In preparation for the annual state budget proposal, the Denver police department has requested funding for 800 cameras to be worn by police officers at all times. Police-worn cameras caught media attention after the shooting of Michael Brown, a black teenager who was shot by a white police officer in Ferguson, Missouri. In Brown’s shooting, six eyewitnesses report seeing Brown with his hands in the air moving away from the police officer when the officer fired five shots at the teenager. The officer’s report is that Brown lunged towards his firearm. The incident has caused a public outcry for body cameras to create certainty in this unclear situations.
People in favor of body cameras often cite the Rialto, California police department’s records from 2012. After requiring all officers to wear cameras, public complaints against the Rialto police department dropped by a staggering 88%. In addition, situations in which police officers used physical force against suspects dropped by 60%. Advocates argue that these statistics point to both an increase in officer safety, as well as an increase in public safety.
The Denver police chief, Robert White, stated “citizens should know officers are being held accountable. The only officers who would have a problem with body cameras are bad officers.” The Denver police department may have had a problem with “bad officers” as the request for body cameras comes months after a large scandal in which multiple officers were charged with a range of crimes, from domestic violence to solicitation of prostitution to possession of child pornography.
It is important to note that at this point, no officers in Colorado wear body cameras. If you were arrested or charged with a crime, it is highly advised that you consult with an attorney to make sure the court is hearing the full story behind the incident. The attorneys at Peter Loyd Weber and Associates will work to make sure your rights are protected and your voice is heard. Call us for a free consultation today at (720)863-7755.