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Spare Us With The Experts

Spare Us With The Experts

The latest police shooting to attract national attention is that of Justine Damond.

While we have limited information on the event, that has not stopped the so called experts from saying everything that the officer should be arrested immediately to questioning why body cameras are not turned on.

We won’t even dignify a response to the silliness of arresting a police officer before any investigation is complete but one thing consistently making headlines is questioning the lack of use of a body camera.

One labeled expert is Teresa Nelson, the interim executive director for the American Civil Liberties Union of Minnesota.  She says that it is “astounding” that cameras were not used.

Really?  We are “astounded” that she has somehow being labeled a police expert.

Can we stop expecting police officers to have the power of prediction, slow motion and travel in time, because that is exactly what an expert would expect if they believe that a body camera will be turned on every single time a police shooting occurs.

A body camera is going to be turned on in routine contacts with the public.  Why?

Because those are low stress events where officers aren’t typically trying to keep from being killed and in that routine contact, when it turns deadly, a camera will be on.  Period!

If you don’t like it ACLU, then advocate for a 24 hour recording and then pay for it and then do it yourself.  How would you like to be recorded every single minute of your work day….in the bathroom…talking to your spouse, you name it.

Body cameras are a tool and we need to stop expecting them to solve every single question on the planet. And even if they were on every single minute and captured every single event, we can’t even agree in this country what a “catch” is on Sunday and that is with several angles and multiple analysts.

As far as we can tell, two Minneapolis police officers were driving through an alley late Saturday night when a woman appeared at their car.  Something happened that we do not yet have specifics on and tragically a woman is now dead.

There would be no reason to have a camera on driving in your car so please spare us with your shock and use your common sense.

Trust us, there will be no cover up.  The facts will come out and that does not take a precious video.

About The Author

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Law Officer is the only major law enforcement publication and website owned and operated by law enforcement. This unique facet makes Law Officer much more than just a publishing company but is a true advocate for the profession.

  • Dan Topp

    I’ll spare you the shock and support too.

  • chadjack

    I love how Law Officer has deleted all of the dissenting comments. Censorship much?

  • Curtis Hartwell

    Exactly right: Every hour of recorded video/audio must be catalogued and STORED. They automatically record when emergency lights are turned on, and/or switched on when they know (or expect) to contact anyone controversial or dangerous. Some are capable of storing a “rolling 30 seconds” that is only saved if one of the triggers is activated. If they sat for a while, the data is still gone.

    To keep them on “ALL THE TIME” means:
    20 officers in a small Department = 480 hours of stored data (90% of it useless) EVERY DAY. 175,200 hours per year (not counting the dash cams, just the officers)! The storage alone would be budget breaking – – and that does not even include a curator staff to ‘tag’ each few minutes’ worth of each recording, so that it can be located by time or type of contact, later. The retrieval system required would require a YouTube level computer system. A $Billion? Without it all you have is a vast collection of 1’s and 0’s that would take months to search.
    Now imagine a BIG department. 100 Officers is still mid-sized; the big ones are 5,000-10,000.

    I am all in favor of better tech that might trigger the system: Loud noises? Sudden inertia changes?
    Obviously the street cop needs to invent this tech or they are all “hiding something”.
    – – – t h a t being said…
    How come the only thing that is NOT being questioned by the Left is the Somali Refugee, Mohammad Noor, who already had 3 major complaints & a lawsuit in LESS THAN 2 years? His job was pushed and then defended by the Mayor(D)? 12-18 months of that should have been probationary (fired if not “cop material”) time…

    • Timothy Midgett

      Bullshit. Even my GoPro allows looping video settings of 5, 20, 60, 120 minutes and MAX (MAX meaning it records until the card is full then begins overwriting the beginning of the video.) Recording all officer interactions protect both the officer and the public they work for.

    • ahaz

      What we’re starting to see now is that officers are “gaming” recordings to present a picture that doesn’t exist. Recently in Baltimore, 34 cases were dropped by prosecutors because their own body cameras captured officers planting evidence. It was captured because these officers forgot their cameras buffers the last 30 seconds before they were turned one. Another incident (in Baltimore) discovered by the public defenders office shows a staged incident where they searched a vehicle for approx 30 mins, then turned their cameras off and after awaiting 30 seconds turned them back on and magically found drugs in the very vehicle they just searched. What is evident is that police officers should not have the ability to turn cameras on or off. Police history is rife with examples where police have planted or fabricated evidence against suspects and we need to do our best to prevent it. One way to fight this abuse is to start prosecuting officers for this behavior.

  • ahaz

    There is no such thing as a routine encounter with the police. I recommend that every citizen record every interaction with an officer for everyone’s protection, especially legal protection. But this shooting is strange on every level and certainly if there was a wrong type of person to shoot, this poor woman was it.

  • Police Chaplain

    Well said Travis.

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