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The Irony of Police Body Cameras

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of

The Michael Brown shooting in 2014 brought a change to law enforcement. The transition didn’t arrive because Officer Darren Wilson did anything wrong. It came because President Obama and the media pushed a narrative that was proven false later on. It didn’t matter that “hands up, don’t shoot” was a lie. Officer Wilson and law enforcement suffered damage. 

Community activists came out of the woodwork to declare that law enforcement was corrupt, and there was systemic racism within the ranks. Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder fanned the flames of anger. 

As the next few years rolled along, there were other selective high profile police shootings. The left-wing media chose which incident they wanted to use for their narrative. They were unabashedly obtuse with their selections. There had to be a race element to the newscasts. 

More and more community leaders and activists were calling for further police accountability. Anyone should want the police to be responsible for their actions. The nature of their job is to take away our precious freedom for alleged crimes. There was no deep-seated racism. However, their constant cries led to body cameras for law enforcement. Cameras were an excellent idea, but the last few years haven’t entirely gone as expected for activists.

Body cams were supposed to show racist officers shooting suspects for no reason. So far, that part has failed. Officers have carried on with their jobs. In fact, the cameras have probably made them more professional. One thing the equipment has not done is stopped officers from the most basic human instinct. Survival. There are still shootings. However, the officers are quickly exonerated when the footage is reviewed and released. 

Critics accuse law enforcement agencies of lying about the findings of officer-involved shootings. They accuse departments of covering for other officers and so forth. This has been proven to be false. On the flip side, critics have been caught lying many times by the body cameras they so badly wanted the police to wear.

Recently, Shaun King, an anti-cop activist was caught lying about a sexual assault on a driving under the influence arrest in Texas. An NAACP community leader lied about treatment on a traffic stop in South Carolina. Also, a lady claims she was harassed when driving down a highway in Virginia. Let’s not forget the 20-year-old woman in New Jersey. She claimed police brutality when an officer struck her in the head twice. Conveniently, she forgot to mention she spit on the officer and kicked him in the genitals. 

There was a fervent push towards officer’s use of body cameras. It is as if citizens have completely forgotten about them. They will lie about officers, and place it on social media. Once the complaint goes viral, departments release the footage proving the accusers to be lying. 

One would think that those on the other end of the lens would be on their best behavior, but their campaign has backfired. 

If people lie on officers like this when they are recorded, how many complaints were sustained before cameras? In actuality, cameras have become officer’s best friends. Officers have the devices for their benefit now. 

Of course, there will be officers who do something emotional on camera and get in trouble. The number of officers in the country in addition to the number of contacts made daily will bring that opportunity. Officers are human. There will be mistakes. 

The devices that were intended to hold officers accountable are also used to keep citizens accountable as well. How ironic. 

Body cameras are great for law enforcement and the communities. Smile, you’re on camera.

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