Take Two®

News and culture through the lens of Southern California. Hosted by A Martínez

The argument for body cameras on police officers

by Take Two®

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LAPD Officer Guillermo Espinoza wears a video camera on his lapel. Espinoza is one of 30 officers in the downtown area that began testing body cameras this month. Maya Sugarman/KPCC

Many details about what happened between the Ferguson Police Department and Michael Brown are still unknown. The same can be said for the death of Ezell Ford, an unarmed mentally-challenged man in South LA who was shot and killed by police last week.

In both cases, police officers say one thing while nearby witnesses say another. And in both cases, what could have filled in the blanks is a camera mounted to the officer. Around the country, more police departments are experimenting with body cameras that officers wear to document their encounters. 

The LAPD is currently testing out two different body cam systems on officers in Skid Row until mid-September. They hope that by 2015 they'll have an official program in place, and have raised $1.3 million to make it happen. 

Greg Meyer, retired captain with the Los Angeles Police Department and expert witness during the Rodney King civil trial on the use of recordings, argues that cameras can help police officers and civilians in the long run.

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