Home Opinions SMPD adoption of body cameras will shine light on injustice

SMPD adoption of body cameras will shine light on injustice

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Illustration by: Birmy Michelle | Staff Illustrator

It is no secret police have gotten away with brutality for way too long. It’s also not a secret white police are highly favored in the justice system, but body cameras will decrease the advantage and allow San Marcos residents to come face-to-face with the ugly injustice of law enforcement.

Police body cameras have the ability to show San Marcos residents what exactly happened in an officer encounter. The majority of cops are good people who do the right thing. However, cameras are a pivotal step in shining light on racial disparity in this day of distrust between the black community and law enforcement. Body cameras will show the truths of an investigation and finally hold officers accountable for their unjustified actions.

The state legislature agrees, body cameras should assist with the investigation process, and they offered $10 million last year to help local departments buy thousands. San Marcos will receive $50, 914 to purchase the equipment. Is spending so much money on new technology really worth it?

The answer is yes. Although San Marcos does not have as many police brutality incidents as other cities, there are concerns of racial profiling and reporting methods. The community will benefit from ensuring proper procedure is being followed and removing the mystery of some officer-involved shootings.

With this new law, police must retain the video for a minimum of 90 days and must also have backup copies. A recording created with a body camera involving the use of deadly force may not be deleted, destroyed or released to the public until the criminal matter has been resolved.

Some students are happy about the extra protection for SMPD and surrounding cities.

“I’ve encountered a SMPD officer acting racist who treated my situation unfairly,” said Brittney Lanaux, criminal justice senior. “If the officer was wearing a body camera, I think that my outcome may have turned differently.”

In no arena is the disadvantage of minorities more clear and devastating than within the criminal justice system. Similar to Lanaux’s incident, many other victims of police abuse may have also received a different outcome. Victims such as Trayvon Martin, Sandra Bland, Mike Brown and many more.

There has not been a significant increase in the number of racial injustice incidents, but we have seen more due to evolving technologies. The increase in footage and horrifying news reports allows people to see the ugly reality of police in America, and body cameras will only further highlight the issue.

Put body cameras on every cop. Cameras will hold cops accountable for their unjustified actions, therefore forcing everyone to acknowledge racial injustice. This is a concrete step we must take to minimize the lack of faith in law enforcement officials as they explain their behavior. Police may lie, but videos do not.

2 COMMENTS

  1. You are joking right?
    I am black and I have never had problem with the police! Sure there are some bad “white” cops, and there are just as many bad black, latino, asian, etc cops as well.
    The reason so many black people have issues is because we are always fed these fake stories that we are always the victim and we do not really need to take responsibility for our own actions.
    I do not know how many times I have seen a black person get an attitued with a cop over a simple question.
    I have been pulled over once for speeding (my bad) I was polite, I did not get an attitued and blam him for being “Racist” and create an issue out of nothing except my own mistake. (like so many in the media reports did) And yes, he was a dreaded white cop too, after answering his questions politely and admitting i was going a little over, he check my information (no past violence or altercations) and he let me go with a warning and wished me a good day!
    The problem with the “black community” is that people do not want to take responisbility for their own actions.

    I do however like the idea of body cams (for both parties) because YES, there are cops who take advantage of their position, and there are many more instances where people get an attitude and create a problem out of something simple (sandra bland, note i do not, nor does anyone else on the internet know what exactly took place, what is certain is SHE acted unruly to begin with)

    • You’re not black, you’re that anonymous white commenter who, much like a chameleon, changes monikers to add credibility to their otherwise baseless argument. You turn black to tell black people how bad they are, you become a woman to tell women how bad they are, you turn muslim to tell them how bad they are, etc. Miss thing, you’ve been clocked. Try again. Also, whether Sandra Bland was “unruly” doesn’t give a cop the right to attack or arrest her. There is no law that says people must respect cops and comply with everything they say, regardless if what they say has no basis in law. Go sit down white boy.

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