New York City is hoping that equipping officers with cameras will lead to more transparency and trust among African-Americans. Considerable doubts remain about that and other plans to improve relations. CCTV America’s Karina Huber reported the story from New York City.
Interest in the cameras has grown across the United States since the shooting death of Michael Brown — which was snot caught on film.
New York launches police body camera programNew York City is hoping that equipping officers with cameras will lead to more transparency and trust among African-Americans. Considerable doubts remain about that and other plans to improve relations. CCTV America's Karina Huber reported the story from New York City, New York.
New York’s police commissioner said the cameras encourage best behavior among officers and discourage frivolous claims of abuse. However, Maria Haberfeld, a professor at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, was not convinced it was a good idea.
“As we have seen with Eric Garner case, even if things are recorded, we still are in doubt whether or not police performance or police deployment of its officers was the appropriate one,” she said.
Eric Garner’s mother agreed that cameras are not the solution. The city is also retraining 22,000 police officers through a three-day course. Haberfeld thought that was also misguided.
“This is something that cannot be unlearned in a few short days or even a few weeks because we carry our biases, we carry our perceptions and it takes much much longer than short bandaid to change our behaviours in a profound way,” Haberfeld said.
Haberfeld also said for meaningful change to occur in policing, the recruiting process should be more rigorous to ensure that officers have the right state of mind to handle stressful situations calmly.
Kymone Freeman discusses race relations in the US
CCTV America interviewed Kymone Freeman for more on the civil rights protests in the U.S. He is the Director of the National Black Luv Festival and an activist and founder of We ACT Radio. He also helped organize protests in Ferguson, Missouri and Washington, D.C.