Why is the ACLU Afraid of Body Cams?

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With the inauguration coming up Friday for President Elect Trump, the ACLU is helping organize some protests as well as encouraging the recording of law enforcement activity. However, what’s good for the goose isn’t apparently good enough for the gander for the ACLU who demands that police only have their body camera on if police response is necessary. I guess being required to protect them isn’t enough of a required police response.

Nice double standard when it’s in a public space.

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Author: rafael.nieves

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49 thoughts on “Why is the ACLU Afraid of Body Cams?

  1. She's just paranoid, and not very well educated.
    There's a LOT of cops at those protests. Most of the data is going to be deleted, simply because storage of that much data for long term would get pricey. Because there's so much footage, probably nobody will look at most of it. What they keep, is going to be directly relevant to the commission of some crime- which is NOT first amendment activity.

    The ACLU ought to be ENCOURAGING the use of bodycams. It guarantees accountability among the police. If a rights violation occurs, they can subpoena the police for that footage.

  2. simple if officers have body cams so that their actions are documented then they can't claim police brutality. How can the mother of a thug who got shot by the police for acting like an animal get on cnn and claim the evil police killed her poor innocent little baby who did nothing wrong in cold blood when there is an officers body cam that proves otherwise.

  3. "Don't let the facts get in the way of the discussion" the ACLU. That seems to say it all. A Chief replied to a woman's Facebook post, by linking the body cam footage of the encounter. The ACLU lawyer was offended by this fact, and in his statement included the aforementioned quote.

  4. lol. Whats funny is the ACLU wants body cams more than officers. AND they want them to be done to where the dirty officers dont have control of them and cant turn them off or on. Give out correct info Mike. Thanks. Your public masters

  5. Is opening up a venue to possible infringement on civil liberties a violation of civil liberties by itself? I can see possible scenarios where footage of a person at a rally or protest could be used against that individual, but I don't think having the footage is a bad thing in itself. An employer at a drug free work place could recognize an employee at a pro marijuana legalization rally and either "randomly" drug test that person, or just terminate employment without stating a reason. Footage of a domestic dispute could be utilized to check out valuables in a home and any security that house has. I would hope the ACLU's stance is merely that law regarding privacy are not fine tuned enough for body camera footage to be considered public domain.

    I support body camera's, but I also support privacy. Footage should not be public domain except in certain cases; When entered into evidence, when use of force results in death, to help identify the suspect in the footage. I am sure there are many more valid reasons to release footage, but it should be a case by case basis.

  6. can you tell me who is rapping in your video .. meaning who was the rapper that made your theme song or whatever its called and the name of the song ? ??? i thinks its cool and wanted to look it up

  7. Welp, time for me to play devil's advocate! With all that information about who makes what political statement, it becomes very easy for whoever has control of the data to chill speech by targeting those who don't agree with them for harassment or worse.

    Granted, yes, it is a double standard, and the likelihood of such a misuse coming from the police of all people is exceedingly low, but as you're so fond of saying it's that one out of a thousand we have to worry about. Furthermore, it may not even be the police or a government agency, but a private citizen or company. A freedom of information act request could well compel the distribution of the data in question.

    Yes, it's silly to think that one's activities in the public sphere won't be monitored. That said, would you want the sort of hate mail that comes with making political statements to constantly come at you for the rest of your life because some random person who disagrees can now identify you on video and dox you?

    In short, I get the hypocrisy of the statement at first glance, but I don't think the issue is as straight forward as it initially seems. The more the possibilities rattle around my brain, the more I dislike the idea of the public having access to the body camera footage. I mean, just imagine what 4chan would do with a video of some random, non celebrity, feminazi they happened to identify from body cam footage of a rally. The consequences could range from pizzas they didn't order delivered to their home, to prank calls without end, to perhaps even death threats.

    On the other side of the equation,……. not releasing such footage to the public will inevitably catch the attention of various government transparency watchdog groups.

    sighs Some issues seem to be a case of 'damned if you do, and damned if you don't.'

