Police body cameras, good or bad?

Detroit is the last major city to implement body cameras on their police officers in the United States. Officers in its 11th precinct are already utilizing them as part of a test run, but other than that no other precinct in the city has them. 

And before the cameras are reality in the city of Detroit, lawmakers are already fighting over privacy issues. The main issue is what would be available for public viewing if an officer is on private property?

State Representative Jim Runestead says, "to make sure that the public's privacy is protected but also give the law enforcement department's the proper latitude to protect the public.  It's a balancing act and this bill accomplishes that. 

Some argue this is an issue of transparency. 

Ron Scott, President of the Detroit Coalition Against Police Brutality says police need to be transparent. Scott thinks the courts should decide.

"The bill requires the police department to retain that data for a certain period of time so that if someone feels that they do have a civil or criminal case they do have access to request a FOIA on that information," says Runestead.

Scott then adds that at some point information has to be open to the public. 

One thing that is agreed on by Scott and Runestead is that some oversight is needed before any decision is to be made. 


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