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.

More courts use cameras to charge distant prisoners

Capital News Service
LANSING – Macomb County is partnering with the state to expand its video arraignment technology to other jurisdictions, reducing the need to transport criminals from jails to courtrooms.
Sheriff Anthony Wickersham said that video arraignment of defendants who are being held outside county borders is safer and cost-effective. “Using interactive video conference technology will help us save money, operate more efficiently and improve security at the court,” Wickersham said. An arraignment is a formal reading of the charges to a defendant who is being prosecuted. A two-way video system will be used to conduct such judicial proceedings for suspects held at local or county jails and statewide prison facilities. The technology is similar to popular video conferencing programs such as Skype or FaceTime.