I am going to make the case that police departments across the country would be wise to require their officers to wear body cameras. I will say no more until a debate opponent emerges. Here are my terms for this debate:
1. Be reasonably succinct-do not drag on endlessly.
2. Intelligently make your points without condescension.
If you find these terms acceptable, I will be happy to debate you.
The fact of the matter is that people need privacy. As the co-founder of schillings law firm and a great privacy protection lawyer said "people in trouble with the law have at least the basic right of privacy". the reason why we as a country have different prisons for each gender is because the women or the men of England need privacy.
I propose that police should wear body cameras. I submit to you that they will provide a few tangible benefits to communities that adopt them. First, they will be able to record what actually happens when citizens interact with police, thereby advancing accountability and transparency. Second, knowing that you are on camera positively modifies behavior . This is known as the Hawthorne effect, which is "a phenomenon whereby individuals improve or modify an aspect of their behavior in response to their awareness of being observed." Reason magazine reports that "after [Rialto, California] fitted their officers with body cameras two years ago...Incidences of use of force by police and complaints against police plunged the year after they were put into use." Third, they will raise standards of behavior. Gone are the days when police can not be held accountable for their behavior. Fourth, this will protect good police officers from false accusations, and have the reverse effect for bad police officers. There was recently a case in which "an Albuquerque woman tried to flip the script on an Albuquerque Police officer, accusing him of sexual assault. " The story goes on to say that "a sex crimes sergeant and detective conducted a full investigation and cleared Officer Frazier of the allegations." But how? What evidence existed to acquit the officer? He was wearing a camera on his lapel. It is as simple as that. Additionally, it will also help convict the arrested who are almost certainly guilty, yet ironclad evidence cannot be marshaled (I have first hand experience with this. I served on a jury that convicted a man on only one felony instead of two because the second charge did not have ironclad evidence that a body camera would have provided).