County and city governments should continue moving ahead to get police body cameras.
It’s the right thing to do for transparency and also offers officers some protection against bogus complaints.
Protests continue in Wisconsin, with reports of looting and fires, following an incident captured on video of Jacob Blake, a Black man, being shot several times in the back by police officers in Kenosha. The New York Times reported Tuesday morning that the police officers were not wearing body cameras. Blake was reported to be in stable condition.
In our own county, Anderson officials appeared to quibble over what constitutes a chokehold when handling the case of Officer Brandon Reynolds, who was accused of applying a chokehold during an arrest. Reynolds’ hearing is set for Sept. 28.
Incidents of alleged police brutality are often reported after they are captured on cellphone cameras by bystanders. Police accountability should be constant and not dependent on the happenstance of a stranger with a camera standing nearby.
Our justice system ought to be able to react swiftly to police brutality and dismiss false complaints just as swiftly.
Earlier this month, Mayor Thomas Broderick said that his administration has the goal of getting Anderson’s officers equipped with body cameras no later than early next year, and we hope to see him follow through on that promise.
We acknowledge the good honest men and women in law enforcement and expect that they have no objection to continuing to do the good work that they do in full view of the public.
A reliable video record of what happened in each encounter will allow local governments to retain good officers and weed out those who don’t follow procedure.
Body cameras are essential for the protection of both police and citizens.