Living in Missouri, I have seen my fair share of news stories covering what’s been happening in Ferguson, Mo. If you’re one of the rare individuals not aware of what’s happened in that town over the past couple of weeks, I’ll try to just give the known facts and will do my best to leave my opinion out of it. On August 9th, Michael Brown, an 18-year-old African American male was shot to death by a police officer after reports came in about a convenience store robbery. At the time of the shooting, Brown was unarmed, though there are some reports which claim he tried to get hold of the officer’s sidearm. Whatever the case may be, Brown was fatally shot 6 times. I say “whatever the case”, because truthfully, the general public doesn’t really know what all happened which led up to the death of Brown. Did Brown attack the officer? Was the officer justified in using lethal force? Perhaps the only way that question could be answered is if we were all privy to watching it all as it unfolded. But since we can’t, many are wondering if in the future police officers should be required to wear cameras on their person at all times while they’re on duty.
As a result of the shooting, riots have erupted throughout the town of Ferguson, resulting in Governor Jay Nixon declaring a State of Emergency in the town and issuing a city-wide curfew that has since been lifted. There have been several cases of looting and more protests than can be easily counted. President Barack Obama was even forced to cut short a vacation because of the tense situation.
Should police officers be forced to wear cameras while on duty? The obvious benefit would be that events could be witnessed exactly as they really happened, but would the footage change anything? People would still be able to feel however they wanted to feel, whatever the footage showed. Would it be a violation of an officer’s privacy to force him to wear a camera while he’s working?
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[Image via YourLocalGuardian]