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Post Reply Should Video Recording Police Be Illegal?
Posted 3/16/15
Body cameras on all uniformed police should be mandatory. Both for the good of the police and the citizens. They also need to find a way where the camera automatically begins recording at a certain point and shuts off at a certain point. Some kind of system so the cop just can't conveniently forget to turn on his body camera when something goes wrong.
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Posted 3/16/15 , edited 3/16/15

Akage-chan wrote:

I guess my question is - Where does it stop? Can we set up recorders in hospital rooms to make sure doctors and nurses don't abuse their positions and/or steal items from patients? Can we set up cameras in classrooms so parents can ensure their child is not unjustly treated by the teacher or students? Can we record flight stewardess and pilots as well so that they dont drink while on duty? How about putting cameras in fast food restaurants to make sure the special sauce doesn't become any more "special"?

People are so concerned about cops abusing their authority that they fail to see that there are people in every position that abuse their authority. Are there bad cops out there? Yes. But there are also bad doctors, teachers, truck drivers, etc. And before anyone tries to justify recording cops because they have weapons, doctors/nurses can easily kill people with improperly prescribed drugs and truck drivers could easily wipe out a good swath of people with the wrong turn of the wheel. Death is death, whether done through weapons, drugs or vehicles.

People are going to make mistakes, especially in a profession where a split second decision is what decides between life or death. You can Monday morning quarterback these situations all you want, but until you are in a position where you have to make them, such as military combat, you can not be a fair judge. When an officer does get into an altercation, things like weight/height difference and fatigue are all taken into account.


The difficulty here is if we don't trust a doctor or teacher we can generally access another one they don't have any special powers to detain us (some small medical exceptions aside such as a quarantine). Police officers have power over the average citizen in almost any situation and the average citizen can't remove themselves from the police officers power even if the are abusing it. I feel because they have a considerably higher ability to impact the lives of people they fall into a higher risk of both potential abuses of power and accusations of abuse, hence a heightened degree of scrutiny protects both the public and the officers. As to were this all ends we will decide that as a society, people in public have no reasonable expectation of privacy in my opinion. No ones asking for police to be perfect, so let them wear the body cams they can show their side of events using them and we can see there wasn't any foul play on their part.

I trust the police for the most part but they are human just as some of them are going to make mistakes some are going to be corrupt/discriminatory/excessive. As personal privacy is basically dead anyways I figure we might as well embrace the good things that come of surveillance as well as the bad.
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Posted 3/16/15

pandrasb

Human error, god I can't wait when everything is automated. Robots, robots everywhere.


Ah but robots and their parts are made by humans either directly or indirectly so there'd still be human error involved.
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Posted 3/16/15
Robotic error lacks that special human touch to mess things up so royally.

Choose human of all your erroneous needs!

Order in the next five and we will throw in a free miss-communication!
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Posted 3/16/15

Akage-chan wrote:

I guess my question is - Where does it stop? Can we set up recorders in hospital rooms to make sure doctors and nurses don't abuse their positions and/or steal items from patients? Can we set up cameras in classrooms so parents can ensure their child is not unjustly treated by the teacher or students? Can we record flight stewardess and pilots as well so that they dont drink while on duty? How about putting cameras in fast food restaurants to make sure the special sauce doesn't become any more "special"?

People are so concerned about cops abusing their authority that they fail to see that there are people in every position that abuse their authority. Are there bad cops out there? Yes. But there are also bad doctors, teachers, truck drivers, etc. And before anyone tries to justify recording cops because they have weapons, doctors/nurses can easily kill people with improperly prescribed drugs and truck drivers could easily wipe out a good swath of people with the wrong turn of the wheel. Death is death, whether done through weapons, drugs or vehicles.

People are going to make mistakes, especially in a profession where a split second decision is what decides between life or death. You can Monday morning quarterback these situations all you want, but until you are in a position where you have to make them, such as military combat, you can not be a fair judge. When an officer does get into an altercation, things like weight/height difference and fatigue are all taken into account.


You're comparing putting cameras in private places to using cameras on people who can kill in public and get away with it. That already invalidates your argument. Using cameras in a doctor's office would be a violation of the doctor's and patient's privacy. Using cameras in a classroom would likely disrupt the lesson unless the teacher randomly started killing students and someone started recorded. In which case, I'm sure the courts would gladly accept that as evidence.

Recording police is a matter of public safety. Sure there are people who can kill in secret, but the police have the authority to kill in public. They can always make up excuses and be let off the hook. That makes cameras all the more necessary. Not all cops are bad, but at the same time not all cops are good. There will always be some who abuse their power and assault civilians. Whether it's out of hatred, racism, boredom, whatever, a cop can easily pull out a gun and shoot someone in broad daylight. Even if you only record a few seconds of it, it's important to get as much info as possible. Otherwise, the cop in question could make up any lie they want and people would believe them just because they're a cop.

