As the nation discusses removing the confederate flag from public spaces, I wonder if the presence of the confederate flag serves as a symbol that indicates a recognition that something is wrong just as the presence of the body camera does on police.
Why is this still an issue? Why are we still arguing and attempting to legislate something that has already been proven unconstitutional? Why was the man who filmed the arrest of Freddie Gray in Baltimore arrested, with no probable cause, along with countless others over the years?
On any given day, the average American going about his daily business will be monitored, surveilled, spied on and tracked in more than 20 different ways, by both government and corporate eyes and ears.
Agencies who have adopted or seeking to begin the use of police body cameras should be required to have their implementation evaluated by qualified and objective/independent academic institutions. Those departments that choose to do so should be nationally recognized as model departments.
For many of us, 2014 was an emotionally devastating year because of the seemingly continuous news stories of unarmed citizens falling victim to lethal police brutality. Many of us protested in 2014 and yet have not yet seen the change that wanted. So what are we going to do about it?
The Best Idea for 2014 was requiring police to wear body cameras. This idea was so good it actually cut across the lines of the protestors and the supporters of police. Many on both sides of that divide support the idea, for what boils down to the same reason: the camera doesn't lie.
You have the right to remain silent. You have the right to an attorney. And in Illinois, you have the right to record police officers. By all means, exercise your right to record. Keep the cameras rolling. Our democracy depends on it.
Already, the evidence is pouring in that police body cameras are helpful for police and civilians. When police officers are accountable to a video camera monitoring them, it appears to make a big change in their behavior.
In more than two decades, why hasn't video become more effective in exposing and ending police brutality? I believe that it has, despite the shocking decision from the grand jury in Staten Island. Here's why.