Electronic Surveillance to Document Police/Citizen Interactions
There must be more to the story of the Missouri homeschool family being maced and tasered by police after a Child Protective Services complaint. Why didn’t local sheriff’s office just get a warrant if they believe children were endangered for some reason.
The claims and counterclaims in the case could be better resolved, I would argue, had cameras recorded the home invasion, both by police and homeowners. Did the sheriff think the house was on fire? Or that children were somehow immediately at risk? Or were they just upset in now being allowed to enter and inspect a home school?
… The Hagans repeatedly refused entry without a warrant, but the police insisted.
The interactions then got physical, as the police officers forced their way into the home. Both Hagans were repeatedly pepper sprayed in the face, and Jason was Tasered multiple times, despite Laura warning the police that he had recently been hospitalized for chest pains.
Anytime police or sheriffs or federal agents, with or without weapons, enter a private home, it seems reasonable to have multiple cameras recording.
Federal legislation requiring or helping fund police to buy and wear body cameras seems unlikely to solve the problems of unjustified use of force.
A Wall Street Journal article, “Body Cameras Put New Pressure on Police: What Happens if Officers Don’t Turn Their Cameras On?” (December 2, 2014), reports multiple incidents where policemen didn’t turn on their body cameras or refused to turn in footage after incidents.
A police officer in Albuquerque, N.M., found out this week, when he was fired for allegedly not following an order to record and upload all contacts with citizens, according to an Albuquerque Police Department spokesman and the officer’s attorney. Officer Jeremy Dear had been involved in a high-profile shooting of a 19-year-old woman in April, in which no footage was recovered from his lapel camera.
An earlier post discussed the Taser technology that automatically turns on all nearby cameras when a Taser is powered up, Electronic Surveillance: Turn On Cameras When Police Tasers Are Turned On.