No camera,or no loaded gun,& no qualified immunity.Every mistake is an opportunity for training and improvement. If you are intending on violating the policies of your command, take off the badge, turn in the uniform, unload your sidearm, sign your resignation, and GO HOME. No video or eyewitness, replaces the officer to articulate the decision process while relating the incident to case law and use of force. We have always expected those things in the past. A video helps to illustrate your procedure in a specific case.
A REPORT ON BODY WORN CAMERAS
Harold Rankin, “End of Program Evaluation and Recommendations: On-Officer Body Camera System” (Mesa, AZ: Mesa. Police Department, 2013)http://www.justice.gov/
Body Cams on San Diego Police Produce Encouraging Results
You can lead jurors to the truth but you can't make them believe it.
Physical evidence cannot be intimidated. It does not forget.
It doesn't get excited at the moment something is happening--like people do.
It sits there and waits to be detected, preserved, evaluated, and explained.
That is what physical evidence is all about.
In the course of a trial, defense and prosecuting attorneys may lie, witnesses my lie,
the defendant certainly may lie. Even the judge may lie. Only the evidence never lies.
Herbert Leon MacDonnell, The Evidence Never Lies, 1984
Police are about .3%, or less than one million in our population, yet you will find not city of one million with this much crime committed by their citizens. There are about eight stories a day, according to the tracking of the Cato Institute's National Police Misconduct. That is not a statistic. That is something you can follow yourself on Twitter.
There are at least three homicides by police in an average day and up to nine homicides in a single day by law enforcement. That is not a statistic. That is a list of names being tracked you can follow here: http://killedbypolice.net/
Last year over 1100 homicides were committed by police and most ruled justified. That list is here: http://www.killedbypolice.net/kbp2014.html
Compare that with the deaths of officers on duty, most of which were caused by officer behaviors, including obesity and bad driving habits:
Line of Duty Deaths: 1279/11 related illness: 1
Automobile accident: 26
Duty related illness: 3
Gunfire (Accidental): 2
Heart attack: 19
Motorcycle accident: 4
Struck by vehicle: 5
Vehicle pursuit: 5
Vehicular assault: 10
Qualified immunity balances two important interests—the need to hold public officials accountable when they exercise power irresponsibly and the need to shield officials from harassment, distraction, and liability when they perform their duties reasonably. Can we really assume police act reasonably in a way that other citizens do not? The US Supreme Court held as much in . BILL OF RIGHTS says: No law shall be passed granting to any citizen or class of citizens privileges, or immunities, which, upon the same terms, shall not equally belong to all citizens.
Are they immune from the laws they are paid to enforce and to be allowed to threaten the public safety they are sworn to protect?