  8. Does she even know how the first ammendment works? It doesn't mean you get to do or say whatever you want, call it free speech, and now you have complete immunity. It means that if you do or say something, Congress isn't allowed to do anything about it, emphasis on "congress." They can't pass a law that says you're not allowed to say this or arrest you for protesting that. You can get fired if you say something racist at work. You can get alienated by your friends if you say something that makes them feel like you're a sexist or a creep. People can still get upset by your words or protests or what have you. But CONGRESS can't make any speech or belief illegal. THAT is what the first ammendment means

  9. Protest or riot? I love body cams. There should be many more of them, so that the initial assault on the officers by the masked perps can be captured and hopefully be shown worldwide.

  10. Personally, I think of this as a way of drawing attention to the issues the ACLU cares about than a serious attempt to stop the cops wearing bodycams. Let's face it, the ACLU doesn't trust the cops, or most people in authority really, and I believe they have some valid reasons for that. While many authority figures aren't bad people, there are some who most certainly are, and those people will abuse any power they are given.

    And from the ACLU's perspective, that's the big difference between the ACLU taking videos and the police doing the same thing, because the police have a lot more authority (within their jurisdiction) than ordinary citizens. There is a (legitimate, IMO) concern that at least some police will use any photos or videos made on the day and use them to target members of the ACLU. Even if it's only one policeman out of 100 who will do that, it's still something to be wary of.

    But let's get real here. Even if all the cops didn't have bodycams, in today's world there would still be video footage somewhere that can be examined, and the police are the ideal group to obtain any footage that exists if they really want it. It's just not realistic for anyone (particularly the ACLU) to believe that removing the police bodycams would prevent individuals being identified and targeted, if that's what the police wish to do. Hence, I think this demand was more symbolic than anything else. Sure, the ACLU would be over the moon if they could get their way, but I hope they aren't so naive as to believe it makes any real difference either way. And as for the police? If one out of 100 is a bad apple, that still leaves 99 out of 100 who are trying to do the best job they can and may be in desperate need of protection if someone tries to set them up. In trying to promote one of their issues, the ACLU either forgot or ignored that important fact (I'm going with ignored, and this could also be a deliberate attempt to set members of the police force up if they got their way). Which I consider to be a really poor showing on the ACLU's part.

  11. I almost see the weirdos point. but I personally am pro-cam for several reasons. if someone hurts a cop I want them busted. and of course vise versa. that being said I do not trust the ppl running my government. and that's because dems and reps are idiots and keep electing criminals. sporting a political banner is against the constitution. as a matter of fact I think dems and reps should be arrested for high treason

  12. Not commenting in support of ACLU:

    I only have an issue with body cameras where there's no good privacy policy in place defining their use. In my opinion, anything captured via body camera should only be kept if it's related to a criminal event. There are companies developing software that can be put on body cameras to do facial recognition. So, anywhere a cop with a body camera goes, they're automatically tracking and tagging people. Yeah, those people are out in public, but it still feels like an invasion of privacy.

    Facial Recognition story with link to government study:
    https://www.aol.com/article/news/2016/12/22/doj-study-police-worn-body-cameras-increasingly-recognize-your/21640673/

    So yes, wear body cameras for accountability of civilians and police, but end their use there.

  13. Everybody has the right to film in public. That applies to regular folks filming the police, but the police don't suddenly lose that right when they put on their uniforms. Besides that, if I had to be arrested, I'd want as many cameras on me as possible at the time. That way nobody could lie about how I handled the situation, and nobody could lie about how the police handled the situation. As far as I'm concerned, body cams help to protect everybody involved against false accusations. The only thing I have an issue with is cops flying drones over people's back yards. The local police department likes to do that with their quadrotor on a fairly regular basis and that's definitely privacy violation. It's totally cool in a public place like a park or something though.

  14. (Shaking my head) Mike, Mike Mike. If the police have their body cams on, then the protesters can't say a person was stopped and questioned or arrested for no reason. The body cam would provide proof that a crime took place.
    It also makes it impossible for the ACLU to say that a civil rights violation took place unless a civil rights violation actually took place.
    Do you REALLY think this issue is about the FACTS? I thought you were smarter than that.

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