Progress Being Made As Ferguson Police Officers Are Now Wearing Body Cameras

Rally Held in Ferguson Over Police Killing Of Michael Brown

 

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported on Sunday that Ferguson police officers began wearing body cameras this past Saturday. Embattled Ferguson police chief Tom Jackson told The Post that 50 cameras were donated to the police department from Safety Visions and Digital Ally in the wake of 18-year-old Michael Brown’s shooting death at the hands of Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson. The unarmed Brown was shot dead on August 9th after an incident that began with Wilson confronting Brown and his friend, Dorian Johnson, for jaywalking. Brown was shot six times and an audio recording from the time of the shooting indicates that Wilson fired at Brown at least ten times.

Per Jackson, the cameras were first utilized during the day Saturday due to that day’s activities. A peaceful march of at least a thousand protesters took place in Ferguson on Saturday morning. The march, which was led by Brown’s parents, started on W. Florissant Ave., where most of the protests have occurred in the aftermath of the shooting, and ended right in front of the Ferguson police department headquarters. Hundreds of protesters remained gathered near the building for much of the day, chanting and making their voices heard regarding their desire to see Officer Wilson arrested.

Of course, in typical Jackson fashion, he pointed out to The Post that the cameras worked because he was able to catch images of protesters taunting police officers.

Jackson said the officers had the devices on during the protest march on Saturday and were able to capture video images of crowd members taunting officers.

This is just another example of the town’s police chief needlessly inciting and antagonizing Ferguson residents in the wake of Brown’s death. The people of Ferguson are absolutely fed up with Jackson and want him removed as soon as possible. However, Jackson has steadfastly refused to resign, and nobody with any authority to remove him has given any indication that he will be let go anytime soon. In the meantime, heavy distrust will continue to exist between the town’s residents and the police department.

However, even though Jackson is still serving as the chief of police in Ferguson, we should still acknowledge that progress is being made and some good is coming out of an absolutely tragic event. Body cameras on police has been one of the key issues that many protesters and community leaders wanted addressed over the past few weeks. The fact that the Ferguson police department is now equipped with them is a definite victory for those wanting local law enforcement to be held more accountable for their actions.

Better yet, other police departments in the St. Louis area are jumping on board. The Post reports that Ellisville, a small community in the much more affluent West County section of St. Louis County, approved expenditures to equip their officers with cameras. Other departments are looking into it as well. It seems likely that we’ll eventually see residents and local leaders push for both the St. Louis County and Metro departments to have officers wear body cameras. Eventually, we may see this become a law nationwide. Right now, there is a petition at whitehouse.gov to establish a Mike Brown Law requiring all officers to wear cameras. The petition already has over 150,000 signatures.

 

Image via KMOX

9 Replies to “Progress Being Made As Ferguson Police Officers Are Now Wearing Body Cameras”

  1. Thank you for the link to the petition requiring all police officers to wear cameras. Going there now to add my name.

  2. “Nobody with any authority to remove him has given any indication that he will be let go anytime soon.”

    That right there tells you everything you need to know about the people who run Ferguson.

    “Thiss is just another example of the town’s police chief needlessly inciting and antagonizing Ferguson resident.”

    The all white officials don’t give a damn about the black residents. If they did, Jackson would have been removed as Chief.

    The cameras don’t mean a thing if the power structure in Ferguson is this clueless to the majority of its residence needs.

  3. Still no name tags?

    Can the officer switch the camera off?

    If so, is there a written policy in place covering disciplinary procedures for officers who disable cameras?

    Officers routinely park cars with dash cams so the incident is conveniently off camera.

  4. Cameras are a start but can someone please tell me why does a police force need 11,959 Bayonets?

    NPR has released extensive lists of the military hardware that has been funneled from the Pentagon to police departments across the country through the Law Enforcement Support Office 1033 program.
    http://www.npr.org/2014/09/02/342494225/mraps-and-bayonets-what-we-know-about-the-pentagons-1033-program

    Here are some of the goodies
    79,288 assault rifles
    205 grenade launchers
    11,959 bayonets
    3,972 combat knives
    $124 million worth of night-vision equipment, including night-vision sniper scopes
    479 bomb detonator robots
    50 airplanes, including 27 cargo transport airplanes
    422 helicopters
    More than $3.6 million worth of camouflage gear and other “deception equipment”

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