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Analysis posted Jul 17 2013, 12:12 AM Category: Tyranny/Police State Source: InformationLiberation Print

Rialto, CA Police Made to Wear Cameras, Use of Force Drops by Over Two-Thirds

Chris | InformationLiberation

When cops in a Rialto, California were forced to wear cameras, their use of force dropped by over two-thirds. Additionally, the officers who were not made to wear the cameras used force twice as much as those who did. This strongly suggests the majority of the time police use force is unnecessary. In other words, the majority of the time these officers used force they were simply committing acts of violence which they don't feel comfortable committing if it's captured on film.

From The New York Times:
HERE'S a fraught encounter: one police officer, one civilian and anger felt by one or both. Afterward, it may be hard to sort out who did what to whom.

Now, some police departments are using miniaturized video cameras and their microphones to capture, in full detail, officers' interactions with civilians. The cameras are so small that they can be attached to a collar, a cap or even to the side of an officer's sunglasses. High-capacity battery packs can last for an extended shift. And all of the videos are uploaded automatically to a central server that serves as a kind of digital evidence locker.

William A. Farrar, the police chief in Rialto, Calif., has been investigating whether officers' use of video cameras can bring measurable benefits to relations between the police and civilians. Officers in Rialto, which has a population of about 100,000, already carry Taser weapons equipped with small video cameras that activate when the weapon is armed, and the officers have long worn digital audio recorders.

But when Mr. Farrar told his uniformed patrol officers of his plans to introduce the new, wearable video cameras, "it wasn't the easiest sell," he said, especially to some older officers who initially were "questioning why 'big brother' should see everything they do."

He said he reminded them that civilians could use their cellphones to record interactions, "so instead of relying on somebody else's partial picture of what occurred, why not have your own?" he asked. "In this way, you have the real one."

Last year, Mr. Farrar used the new wearable video cameras to conduct a continuing experiment in his department, in collaboration with Barak Ariel, a visiting fellow at the Institute of Criminology at the University of Cambridge  and an assistant professor at Hebrew University.

Half of Rialto's uniformed patrol officers on each week's schedule have been randomly assigned the cameras, also made by Taser International. Whenever officers wear the cameras, they are expected to activate them when they leave the patrol car to speak with a civilian.

A convenient feature of the camera is its "pre-event video buffer," which continuously records and holds the most recent 30 seconds of video when the camera is off. In this way, the initial activity that prompts the officer to turn on the camera is more likely to be captured automatically, too.

THE Rialto study began in February 2012 and will run until this July. The results from the first 12 months are striking. Even with only half of the 54 uniformed patrol officers wearing cameras at any given time, the department over all had an 88 percent decline in the number of complaints filed against officers, compared with the 12 months before the study, to 3 from 24.

Rialto's police officers also used force nearly 60 percent less often -- in 25 instances, compared with 61. When force was used, it was twice as likely to have been applied by the officers who weren't wearing cameras during that shift, the study found. And, lest skeptics think that the officers with cameras are selective about which encounters they record, Mr. Farrar noted that those officers who apply force while wearing a camera have always captured the incident on video.

As small as the cameras are, they seem to be noticeable to civilians, he said. "When you look at an officer," he said, "it kind of sticks out." Citizens have sometimes asked officers, "Hey, are you wearing a camera?" and the officers say they are, he reported.

But what about the privacy implications? Jay Stanley, a senior policy analyst at the American Civil Liberties Union, says: "We don't like the networks of police-run video cameras that are being set up in an increasing number of cities. We don't think the government should be watching over the population en masse." But requiring police officers to wear video cameras is different, he says: "When it comes to the citizenry watching the government, we like that."

Mr. Stanley says that all parties stand to benefit -- the public is protected from police misconduct, and officers are protected from bogus complaints. "There are many police officers who've had a cloud fall over them because of an unfounded accusation of abuse," he said. "Now police officers won't have to worry so much about that kind of thing."
Not only should every police officer should be forced to wear one of these cameras, their videos should be freely uploaded for crowd-sourcing by the general public on YouTube. If privacy for the general public is a concern, they could blur people's faces a la` Google street view.

Police love to say if you're not doing anything wrong, what do you have to hide, yet all over the nation police unions virulently fight calls to force them to wear cameras.

Fact is, most cops have everything and more to hide.

Their job is to enforce criminally idiotic and anti-human laws written by criminal politicians, from the drug laws to thousands of idiotic regulations on the books, their job is no longer to arrest violent criminals and thieves but to aggress against non-violent, non-criminals -- which turns them into criminals themselves.

