On occasion, a news story appears asking us to consider whether police should wear cameras. Recently, the New York Times did an opinion piece on the topic.
In my own practice, I love it when I get a case that has a video. Whether it is a dash cam, a lapel cam, or any other type of footage, it is great for my case because it gives juries the opportunity to actually see and hear what happened. Without the cameras, the jury is left to police opinion, which is obviously going to be biased in favor of the prosecution.
Without cameras police intentionally:
- and Steal
They lie because they can get away with it and it helps their case. For example, a person who may have only had a slight smell of alcohol may have a strong odor of alcohol according to police testimony at trial. A person who was only slightly weaving may have been all over the road and intentionally running stop signs.
They cheat because our Constitution is meant to protect defendants but the Supreme Court has spelled out what officers need to say to make something that was probably unconstitutional appear constitutional. This happens quite often in searches where an officer is conducting a fishing expedition and comes across something illegal. As soon as the illegal thing is found, a trumped up charge appears that justifies the search and then the prosecutor instructs the police officer on what they need to say to justify the search and make it appear to be constitutional.
They steal because they take away the protections of a Constitutionally protected person and then take away that person’s liberty by locking them in jail, prison, or killing them.
Our system needs change and the change revolves around making officers honest. The more truth we can inject into this system, the better. Some prosecutors say that defense attorneys are “muddying the water” when they try to talk about all of the facts surrounding an incident. All of the facts, including the ability to see what happened with our own eyes, is not muddying the water. It is giving jurors the whole truth and nothing but the truth and videos get us a step closer to this dream scenario.
The information in this post is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice or as the creation of an attorney-client relationship. For legal advice, please contact an Attorney.