Tony Katz Today
So Now Police Body Cameras are Racist?
(photo credit: Boris Horvat/Getty Images)
Criticism and calls for increased accountability in the wake of several high-profile officer-involved shootings prompted U.S. police departments to outfit their officers with body cameras in increasing numbers each year. Now, however, a new report is crying 'foul,' claiming the cameras pose a threat to civil rights if the departments fail to set rules that govern when officers review footage from their cameras.
No, we're not kidding.
“Unrestricted footage review places civil rights at risk and undermines the goals of transparency and accountability,” said Vanita Gupta, former head of the Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division and current head of the Leadership Conference, in the report’s introduction.
According to the report, because an officer’s memory of an event may be altered by watching body camera footage, doing so will likely alter what officers write in their reports. That, in turn, can make it more difficult for investigators or courts to assess whether the officer’s actions were reasonable based on what he or she perceived at the time of the incident.
WIBC host Tony Katz was perplexed by the report:
I thought the purpose of body cameras was to be able to let everybody know what actually happened!
...If the shooting is improper, then the shooting is improper and the video would show it as such, wouldn't it? The video is telling the true story of what's going on. How is that a racial issue?
Click below to hear Tony's full commentary: