Due to the recent events involving the deaths of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor, the United States is becoming increasingly aware of the immense problem of police brutality, particularly among the country’s Black, Indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC) and LGBTQ+ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, and more) communities. Many cases of unreasonable use of force have been ignored because of a “lack of evidence” essential to understand the actions of the police involved. In order for justice departments to see encounters between police officers and citizens, police officers are often required to wear body cameras. However, states and counties have different rules regarding the regulations surrounding these cameras and their usage. These differences become a problem when officers are allowed to turn off their cameras or when a camera’s footage is deleted. Therefore, important evidence of police brutality can be destroyed or simply unobtained. Without such evidence, citizens are left without sufficient proof of their innocence and an officer’s criminal offenses.
This lack of evidence is why we demand our national government to institute the mandatory nationwide use of a body camera that meets these criteria:
- The cameras must be filming throughout the officer’s shift without being switched off.
- The officer wearing the camera must be unable to turn the camera off; the power switch must be inaccessible to the officer in question.
- The body camera must have night vision.
- The footage of the camera must be uploaded to the cloud as soon as possible and none of it can be deleted or else legal action will be taken (i.e. those who tamper with the footage will face legal punishment at the city, state, or federal level).