In the past year, the country has been rocked by a number of controversial police shootings the claimed the lives of unarmed, African-American citizens. Now, many are calling for police body cameras to help authorities and communities better understand actions by law enforcement and make us better equipped to handle instances of misconduct. Ohio Jewish News recently spoke with Attorney Ian Friedman about the proposed body cameras and the many benefits he and other legal experts expect them to have on our legal system.
"We have capability today with modern policing to ensure that everyone’s constitutional right is met, so we really should welcome these body cameras," Friedman told the paper. "It’s going to help to build trust in the community at a time where we need it like we haven’t seen in decades."
In particular, Attorney Friedman spoke about the need confirm or disprove instances of alleged police misconduct. "I would just say that good police officers will welcome these body cameras as they will certainly cut down on the number of these claims," Friedman explained. "They’re going to want to have this captured on video if they are following the rules and policing properly."
Attorney Friedman's prediction is backed by facts. As Ohio Jewish News cites, a recent study conducted in Mesa, AZ that gave 50 police officers with body cameras yielded positive results. Over eight months, those police officers only experienced eight complaints—as opposed to the 23 complaints filed against 50 police officers who were not monitored with cameras.
Fostering a Viable, Just Legal System
As the paper notes, police body cameras will not be a magic "cure-all" for all of the difficult uncertainties our legal system faces. Certain policies would need to be in place to protect those captured on body cameras and dictate how and when police can release footage to the public. Footage of an incident may not remove certain important questions, either. In the case of Eric Garner, the man who died while being restrained by police in New York City last year, that entire incident was caught on mobile phone footage—and critical questions still remain.
Still, most legal experts, Attorney Friedman included, believe that police body cameras will add a unprecedented level of certainty in the courtroom, and eliminate many "he said, she said" disputes that occur before and during trials. "It [the footage] helps us get to the heart of the truth, and that’s really what the entire criminal justice system is about," Friedman said.
If you or a loved one has been accused a crime, then we invite you to contact Ian N. Friedman as soon as possible. Attorney Friedman is a skilled and sought-after Ohio criminal defense attorney with a track record of staunch, aggressive advocacy for his clients. His reputation for outstanding service and impressive case results have earned him numerous recognitions in the industry.
Put your defense in trusted hands. Call us today for a free consultation.