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According to Fierce Homeland security when a New York judge found that the NYPD’s stop and frisk tactics violated the constitution, one of the remedies was for the department to begin testing wearable police cameras. The on-officer recording systems consist of a small, pager-sized camera that clips on to an officer’s uniform and records audio and video of the officer’s interactions with the public, the paper says.
“Historically, there was no documentary evidence of most encounters between police officers and the public, and due to the volatile nature of those encounters, this often resulted in radically divergent accounts of incidents,” the ACLU says. “Cameras have the potential to be a win-win, helping protect the public against police misconduct, and at the same time helping protect police against false accusations of abuse.”
But at the same time, body cameras have the potential to invade privacy. Police officers enter people’s homes and encounter bystanders, suspects and victims in a wide variety of sometimes stressful and extreme situations, so there must be privacy policies put into place, the paper says.
Recording should be limited to uniformed officers and marked vehicles, so people know what to expect and officers should be required, wherever practicable, to notify people that they are being recorded, the paper says. The data should also be destroyed when it is no longer need for the current investigation, the ACLU says.”For the vast majority of police encounters with the public, there is no reason to preserve video evidence, and those recordings therefore should be deleted relatively quickly,” the paper says.