Author Topic: Police cameras  (Read 3666 times)

Elder Iptuous

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Police cameras
« on: November 15, 2012, 04:39:22 pm »
here's an article talking about an SLC program that the chief is pushing.
He wants eye level action cams on every cop.

curious about the opinions here on the topic.
some cops are resistant the chief says, but he thinks it's the future of law enforcement.  it seems that it could provide some accountability.  if there is video evidence of all police interaction with the public, surely that would dissuade at least some egregious police abuses of power.

a cynical objection is that the police will simply not have the video recording during an event (where they are in the wrong), but if it were required, it could be seen as evidence of malpractice in court, right?  i would think that legislation would be required in addition to police department policy in order for it to avoid being one sided (i.e. guarantee of accessibility).

another objection is privacy.  some people said they simply don't want to be recorded by the cops.  i don't know how much stock i put in this one...

an interesting objection i heard is that it would then only be a matter of time before facial recognition software is incorporated into the system.  that certainly plucks an emotional cord.  hmm....

what say you guys?

The Good Reverend Roger

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Re: Police cameras
« Reply #1 on: November 15, 2012, 04:42:11 pm »
I'm against it.  Any potential abuse stopped by accessibility would be offset by people being publicly humiliated or having their careers ruined by footage, with or without a trial.
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Elder Iptuous

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Re: Police cameras
« Reply #2 on: November 15, 2012, 05:09:28 pm »
i'm not quite sure what you're getting at...
are you referring to police having their careers ruined?  or them taping citizens and 'leaking' it to ruin them?

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Re: Police cameras
« Reply #3 on: November 15, 2012, 05:11:46 pm »
i'm not quite sure what you're getting at...
are you referring to police having their careers ruined?  or them taping citizens and 'leaking' it to ruin them?

If the tapes aren't accessible to the public, then oversight isn't achieved.

If the tapes are accessible to the public, then people detained, pulled over, or questioned are at risk of enormous social and career damage before charges are even filed, if they are even filed.

We have enough cameras.
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Re: Police cameras
« Reply #4 on: November 15, 2012, 05:16:40 pm »
the tapes should be accessible as court evidence, same as dash cams*.  it would certainly be bad form for them to simply be made open to the public.

*it occurs to me that i'm making two wild assumptions here; that dash cams are handled that way, and that these action cams are intended to be also.

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Re: Police cameras
« Reply #5 on: November 16, 2012, 07:46:32 am »
I can never think of a good argument for MORE surveillance.
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Re: Police cameras
« Reply #6 on: November 16, 2012, 08:44:06 am »
I can never think of a good argument for MORE surveillance.

But . . . but . . . it makes us SAFER! Don't you want to be SAFE?

Yeah, sorry, I can't even type that shit with a straight face.
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Elder Iptuous

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Re: Police cameras
« Reply #7 on: November 16, 2012, 02:33:33 pm »
exactly. that's why i think this is interesting to think about.

every time the enforcers add another camera, it's another chip off our privacy, right?
but, when people monitor the authorities, it's called a watchdog group, and that gives no heebie-jeebies intrinsically. usually it's a comfort.
when a governance is set up, checks and balances are generally agreed to be a good thing.
if set up improperly, this is utterly dystopian.
if set up well, it could help alleviate police abuse of power.
if not set up at all.....well. actually, i don't think that's an option.

we're in an age of ubiquitous recording, and although a very big part of me wants to thrash and screech, it feels that wishing this away is about as useful as wishing away nuclear bombs.
right now, the only people that have a 24/7 record or their lives are MIT geeks that like to pretend that they live on a giant cubic spaceship and have blinking LEDs on their clothes and 15 pounds of computing hardware in their fanny pack.  oh wait. that was years ago. now it's feasible for it to be done without looking much like a dork if you put some effort into it.  pretty soon, it'll be no more than a choice to pay .99$ for the app that utilizes the hardware that's already in place.  when this happens, i imagine just about everyone will opt for it, except for luddites and people that feel important from being contrary.
with that in mind, it would seem odd to have everyone's perspective be a matter of personal record that they can access, and yet police be required to act in a metaphorical oubliette.  from that perspective, it kinda sounds sinister for them to not have cameras.

so a new question in that context then isn't, 'should this be done?', but how should it be done...

