Police in Ferguson started wearing body cameras this Saturday during the most recent protest following the killing of unarmed teenager Michael Brown Jr. by one of the city's police officers, Darren Wilson.
Two companies, Safety Vision and Digital Alley, donated 50 body cameras about a week ago, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
The Ferguson department's decision to use the body cameras comes after the actions of many of its officers provoked anger. Five plaintiffs are suing the police department for $US40 million for aggressive police tactics and civil rights violations. In a separate incident, another police officer has been accused in a lawsuit of hog-tying and choking a 12-year-old boy. Some of the police misconduct in Ferguson was caught on tape; a St. Ann, Mo. police officer was fired after he pointed an assault rifle at protesters at told them his name was Go Fuck Yourself.
Wearing the body cameras may help stop members of the Ferguson police department from behaving horribly in the future. At the very least, recording their actions will make it easier to apprehend police who are breaking the law.... which is why several other police departments are considering introducing body cameras, including the NYPD.
And while we're on the topic of disciplining bad cops, may I remind you that our friends at Deadspin are making a database of police shootings. It will be a lot easier to catalogue this type of shit if police are getting recorded, but until then, if you have something to add. it's a worthwhile project. [St. Louis Post-Dispatch via Buzzfeed]
Image via AP