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Baltimore to Consider Having All Cops Wear Body Cameras

3 Written by: | Thursday, Aug 21, 2014 9:15am

Baltimore looks into equipping police with body cameras

Equipping all police with body cameras is an idea gaining proponents around the country, after the killing of unarmed 18-year-old Michael Brown by police officer Darren Wilson in Ferguson, Mo., was followed by two very different accounts of what happened. The concept isn’t exactly new to Maryland. Del. Frank Conaway floated the idea in 2012 after a spate of deaths in police custody. And they’ve actually been doing it in Laurel for years. But the idea is back in the air, and at a recent public safety forum Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake said that Baltimore is “taking a look at” the policy.

According to the Baltimore Business Journal she was less than gung-ho. “I can think of a hundred ways that could be useful,” she said. “I can also think of 101 that it could potentially be a privacy issue that I don’t think any of us want to sign up for.” Still, she said the city is looking at how jurisdictions that already use body cameras handle privacy issues.

If we went ahead with it, it would be a real culture change for Baltimore police, who have been notoriously camera-shy. Even after two years of having a standing order to allow the public to videotape them, Baltimore cops were still reportedly erasing video off cell phones, and even “push[ing] away” a Baltimore Sun photographer. In March the rule was made more explicit.

In Laurel, the cameras cost $2,000 apiece.

Leave a Reply

  • Jenifer

    $2,000.00 is cheap compared to having a bunch of morons rioting and looting over a robber getting shot.

  • curiousnick

    Jenifer, can you get rid of your prejudices for just a minute and acknowledge that Michael brown was shot by an officer who knew nothing about any robbery; and the punishment for theft is not usually execution. Furthermore, most of the people were not looting. Sometimes I despair of my fellow white Americans.

  • chris

    Its amazing that the mayor and city council will keep coting privacy concerns. Shows like cops and others have been going in peoples home since the eighties with cameras and such. There are cameras on school buses and MTA transportations. Blue light cameras. This is NOTHING more than an excuse to allow the police to continue to act as the city sees fit and not in accordance to the law. Across the country and even in Laurel, Maryland cameras are in use and incident of complaints and use of force have dropped DRAMATICALLY. Its clear that this administrations first responsibility is not to The people, but rather, to property and private entities.


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