The St. Louis Post Dispatch reports that police officers in Ferguson, Mo have been equipped with 50 body cameras, attached to their uniforms.
Two companies, Safety Vision and Digital Ally, have donated the equipment in light of the fatal Aug. 9 shooting of unarmed teenager Michael Brown, by one of Ferguson’s officers. The cameras are able to record video and audio.
Representatives from the companies were on-site on Saturday training the officers to use the cameras. Ferguson Police Chief Thomas Jackson confirmed that the quality is good.
Since Brown’s death, the issue of police officers wearing cameras has been a hot topic nationwide. There have been way too many deaths and beatings of unarmed citizens at the hands of police. And although citizen reporters have captured altercations on home videos and cell phones, the audio is often missing. More important is the lack of footage leading up to the incidents.
Now, with the help of the wearable cameras, authorities, the media, and the public can get details of what really happened. The body cameras are designed to keep officers’ behavior in line, and at the same time, prove cases when a suspect has resisted arrest or brandished a weapon. It protects both the police and civilians. Footage is a way to clear up “he said, she said” stories.
As the news site notes, a White House petition, backed by more than 150,000 people, has been pushing for a national “Mike Brown law” that would demand that all state, county and local police officers wear cameras.