Rather than focus on fighting crime, the majority of the millionaire cop next door's work consists of extorting the general public for cash. For example, speed limits have been shown to have no effect on road safety, yet when the speed limit is 65 instead of 55, revenue for cops drops dramatically, hence most places the speed limit is 55, of course the general public still drives 70 regardless.

Think for a minute how idiotic their speeding laws are. It's called a "speed limit," yet everyone drives over them by at least a few miles per hour, this turns everyone into a so-called "criminal." Police can then pull anyone over and shake them down for cash as a result, though because people get outraged and it makes the news if they ticket people for driving just a few mph over the limit, they generally only shake down people driving 10 mph and above over the limit. Hence the limits are set artificially low. Meanwhile, at the same time, almost every time you see a cop driving on the road they're speeding and weaving around like a lunatic. These are stupid, idiotic laws, but of course, they were not written to be rational and uphold order, they were written to extort the general public of their hard earned money.

Fact is, these days if any average person actually saw what the average cop does all day they'd be shocked and appalled. In fact, when they see glimpses of how police act when they're killing people's dogs and shooting unarmed woodcarvers they are shocked and appalled, they just don't realize these are not "isolated incidents" but instead the rule.
Chris runs the website, you can read more of his writings here. Follow infolib on twitter here.

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Comments 21 - 40 of 42 Add Comment < Page of 3 >

Posted: Aug 10 2013, 1:47 PM

24180 I have lived in Rialto and have been stopped by Rialto p.d. On a couple of occasions and both times, they have been very rude. Especially the female officers. I don't know if it was because I, too am female or if I was Hispanic? Whatever the case. I saw no cause for them to treat me like I was a criminal. Both times I was cooperative and did not argue. I tried to be as pleasant as possible. Both times I was stopped for a traffic violation. And both times I saw no violation on my part. In my experience I feel like Rialto cops are a bunch of bullies out to scare civilians. They have this, "this is my town and I am the law" mentality.they should all wear cameras at all times!

Posted: Aug 10 2013, 3:18 PM

99182 @Heironymous the Dead Cat

A law should be set in place that if the camera is disabled, all charges are dropped and the officer is placed on unpaid leave for criminal investigation pending evidence tampering. If the camera is found to have been disabled by malicious intent, the officer is charged with tampering with evidence and obstruction of justice.

That will stop officers from disabling their cameras.
James Smith

Posted: Aug 11 2013, 7:44 AM

179186 This is a great idea. Unfortunately, the captured video is firt controlled by the police. Then it can be edited or lost due to an "equipment malfunctin". If the raw video were in control of a civilian group, it would be much better,

Posted: Aug 11 2013, 2:41 PM

10872 It seems to me that it would be a good thing for any cop who might be accused unfairly of instigating conflict but even more, that if you know you're going to be on camera any time you are interacting with a cop, then you might be a bit more civil too.

As for failing to turn it on, if they are tracking complaints versus recordings, then they should know when someone isn\'t recording who should be. And presumably if someone else has a recording on a cell phone, and the cop doesn't, that would go badly for the cop.

Of course, that assumes that the courts and the PD itself aren't rigged, which is a huge assumption.

Posted: Aug 16 2013, 1:31 AM

6687 These cameras should also be used and uploaded to YouTube to show what rediculous real laws are being enforced in order to extort common citizens. They should be on constantly. Being fed to YouTube or a server. Their driving should be seriously considered. They turn on their lights just to speed through red lights, swerve through traffic recklessly, are constantly on their laptops/radios/radars while driving.
The only thing worse than today's cops are the politicians that employ them. America needs to wake up and stand up to the tyranny we are facing

Posted: Aug 16 2013, 7:50 PM

962 Spelling errors everywhere!! WEEEEE!!!

Posted: Aug 23 2013, 2:40 PM

74242 the first half of the article was very interesting and informative, thanks.

the second half? dude, i don't know whether you are genuinely deranged or just highly immature, but nobody, anywhere, ever, wants to read your manifesto.

Posted: Aug 28 2013, 8:48 AM

9631 As a plaintiffs' civil rights attorney, I think this is an excellent idea, for two reasons: (1) cops lie; and (2) clients lie. Most of us know about the minority of bad cops out there, so I'll leave that aside. But as a plaintiffs' lawyer who has to decide which cases to take and evaluate the credibility of prospective clients with dollar signs in their eyes, cameras also help me separate the wheat from the chaff, if I can get the video up front. I have no interest in bringing bad claims I will lose time, money, and reputation on, and I served as a federal law clerk long enough to know judges get very jaded about 1983 claims because so many are baseless. Cameras are good for everybody: cops, the courts, counsel, clients and the public.

