Wisconsin State Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen says that putting body cameras on police would almost always vindicate police officers accused of using excessive force, but taxpayers' money would be better spent elsewhere. I'm not sure "almost always" would be the case but the evidence suggests that body cameras would result in fewer complaints against officers and less use of excessive force.
It also would help open up more government work to the public's eye, something that Van Hollen, who has rightly won recognition for his work on open government issues, should understand. Body cameras can help build trust between the police and the public by enhancing the public's ability to understand what its most visible public agents are doing.
Police have extraordinarily difficult responsibilities and extraordinary powers; and most of them do their work quietly and extremely well. But a handful on occasion slip and a handful may be bad actors. Given the powers they have and the weapons they carry, the results can be deadly and tragic. Continue>>>