There are different ways to react to authority-caused tragedy. One way is insurrection like we’re seeing in Ferguson, MO right now in reaction to the killing of 18-year-old, unarmed Black male Mike Brown. The other way is to try to change policies and procedures. This is the route concerned New Yorkers are taking in reaction the choking death of Eric Garner at the hands of NYPD officers and their dragging of a Brooklyn grandmother out of her apartment in her underwear, according to The Guardian. Public advocate of New York, Letitia James, has called for the restarting of the the NYPD’s pilot program introducing body cameras for officers.
Had Garner’s killing and Marlene Pinnock’s savage beating on the side of the road by a California Highway Patrol officer not been caught on tape, the issues would probably go away quietly. However, they were captured on tape substantiating any claims of excessive force. The body cams would also serve as a means of keeping police in check and decrease police brutality. According to a 2012 Cambridge University study involving the Rialto, California police showed “officers’ use of force dropped 59%, and complaints against officers plummeted by 88%.”
The Guardian reports:
“It serves more as a form of checks and balances against police power than it does for the government [control] over individuals,” said Jay Stanley, senior policy analyst at the American Civil Liberties Union.
“There needs to be very strong [privacy] protection, but at the same time we also see large numbers of very abusive Swat raids,” he said. “So it’s vital to have [cameras]”.