Oh, and for those of you talking about the legality of recording the police, just because it may be legal doesn't mean they won't harass or arrest you for doing it. They'll just call it something else, like disorderly conduct or interfering. You will spend the night or weekend in jail and have to hire someone like me. You'll be acquitted (or more likely, the charges will be dismissed), but you still will have received your summary punishment.

Posted: Sep 06 2013, 8:09 PM

108228 I agree with the person above who commented that you need to proofread. Articles full of comma splices and other errors are harder to take seriously.
For example: "Their job is to enforce criminally idiotic and anti-human laws written by criminal politicians, from the drug laws to thousands of idiotic regulations on the books, [should be a period here] their job is no longer to arrest violent criminals and thieves but to aggress against non-violent, non-criminals -- which turns them into criminals themselves. "

Posted: Sep 11 2013, 3:25 PM

75120 Millionaire cops next door my butt! I've been policing nearly 24 years and have yet to make $24 an hour. Kiss my butt, you cowards. I have not shot armed suspects that most citizens would have shot in an instant. I have done CPR on small children. If you think you are so upstanding and righteous, get your butt out there and sign up for duty. Every vocation has bad apples, even policing. But it ain't as rampant as you think it is. The law is that officers can use the amount of force they feel is necessary to affect the arrest or defend themselves. You ever tried to cuff a drunk. You try getting someones hands behind their back that don't want you to. Go ahead know it alls and holier than thou's, sign up for low pay and to get treated like dirt.

Posted: Sep 29 2013, 2:08 PM

9631 Sounds like someone's "copping" a real attitude. I understand how you feel, but if you are getting this bitter, maybe it's time for a change, for everyone's sake.

Posted: Oct 14 2013, 7:48 PM

9911 I agree with 75120. Also, if the laws are bad, lobby to get them changed. If a speed limit is set at 45 mph. and you don't think it is a reasonable speed, get it changed. Don't blame the poor guy that is charged with implementing it. How, many of you have pulled dead and dying children out of wrecked vehicles, then have to arrest the drunk who is still mobile and fighting you every step of the way. I am not a cop, don't have one in the family. But, if you don't like the system, get active and change it. Sort of don't blame the messenger thought.

Posted: Oct 27 2013, 3:23 PM

24168 Has anyone thought that the reason complaints are down is because the cops aren't leaving the coffee shop? If I were a cop and had to wear a camera, I would make sure I did nothing at all. I sure hope the public makes sure they don't need a cop because they won't be coming anytime soon.

Posted: Oct 31 2013, 2:07 PM

7177 I hate being referred to as a civilian. It reinforces and legitimizes the notion of the police as an occupying military force. We are citizens. The police work for us.

Posted: Nov 04 2013, 11:23 PM

76108 Consult a local lawyer concerning any voice recording. Florida has laws against recording voice without notifying persons who might be over heard. Video has less restrictions.
Also keep in mind that the tax payers want cops to be efficient. That means that they will tend to arrest those who are easiest to catch. These days there is a computer tool that simply tells cops at any given moment where a crime is most likely to take place. The tactic is free of race bias in a way but keep in mind that complaints from area residents combined with police reports of prior incidents will steer lots of cops to a neighborhood at the most opportune hour. Therefore the neighborhoods with the history of crimes will receive even greater scrutiny. And the sad truth is that poor people are much easier to catch committing crimes. Crimes on the sidewalk are easy to catch. Crimes behind mansion walls are much more difficult. And the poor tend to have lousy legal help making convictions much easier. In essence law enforcement will always target the poor and that usually implies race or ethnic groups.

Posted: May 21 2014, 3:32 AM

70181 Ya U.S. Border patrol should have camera s also it's a win win situation all around people with badges are not right ! Firemen are the only badge holders that are righteous ! The rest are always trying to prove something ...... What u have a badge now you think you have the right to make your own laws and twist the ones we have ,and brutally abuse, mame ,murder , and have your way , rape , ............. ! That is just not RIGHT! U S O F A. Ya ok

Posted: Jul 24 2014, 3:13 PM

74178 108251 i agree with exactly what you said
I agree with others too but that's a lot of comments to read

Posted: Aug 13 2014, 10:29 PM

17469 I was hit on my bike nearly head-on by a cop doing over 54 in a 25. It cost me my arm, my career (I was an aircraft mechanic) & my Harley. He admitted to doing over double the limit for no reason. Was he punished in any way? Fat fuckin' chance.

Posted: Sep 11 2014, 10:14 PM

7110 how does wearing a camera it on from the time the officer starts work until the end of his shift, or do he controls when to turn it on/off...if the officer is in control, that's not a good thing, to many loop holes and the beat goes on

Posted: Oct 04 2014, 4:21 PM

10454 Should be used for LAPD, and LA Sheriffs Department
Comments 21 - 40 of 42 < Page of 3 >

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