Elder Iptuous

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Re: Police cameras
« Reply #8 on: November 16, 2012, 03:37:04 pm »
a quick googling shows that San Jose had a test program for this a few years ago.
it failed, not due to public response, but due to cost and ability to handle that much data.
those are two things that will evaporate with incremental technology improvement.

Seattle, apparently was looking to do a test program last year, but i didn't see anything indicating that it went through...

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Re: Police cameras
« Reply #9 on: November 16, 2012, 06:05:35 pm »
Yeah, there's no way the SPD would ever agree to that. Or anything else that makes it harder for them to murder the occasional uppity smudgy person.
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Re: Police cameras
« Reply #10 on: November 17, 2012, 09:47:35 pm »
Even if it was a good idea, realistically, it isn't workable for the reasons you mentioned Ip around technology and the demands on such a system.  Only large cities with the financial resources would even be able to entertain such a system, and I think it would be prone to all kinds of technical issues, let alone the privacy issues.


The possible advantage of the video is that you blunt the "he said-he said" scenario where you are pitting the word of a suspect against an officer of the law.  However, I think what you would need is a quasi-public system for review.  That is, put together some kind of review board that consists of members of the public along with enforcement officials.  Kind of a hybrid Internal Affairs that gives the public a seat at the table.


I get the motivation behind such a proposal, but it's difficult to think of a system that would actually carry the intent through with fidelity.
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Re: Police cameras
« Reply #11 on: November 19, 2012, 01:49:11 pm »
Eye level cams are not watching the copper, they're watching the human. Important distinction. If you can't see what's going on behind the camera then you don't know who pulled the trigger. I can't see it making the filth any more honest so it's pretty fucking pointless, until there's eye-level cams on all civilians. Then you'll have the whole picture. Google glass, some time in the next couple of years - sorted! Bent filth will be unable to get away with any shit unless it's state-sanctioned and, even then, it'll be a lot fucking harder to keep a lid on 8)
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Elder Iptuous

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Re: Police cameras
« Reply #12 on: November 19, 2012, 03:39:56 pm »
i get what you're saying, but.... you get what i'm saying, right?
If you were forced to wear an eye level cam as part of your job, i'm pretty sure you would consider it 'being watched'.
maybe not as good for accountability as an autonomous quad copter providing 3rd person action game view of the cops, but a bit more workable at the moment. :)

definitely, it'll be interesting what changes will be brought about by ubiquitous, continuous, POV recording.  which is inevitable, imo.
Glass will hopefully pan out, but even now, i see there's a  bluetooth headset with cam called Looxie that's been on the market for a few years.  i would imagine that it could probably be made a bit better now. (less bulky, better resolution)


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Re: Police cameras
« Reply #13 on: November 19, 2012, 04:38:39 pm »
you don't know many cops, do you? :lulz:
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Elder Iptuous

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Re: Police cameras
« Reply #14 on: November 19, 2012, 05:06:14 pm »
No. can’t say that I do.
As far as I can recall, I’ve only ever personally known one cop, who was moonlighting at the pizza joint that I delivered at.
Young guy about the same age as me.  I got along with him, but he had some bad wiring.  Had stories of his own abuses that were amusing, but sinister in that you know he’s gonna rack up more horrifying examples during his career.  He was a large influence that led me to not trust police as a general rule.

Assuming that your question was to indicate that my view of cops is naïve to their corruption, or perhaps their sophistication in scheming?
Is the implication that mechanisms for monitoring law enforcement that has them in the loop at all are doomed?   If that is the argument, it seems overly general from what I know.
If this is the case, why is there pushback from some cops?  My guess is it’s, at least in part, because it represents another hurdle that they would have to overcome in order to abuse their power.  That’s a good thing, no?