Today the Los Angeles Police Department announced that it had purchased 3130 new tasers that activate a body camera when they're being used. The camera is activated after the officer turns off the safety on the Taser. The "non-lethal" weapon communicates with the officer's body camera via bluetooth.
Equipping police officers with body cameras has been seen as a possible solution to the problems of police brutality that have become a part of the national conversation in recent months. In December, the Los Angeles Police announced that they would be putting hundreds of cameras on officers -- a technological solution to a problem actually more often rooted in systemic racism, a history of inequality and police overreach.
So the obvious question: Shouldn't the body cameras be turned on before the taser is armed? How does the activation of a body camera mere moments before some is getting tased help investigators determine after the fact whether it was a justified use of force? It's almost as if putting body cameras on police officers isn't really about protecting common people against police brutality! Who would have dreamed such a thing! [Reuters]