February 14, 2015

"Civilian deaths by police are 30,000% more likely to occur in the US than the UK "

Just because police are slowly adopting dash and body cam technology doesn’t mean they can be held accountable. Withholding and even destroying footage is common among law enforcement. With new technology that allows for live streaming of dash cam footage to be saved in the cloud, people will have tamper proof evidence against fraud and even police brutality.

America has one of the most militarized and aggressive police forces on the planet. There were 593 police caused deaths in 2014, how many of them could have been prevented by proper documentation and accountability held to officers?

Compared to the fact there was one UK police caused civilian death in 2014 and less than a dozen over the past decade. Given their population is a 5th of the US’s at 64m toour 318m it seems strange that Civilian deaths by police are 30,000% more likely to occur in the US than the UK

List of uk police killings since 2000

People act better when they’re being observed (known as The Hawthorne Effect) and someone having a full recordable view of a tense situation gives them the power of truth in any court of law. This works both ways, for police wrongly accused by pissed off criminals, while still holding them accountable for their actions.

A study shown below shows in a given year the implementation of body cameras caused a 50% drop in use of force and a 90% drop in filed complaints compared to the previous year. Newsweek gives a great analysis on it here.

Conducted by the University of Cambridge’s Institute of Criminology, the study, based on a 12-month trial in Rialto, California, found that body-worn cameras reduced the use of force by roughly 50 percent, says Dr. Barak Ariel, the lead author. Complaints against police also fell 90 percent during the study period compared with the previous year.

“Police subcultures of illegitimate force responses are likely to be affected by the cameras, because misconduct cannot go undetected — an external set of behavioural norms is being applied and enforced through the cameras,” he says. “Police-public encounters become more transparent and the curtain of silence that protects misconduct can more easily be unveiled, which makes misconduct less likely.”

In any situation where it’s a he said, she said situation, the courts will tend to side with authority figures, due to how close of a relationship the justice department has with law enforcement. With technology that can stream live video and have it saved in the cloud like the 360Cam, an officer is less likely to act aggressive, label false charges.

People of color have been systematically targeted by the USA’s police force. This past year has been rife with the minority community protesting against police brutality. There’s a good reason for that. Gawker’s article on the number of PoC killed since 1999 in harrowing. On Wednesday, after the announcement that NYPD Officer Daniel Pantaleo would not be indicted for killing Eric Garner, the NAACP’s Legal Defense Fund Twitter posted a series of tweets naming 76 men and women who were killed in police custody since the 1999 death of Amadou Diallo in New York.

Abuse can happen to anyone. NJ assemblyman Paul Moriarty was falsely accused of DUI and “Without the dashboard camera, it would have been my word against the officer,” said Moriarty in a statement. “The video provided definite proof of what transpired and who was telling the truth. This was an experience that no law abiding resident should have to go through.” In May he filled a bill requiring all police cars be equipped with dash cams.

 The video below is graphic. At a routine traffic stop, an unarmed black man had his window shattered, while the officer yelled “stop trying to take my gun” despite him never doing so. Soon the officer started yelling “stop resisting” repeatedly while punching him in the face. A Bloomfield police internal investigation found no wrongdoing by the police officers. The officers were later arraigned for conspiracy, misconduct and falsifying documents, though they plead not guilty

Shot by two girls hiding behind a truck, this video shows a homeless man high on meth being beaten by the long beach police. He had been having a mental breakdown and it seemed apparent that repeated assault is the only way to calm him down.

They knock his teeth out, repeatedly tase him and surround him. Instead of having proper training for dealing with individuals on dangerous drugs, they go straight for violence. This isn’t the type of police force we want, one that only services the rich and white. They need to be held accountable, reported to superiors and prosecuted for unjust use of force.

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