New York City Public Advocate Letitia James unveiled a proposal yesterday that would outfit NYPD officers with body cameras to record their interactions with the public. After the deaths of Eric Garner and Michael Brown, James said, cameras "would go a long way toward providing an objective record of what happened either before or after an incident."
The verdict in a federal class-action lawsuit against the NYPD's use of stop-and-frisk ordered the department to begin a body camera pilot program, but James' plan is larger, the New York Daily News reports. Outfitting 15 percent of the force with cameras would cost $5 million, and expanding the program to all cops would cost $32 million.
James posited cameras as a "win-win," and it's hard to argue with that. If a bystander hadn't recorded Garner's altercation with police, for instance, there would be no way to know for sure that officer Daniel Pantaleo used a chokehold. And on the other hand, video footage could handily put any false allegations against police officers to bed. As the public advocate put it: "There will be no room for discussion and misinterpretation of the facts."
NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton, who said last week that cameras are "where we're going," is on board, but the police union isn't convinced, the Daily News writes. What, are there cops out there with something to hide?
[Image via AP]