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Thursday, December 04, 2014

Cops On Camera

After the Michael Brown incident, there was a call for all police officers to wear body cameras so that their interactions with the public would be captured on video. The claim was that the visual evidence would be more compelling than eyewitness testimony, which is not reliable.

But the death of Eric Garner, choked to death by a police officer as if he were Radio Raheem, was caught on video -- cellphone footage shot by passerby Ramsey Orta -- and the grand jury still refused to indict the cop. Perhaps the officer would have acted differently if he knew the camera on his chest was recording his actions, but it's not like Orta's video was taken by a hidden surveillance camera.

It's still a good idea to put cameras on cops, but they are just a tool, not the solution.

By the way, the non-indictment of Garner's killer cop took place in Staten Island, which just re-elected Congressman Michael Grimm, who is scheduled to stand trial this month on a 20-count indictment by federal authorities for fraud, federal tax evasion, and perjury. He's also the congressman who threatened to throw a reporter off a balcony in the Capitol rotunda for asking questions about his campaign finance investigation. Stay classy, Staten Island!