Recent Forum Presented Viewpoints For, Against Police Officers Wearing Cameras

Proposal Part Of Effort To Stem Police Violence

Police lights
Matt Lehrer (CC-BY-NC-ND)

Law enforcement officials in Madison are considering requiring officers to wear body cameras while on duty. At a recent community debate on the University of Wisconsin-Madison campus, opponents of the plan argued the cameras won’t reduce police violence.

“M” Adams, of the group Young, Gifted and Black, said more film footage of police interactions with people in poor black communities won’t change the culture of distrust.

There’s footage of police cameras in neighborhoods on corners where I live,” he said. “But we don’t have the power to interpret that footage and we don’t have the power to hold police accountable. So, I think you’re going to have footage and it’s not going to matter.”

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But retired Kenosha Police Officer Russell Beckman spoke in favor of the cameras.

They won’t solve all the problems, but they are a tool just like DNA. The will keep people out of prison and they will tell the truth, he said.

Beckman also said he believes the cameras will encourage a change in the police culture if police know their actions are being recorded.

Still, opponents of the idea say money spent on cameras should go instead to improving economic conditions in communities where police violence is most prevalent.