Likely stemming from controversial police decisions in the past year, the
Bellevue Police Department has begun researching the use of body cameras
on its officers. If the department implements this policy, it will join
the likes of the Cincinnati Police Department in the
use of body cameras.
By using these cameras, the police hope to be protected from false accusations.
With the camera recording at all times, the video evidence would help
corroborate, or disprove, the officers’ account of any given situation.
Not only will this benefit the officer wearing the camera, but it will
also protect the rights of the accused. Another added benefit is the fact
that officers can now write police reports based on video evidence, rather
than relying on memory alone.
The use of police body cameras will definitely play a major role inside
the courtroom. A video log of the actual event will clearly show what
occurred during an arrest, including the dialogue between the arresting
officer, witnesses, and the suspect. Such footage is extremely important
in the area of
criminal defense. If a defendant’s rights were infringed upon, the body camera will
depict such violation. We will now know for certain if a criminal defendant
was not properly Mirandized as required by law.
The Bellevue Police are not the only ones who believe in the use of body
cameras. This past December, President Obama called for about $260 million
of federal spending that would allow an additional 50,000 officers in
the country the opportunity to wear such cameras.
Recently, an officer with the Cincinnati Police Department was involved
in a fatal altercation with a suspect. One of the officers involved was
wearing the device. In this case, the entire altercation was caught on
camera and any uproar or controversy surrounding the shooting was avoided
because there was a clear record of what transpired.
While the benefit of wearing a camera cannot be denied, there are some
possible scenarios where a camera may interfere with police work. Potential
witnesses may be discouraged from talking to the police for fear that
they are being recorded. There is also the possibility that the officer
wearing the camera could turn the camera off during some altercations
and avoid being recorded while doing something unethical or even illegal.
In the event something like this were to occur, there would be little
the accused could say or do to prove that the officer is being untruthful.
At Bleile & Dawson, our defense attorneys are extremely knowledgeable
in criminal law and cases involving false accusations. If you feel that
you have wrongly been accused of a crime and want the best chance of fighting
your charges, hire a Cincinnati law firm that puts the client first and
fights hard to protect their clients.
To learn more,
call (513) 399-5945 and schedule a
confidential case evaluation!