The same people who complain that police officers should wear body cameras in order to combat police brutality are now saying that cops wearing the body cams have become a violation of civil rights.
The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights came out with a report this month decrying police officers wearing body cameras, saying it not only violates the civil rights of those being investigated by police, but — of course — it's racist.
The president and CEO of the Leadership Conference Vanita Gupta wrote the foreword for the report titled, “The Illusion of Accuracy.”
“Without carefully crafted policy safeguards in place, there is a real risk that body-worn cameras could be used in ways that threaten civil and constitutional rights and intensify the disproportionate surveillance of communities of color,” Gupta wrote.
It’s kind of funny that Gupta would use the term “disproportionate” in her opinion of the impact of police body cams. Her statement essentially claims that the cameras unjustly target “communities of color.” She’s calling an inanimate object racist.
Well, disproportionate statistics call for disproportionate surveillance. It’s not even surveillance, if we splitting hairs here. The officers are simply doing their jobs in the areas where their superiors send them.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 13.3 percent of the population is comprised of black people, as of July 2016. According to a 2016 FBI crime statistics report, the “black or African-American” community comprises 26.9 percent of all arrests made. That is the largest disparity of any race or ethnicity. There are only two other segments of the population whose arrest percentage exceeds their population percentage (“Hispanic or Latino” and “Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander”), but both have a difference of less than one percent.
The Leadership Conference’s report has a remedy for the body-worn camera debate:
We urge police departments to instead adopt what we call “clean reporting,” a simple two-step process where an initial report is recorded based only on an officer’s independent recollection of an event and then a second, supplemental report can be added to a case file to address any clarifications after footage is reviewed. We make the case that in the interests of consistency, fairness, transparency and accountability, clean reporting should be adopted as a standard practice for all police departments with body-worn camera programs.
Basically, Gupta is looking to muddy investigations by having police file possibly contradicting reports that defense lawyers can use to keep their possibly guilty clients out of jail. Why would you need two reports? Why not have one comprehensive report that includes both the officer’s recollection of the arrest and the body cam footage?
You know, essentially what a lot of police departments are already doing.
Gupta is just trying to keep more criminals on the street, which is also what she helped former President Obama do when she was head of the U.S. Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division.
Just for a frame of reference, the Pew Research Center reported that Obama commuted the most sentences by any president since Harry Truman, who was in office from 1945-1953.
Police should keep wearing and reporting what happens in their body camera footage — if only to piss off a race-baiting liberal.