Going back to your doctor example, it's pretty rare to find a doctor that wants to hurt people. Doctors go through about a decade's worth of learning and training to get into their positions. I doubt someone that dedicated to that profession would be trying to kill people on purpose. Police on the other hand only go through a few weeks or months of terrible training. Their training mostly consists of "here's a gun. Go and shoot. Ok you're done." They hardly dedicate any time to learning how to properly interact with people. Some cops don't care. Some make mistakes and kill by accident because they weren't taught how to defuse a situation. Some go their entire lives without killing anyone. It's pretty common for a cop to look down on civilians, which leads to unnecessary hostility. You will almost never find a doctor that spent a decade learning how to take care of people because they look down on people. Obviously doctor's make mistakes too. Everybody reacts to drugs differently. It's impossible to know for certain what drug works and what drug doesn't work on a certain individual. That's why drugs keep changing over time. That doesn't mean we should record doctors for something they have little to no control of in a confined space.


justanotherguy_2005 wrote:

Body cameras on all uniformed police should be mandatory. Both for the good of the police and the citizens. They also need to find a way where the camera automatically begins recording at a certain point and shuts off at a certain point. Some kind of system so the cop just can't conveniently forget to turn on his body camera when something goes wrong.


It should always be on when the cop is on duty and turned off when they get off from work. That way it won't interfere with their private lives.
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Posted 3/16/15
no it should not be illegal. there are way too many police officers who routinely abuse their authority and far too little accountability when they do. another thing i find disturbing is the fact that every police department that uses body cameras insists that the officer has the ability to turn it off so he doesn't record himself abusing his authority or breaking the law .
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Posted 3/16/15
It shouldn't be illegal, it helps to see how situations unfolded and not rely on speculation.
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Posted 3/16/15

moonhawk81 wrote:

The trouble with recording an incident is that--unless you plan the incident ahead of time--you usually end up recording the after-effects of the actual incident rather than the incident itself. To wit, you usually miss the original action that prompts the reaction. Something has to make you decide to start filming--but since you weren't filming yet, you miss getting that on tape. So whoever watches your video is missing one of the most important elements of the story which the video purports to tell.

Because so many people fail to consider the above, and make assumptions based on what is clearly incomplete information, I must think that filming the police should be illegal.

And yes, before anyone claims to "discover" it, I am a police officer. My argument stands upon its own logic, not my position as a cop.


I agree with your analysis but disagree with your conclusion. The problem lies not in the videotaping, but in the biased media and the politicians who seek to promote themselves through exploitation and misinterpretation.
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Posted 3/16/15
Recording shouldn't be illegal, but interfering with police duties should be. Folks who stand off to the side, and record quietly are fine. Folks who record, while shouting obscenities to police and interfering by getting in their faces, need to be hand-cuffed and taken in for interfering with police on duty.
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Posted 3/16/15 , edited 3/16/15

moonhawk81 wrote:

The trouble with recording an incident is that--unless you plan the incident ahead of time--you usually end up recording the after-effects of the actual incident rather than the incident itself. To wit, you usually miss the original action that prompts the reaction. Something has to make you decide to start filming--but since you weren't filming yet, you miss getting that on tape. So whoever watches your video is missing one of the most important elements of the story which the video purports to tell.



That's very interesting and I never thought about that. I'll definitely keep that in mind the next time video recordings of misconduct/alleged misconduct appears on the news.

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Posted 3/16/15 , edited 3/16/15

GloriousHawk wrote:


moonhawk81 wrote:

The trouble with recording an incident is that--unless you plan the incident ahead of time--you usually end up recording the after-effects of the actual incident rather than the incident itself. To wit, you usually miss the original action that prompts the reaction. Something has to make you decide to start filming--but since you weren't filming yet, you miss getting that on tape. So whoever watches your video is missing one of the most important elements of the story which the video purports to tell.



That's very interesting and I never thought about that. I'll definitely keep that in mind the next time video recordings of misconduct/alleged misconduct appears on the news.



just take moonhawks "usually" with as much salt as you do the videos and you will be fine.
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Posted 3/16/15
video and photography have traditionaly been protected under freedom of speech.
Posted 3/16/15

PhantomGundam wrote:


justanotherguy_2005 wrote:

Body cameras on all uniformed police should be mandatory. Both for the good of the police and the citizens. They also need to find a way where the camera automatically begins recording at a certain point and shuts off at a certain point. Some kind of system so the cop just can't conveniently forget to turn on his body camera when something goes wrong.


It should always be on when the cop is on duty and turned off when they get off from work. That way it won't interfere with their private lives.


It would be nice but I think the main arguments against that is the cops right to having private conversations and bathroom breaks and stuff. They would need to be allowed to turn the cameras off at those times. That also presents a good opportunity to "forget" to turn them back on and stuff. I think there is also an issue with just the amount of hard drive space needed to keep those recordings for any length of time. I would assume these cameras are going to be good quality which means the space needed could be quite massive. I think the current plan for them is to just have police switch them on when they are responding to calls. I don't really trust it but it's a step in the right direction at the very least.
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Posted 3/16/15
Yes, because filming some random person is illegal without their permission.
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Posted 3/16/15

PhantomGundam wrote:]

You're comparing putting cameras in private places to using cameras on people who can kill in public and get away with it. That already invalidates your argument. Using cameras in a doctor's office would be a violation of the doctor's and patient's privacy. Using cameras in a classroom would likely disrupt the lesson unless the teacher randomly started killing students and someone started recorded. In which case, I'm sure the courts would gladly accept that as evidence.


Most doctors and even those in forensics know of ways to kill people without it being detectable, or any more so than could be explained through various means. So, no, my argument is not invalid, but yours is as having solid knowledge of how drugs break down in the human body would mean that it would be all too simple for a doctor to get away with it.

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