Today US Federal Government fails to provide Police Departments with distinct body cameras policy. Despite the fact that Department of Justice (DOJ) awarded some departments with a huge amount of money officially supposed to be used in equipping police officers with body cameras, it is still not clear how they exactly decide which department deserves to receive the supplies. Some of the PDs who were granted with money are still sticking to the very weak body cameras regulations. The reason is that there are no integrated, prescribed by the law federal rules obligating all the police officers to wear body cams.
Moreover, there are a lot of gaps in body cameras policy including such questions as who will be able to have an access to the captured footages, should the footages be publically released or not, would it be safe for the officers to release the footage of their service and so on.
American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has proposed ACT FOR REGULATING THE USE OF WEARABLE BODY CAMERAS BY LAW ENFORCEMENT, but it doesn’t state the obligated use of cameras and has a number of exceptions permitting to escape the regulation.
Commonly the legislated instructions give a permission to wear body cameras but don’t imply it to be inescapable; therefore no punitive measures exist for those officers who decide not to wear a camera or not to turn it on.
Strict measures should be taken against those who won’t follow the instructions of body cameras use, for example, by turning them off or intentionally making them unusable. It should be a key point of the body cameras regulation as police officers would be able to act unprofessionally if they are able to turn off or put off cameras.
Police brutality and unprofessionalism created a tensed situation in the country and it is time for the federal government to take strict measures. Elaboration and passing of the solid regulation of body cameras use are absolutely necessary to reduce controversial cases of police fatal shootings and to restore trust in the communities.
That’s why we are to demand the integrated, federal legislation applying to every state in order to promote transparency and restore equality in the Criminal Justice System. Legislation should include the strict order for all the police officers to wear switched on body cameras while on duty. The captured footages should be collected in an independent database from where they can be taken and reviewed if the investigation takes place.
Please, sigh this petition if you want all the police officers to wear body cameras while on duty.