LAPD Orders Tasers That Activate Body Cameras When They're Used

LAPD Orders Tasers That Activate Body Cameras When They're Used

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]