*(Via MSN News) – What if Michael Brown’s last moments had been recorded?
The fatal police shooting of the unarmed black 18-year-old in Ferguson, Missouri, is prompting calls for more officers to wear so-called body cameras, simple, lapel-mounted gadgets that capture video footage of law enforcement’s interactions with the public. Proponents say the devices add a new level of accountability to police work.
“This is a technology that has a very real potential to serve as a check and balance on police power,” says Jay Stanley, senior policy analyst at the American Civil Liberties Union.
The case supporters make is simple: Cops and criminal suspects alike are less likely to misbehave if they know they’re being recorded. And there’s some evidence supporting it. In a recent Cambridge University study, the police department in Rialto, California — a city of about 100,000— saw an 89 percent decline in the number of complaints against officers in a yearlong trial using the cameras.
The number of times the police used force against suspects also declined. After the trial, the cameras became mandatory for the department’s roughly 100 officers.
This AP article continues at MSN News.