The Los Angeles Police Department is taking proactive steps to address how to eliminate police misconduct against its citizens. The department recently ordered thousands of new digital taser weapons that automatically activate cameras on officers’ uniforms when used. The purpose of these taser cameras is to create visual records of police interaction with citizens, in the hopes of avoiding “conflicting evidence” when allegations of misconduct are made.
While having a visual record of interaction between police officers and community members is helpful, on a broader level, that hasn’t proven to be a deterrent to officers—or perhaps citizens—from engaging in conflict that results in bodily injury or even death, as in the recent case of Eric Garner. And often times, the visual record doesn’t help disputing parties come to an agreement; if anything, it reinforces different interpretations of events. Nevertheless, when a major metropolitan police department takes steps to address their misconduct, it’s always welcomed.