Police body camera bill raises concerns over penalties

Capital News Service
LANSING – Law enforcement officials and prosecutors are raising concerns about hefty consequences proposed for officers failing to record their activity in recently introduced body camera legislation. The bill, written to increase accountability for police activity, would require judges and juries to accept the defendant’s version of events in cases where a recording is not made or is lost. The same standard would apply in civil cases or in complaints against police departments. “That’s a pretty heavy burden that the legislature would put on law enforcement and the prosecuting attorneys in Michigan,” said Traverse City defense attorney Paul Jarboe, who supports the use of body cameras. “I just think there is going to be too much opposition from law enforcement and the prosecuting attorneys association to put that heavy of a legal burden on law enforcement.”
Jarboe is right about the opposition.

Lawmakers, agencies consider police body cameras

Capital News Service
LANSING — The shooting death of Michael Brown by a Ferguson, Missouri, police officer and similar incidents across the country have led to calls to equip police officers with body cameras that can capture video of their actions. The idea is simple: When camera-wearing police clash with civilians, there will be no debate about what happened because the footage will tell the story. Legislation has been introduced by House Democrats that would require any law enforcement officer who carries a firearm to be equipped with a body cam. The bill is currently stalled in the Criminal Justice Committee. Many Michigan law enforcement agencies are not waiting for a state law and are introducing body cameras themselves.