fact an LEO gets found not guilty has nothing to do with those who are upholding the oath. The problem with most recent cases is that the cops are deemed guilty long before the investigation is even complete. So in essence they are seen as guilty to be proven as innocent. Something most "plebs" won't experience.

 

Where do base your comment on the "thin blue line"? What is many to you? Your comment like many news affiliates that use a broad stroke when it comes to pointing the finger. If an officer is doing the wrong thing then they can't be trusted. No one wants to be associated with such a person. But when an officer is in the right but being crucified by the media then yes we will back them to the end. No different than trusting someone in the same foxhole.

 

And what has shaped the national attitude is irresponsible media coverage and a population of sheep that will swallow the garbage they spew. The vast majority of citizen contacts I have end with a thank you for my service. If the majority of citizens felt the way you do then I would have retired years ago. And having been on a violent fugitive task force for many years I've met a lot of law enforcement from around the country. And they amazingly have the same results from their citizens.

 

If you are going to spit on my career. At least do me the honor of backing your statements with actual facts. Not Cop Block facts. Real data. I'm amazed that someone who I'm guessing served this great country would condemn my profession. The past 24 years of my life has been dedicated to serving my country and community. Your opinion is your right but I challenge you to walk a mile in my shoes. I've been shot at, spit on, called every name in the book along with a variety of other violent categories. All of which had nothing to do with who is was as a person. But solely based on a uniform I wore.

 

I take a lot of pride in my job which is why I'm even bothering to respond. Wish I could have you for a ride along some time. Easy to judge when you aren't in the mud.

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I don't doubt anything you're saying, Doc but you live under a separate set of laws than the rest of us do and you get the total and complete protection of the judicial system every step of the way. The rest of us will never, ever have that. And, no, I don't think LEOs deserve that. In fact, I feel legal punishment for LEO offenses which proven guilty should be harsher, if anything. Lead by example, right? That's how it was in the Army with the UCMJ and the UCMJ is surprisingly effective. There's nothing like that for LE and there should be.

At the end of the day the ROEs I followed while fighting a war are stricter and the punishments more harsh than what LEOs are subject to and that's simply wrong on every level.

And just for clarification, I don't mean stuff like El Chapo when I reference the drug war. I'm talking about the hyper-criminalization of the low level non-violent offenders who make up ~60% of 2.2 million strong prison population.

 

Also, what was the point of the Obama article...?  I'm a libertarian; I fucking hate everyone  :P

Anyways, I'm going to leave the issue that.

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I don't understand the belief that LEOs live under a different set of laws than the rest of us. Sure there are a few things specific to them due to the work they do and legislation the outlines their duties but in the vast majority of cases they are under the same laws as everyone else.

 

And I really don't understand linking anything about the drug war or hyper-criminalization of low level drug offenses to them....as their name states, they enforce the law, they do not create it.  Blame the drug war and hyper-criminalization on the <anti> leaders in DC...starting with Nixon and mishandled ever since.

 

As for all of the cases recently in the news, I don't know what happened...and neither do you.  I imagine some of the officers involved were in the wrong and I imagine some were in the right.  I do know that every single news story that I have ever actually independently known the facts for has contained factual errors.  And I have zero belief that the reporting for any of these incidents is any better - especially considering how mainstream media is more entertainment than news in many cases.

 

As for the OP, keep in mind having an interaction on video is a two way street.  In may help keep a 'bad' officer in line but it is also going to keep the 'citizen' from lodging false complaints since it is no longer merely a he said/she said situation. An a the article mentions, these 'upstanding citizens' are likely to be better behaved when they know they are on film so they are less likely to do something that requires the use of force.

 

wrt BWCs, I think they are a great idea...primarily for the protection they'll afford the LEO. I'm actually working with BWC now...adding analytics to improve the value of the video captured for investigative purposes.  So hopefully in the future, the captured video will be more than just a cya tool.

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I don't necessarily disagree with anything that has been brought to bear here. Like most things worth debating there isn't really a simple explanation, and ultimately no real solution. That said its probably not worth getting too angry about it. If your goal is to persuade someone over to your point of you I can't think of a single example where this has been done by getting mad. I mean take Galileo for instance, I am pretty sure the church had to actually torture him to death to get him to recant his theories on astronomy. Anyway, hope that doesn't sound condescending. :lol:

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Here is one with a happy ending.  The cop apparently didn't know his vehicle had a camera, so he went full retard on the victim because he thought he would get away with it.  He totally would have had it not been for the hidden camera.  

 

http://registerguard.com/rg/news/local/33955359-75/federal-jury-rules-in-favor-of-speeding-motorcyclist-against-oregon-state-police-trooper.html.csp

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I don't understand the belief that LEOs live under a different set of laws than the rest of us. Sure there are a few things specific to them due to the work they do and legislation the outlines their duties but in the vast majority of cases they are under the same laws as everyone else.

 

This is simply not true. At best, LEOs could lose their career for major fuckups, but it takes an act of serious depravity or extreme negligence to be brought up on charges in most states. I had 100% undeniable proof of felony perjury, resulting in illegal detainment and commitment into a mental institution, which is covered under Michigan law as an offense that falls under the Torture laws, and I couldn't get a single person in the so-called justice system to even take notice.

 

Even a lawsuit against the LEOs will ultimately fail without the State validating "gross negligence" on the part of the involved LEO, and that unfortunately requires them to kill you.

 

More on the topic of the cameras, I have undeniable proof that the submitted court documents from LEOs wearing recorders was fabricated, but nobody would allow the pulling of the video to compare to the documents submitted by the LEOs.

 

Gross negligence is the only thing that will ever make it so cameras on cops make a difference. That or being a minority with the ACLU backing you I suppose, but that is because the ACLU only takes cases that further their agenda, and unfortunately that agenda is generally only furthered by cases that involve minorities for a number of reasons (not a racist thing there btw...simply the way they have to function based on funding and manpower based on their own statements directly to me when I asked for their help).

 

Don't get me wrong here; I don't hate LEOs; I don't think they are all bad; I would assist any LEO I encountered in need of it; I simply don't believe that the cameras actually change much in the grand scheme of things.

 

Addition: The only reasons I am not a LEO right now are quite simple. I experienced widespread corruption in the entire criminal justice system that I knew I couldn't be a part of. Also, I was trained from 17 to be the aggressor, and I didn't want to risk hurting any citizens due to my own inability to separate the violence I was trained to employ first in situations that didn't require an escalation.

 

@Doc - You know I respect you man! My statements are not a reflection on who I believe you to be, but rather address a specific issue pertaining to myself and the LEOs I had to deal with in Michigan.

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