Saturday, May 20, 2006

Police Misconduct Solution: Black Boxes in Police Cars Recording Everything

Some police routinely lie, and prosecutors and judges buy it. These police are only caught when they get greedy and screw up. Competent lying cops ones can lie for a career and never get caught. Sure, a few judges will wise up and say "I don't believe a thing out of this cops mouth," but too often that doesn't happen. The attitude is that the arrested are mostly brown criminals, so who cares? Why waste my time fighting for this scumbag drug dealer, who cares what the police did?

I thought we all swore the same oath to uphold the constitution. I'm just trying to do my job. If we make exceptions in the constitution for drug dealers or child molestors or gang members, the exception will swallow the rule.

I understand the anti-crime sentiment from law enforcement. Heck,I might do the same thing if I was in that position. That doesn't make it right to lie under oath. No matter how tempting, it is wrong. The slope is too steep and slipperly. Police may start to lie to protect themselves, putting felony charges on people for resisting because the cops adrenaline was up, they beat the person up, and need to cover themselves. But then it gets too hard to stop.

Its natural for an officer to start lying because all humans lie. After seeing success with lies, it can snowball. That's why all interogations and any interactions with police should be recorded, as should all police communications. If the government wants to tap us and say why should we worry if we're doing nothing wrong, why can't we listen in on the government agents when they are acting to 'protect' us? Law and order people should agree. These crooked cops themselves taint cases on people who really are guilty or get the innocent and let the guilty go free. We need a black box in all police cars, recording what happens inside and out. This will keep the bad cops honest. If we can monitor telemarketers, why not those sworn to protect and serve? Sure, that's intrusive, but we want the best protecting us. I support giving good cops raises to put up with that intrusion, but shouldn't we all strive to act such that our parents could hear what we say, how we treat that subject, how we treat people who ask for directions?

Look at what happens with this attitude of police infallibility in Baltimore, as Radley noted. If these weren't two, articulate white people with cops for parents and media savvy, would this story gotten out?

Like Skelly pointed out, PD's are overworked, used to having to hurry, and many defendants rightfully don't respect offices who have, for exampe, pled out hundreds of felonies with no trials in five years! It is hard for some defendants to see PDs in these types of non-confrontational offices as advocates for their rights.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Instrumenting police cars for real-time surveillance can be defeated by RF shielding. Any onboard recorders can be defeated by class breaks.

And all vulnerability can be evaded by committing all crimes out of range of the instrumentation.

The best you could hope for would be a false sense of security.

10:06 PM  
Blogger ACS said...

True, nothing is foolproof.

10:03 PM  

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