Regulating Public Access to Body Camera Footage: Response to Iesha S. Nunes, “Hands Up, Don’t Shoot”
Response to Iesha S. Nunes, “Hands Up, Don’t Shoot”: Police Misconduct and the Need for Body Cameras
Iesha Nunes argues that police should be required to wear body cameras. Use of body cameras would provide judges or juries proof of abusive police practices, and may even deter police misconduct from occurring. For many criminal cases the only available evidence is eyewitness testimony, which can be unreliable. Nunes proposes that in order for states to receive certain federal funds, police use of body cameras should be required, and recommends that an unbiased group create uniform guidelines for their use. There is no denying that police use of body cameras could substantially strengthen our ability to protect civil rights and avoid abuses of police power. But as Nunes acknowledges, the widespread use of body cameras must be regulated. In developing policies regarding their use, not only must we keep in mind the obvious advantages they would have in the sorts of cases that have made the national news, but we must consider the implications of their widespread use to record the vast majority of police-citizen encounters. Read More.