Camera always on. Everyone gets an immediate copy.
As far as I'm concerned, these records should only be unsealed, and made available for court proceedings. Accountability is important, but so is privacy.
First is purely psychological. Would you want to have someone looking over your shoulder all the time? Would you want your employer to record everything you do on your computer through some spyware? Have a camera mounted above your head?
Second is procedural. There are so many rules and regulations that it's almost impossible not to break some of them (just like with laws in western countries) so police officers (just like citizens) rely on low detection rate for minor violations and difficulty of proving anything.
There is also something to be said about how trustworthy police officers would be everyone they come in contact while on duty. People (and that includes criminals) find it much easier to trust a person they see standing in front ot them than some unknown tape reviewer.
And finally, basic privacy. If you work for many hours with little to do (patrolling the streets isn't exactly a consuming task), you probably have a lot of personal conversations with your partners.
Those problems will also be made worse by the officers themselves struggling with yet another piece of equipment (have you ever seen a cop running?).
All or almost all of the above could probably be resolved with selective recording, clear indicators of when the camera is running, light and easy to use devices and other technical solutions. Though we all know that, as with any other technological project, first users will get a lot of leakage and other bugs. And with the feedback loops what they are in the government, many may not be fixed for a really long time.
People who work in retail seem to be doing just fine, not to mention officers of the court who's every word and deed is recorded and transcribed.
Well, I think it's clear enough that people can manage to do their jobs while being constantly watched. I won't say it's necessarily a good idea, but if it's a good idea for anybody, then people who are legally empowered to use force to enforce the law ought to be at the top of the list.
Nor is a highly dynamic and dangerous street environment, and a highly controlled and procedural court environment.
Many officers use our software to record themselves on duty. They use this evidence in court for exactly this reason.
See, for example, discussion about CCTV in England. There are many valid concerns about the amount of stuff that's recorded.
It's taken a lot of brutality cases and lawsuits to get them to this point though.
That part seems to render much of the experiment useless, sadly.
A similar thing happened in my home town. A state law said that all police cars must have cameras for DUI stops. One of the counties in the state that wrote the most DUIs kept saying they couldn't afford to put cameras in all of the cruisers. Finally, a judge started throwing out all DUIs where the camera wasn't installed. Cameras were all installed and working in short order.
Technology has made it so easy to record all interactions that if the police are not doing it then the default reason is they are trying to hide something.
Every cop I've talked to about it is very positive. It often make their life much easier in court...
I don't think is a wise idea to take this to the supreme court at this moment. They could easily say that it is illegal to record police.
By the way, the word you're looking for is "unconstitutional", not "illegal". Even should the Court restrict the right to record--which they won't, it's a well-established right--jurisdictions may establish that right through law anyway.
I'd totally take a beatdown if it would make me a multi millionaire :)
Translation: You've done something that I don't like, but isn't illegal, so here's a trumped up charge so you have to spend the night in jail.
Simply put, while I agree we should be able to records officers, I also believe that playing a game of "I'm not touching you" with a camera is out of place.
Indeed, if your dealing with drunk people as a cop, having someone else walk up to you is going to be threatening. So, why does a person with a camera automatically get a pass.
Yes, you have the right to record. But that doesn't give you the right to ignore the officer.
Agreed - you should maintain your distance, but I've seen many videos on YouTube where the person videoing wasn't interfering at all and certainly wasn't "in their face", but the cops did not like being filmed and arrested the person. That is just not right.
Also, going looking for legal trouble on this will get you people to cheer on the sidelines, but not to cover legal expenses (unless you get the EFF or something to sponsor your case).
In my experience, it's better to pick your fights, this one doesn't seem worth it (but I don't know what your situation is, so ymmv).
For years I've been in the habit of just hanging around for a bit if I come across cops when they're dealing with citizens. I encourage everybody to try it from time to time. Worst case, you learn something. Best case, you subtly remind the police who they work for: their fellow citizens.
> E.g. "Officers should be advised not
to threaten, intimidate, or otherwise discourage an individual from recording police officer
enforcement activities or intentionally block or obstruct cameras or recording devices."
The bottom line with these kinds of cases is that if not for the video, the victims of police brutality and abuse would have nothing to show ... and there have been many cases where police have lied to cover up their actions.
One case that sticks in my mind is when a Maryland basketball fan was attacked and beaten by three police officers completely unprovoked: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OYckCapjdnY
The reporting officer falsified the report and stated that the student had struck the police horse. This video turned up a few days later and shows that none of that happened. If not for the video, those officers would have gotten away with beating up a student and lying about it ... and the victim would have been the one having to pay for it with jail time, fines, and lawyer's fees.
That's exactly the kind of abuse we need to protect against.
(There are extra protections for journalists, which don't appear to be listed on that page.)
EDIT: But see also this page, where police will extract your phone data if they think the phone has been used in crime.
The seizure clause of the Fourth Amendment would seem cover any case in which they wanted a copy of your data.
>The CelleBrite UFED is a handheld device that Michigan officers have been using since August 2008 to copy information from mobile phones belonging to motorists stopped for minor traffic violations. [...] [I]t can copy everything on your smartphone in a matter of minutes.
One by one, the amendments have been/are being slowly incorporated to protect individual rights against State governments as well, as the result of Supreme Court rulings: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Incorporation_of_the_Bill_of_Ri...
To date, the first, second, fourth, partially fifth, (by and large) sixth, and partially eight amendments have been incorporated, i.e. apply equally to both State and Federal governments. The 2nd (the right to bear arms) was the most recent one, incorporated in 2010 here in Chicago.
I am sure that this could be funded by contextually advertising lawyers selected for their qualifications in each area, so that you can get their services with a button.
Also, have an off-phone media recording service to lots of different territories so as to preserve evidence. Very difficult to destroy evidence that is being recorded globally.
And if you want to make it nice and fluffy, you make sure that it is independent of the lawyers/sponsors and can kick them off and replace them if they are crap.