Tape captures officer intimidating driver
That technology was not body cameras but in-car dashboard cameras, tape recorders that filmed the action in front of the car and preserved the audio of an officer’s interactions with citizens.As in today’s debate, in-car cameras found support from both police chiefs and police reformists.
Two decades ago, law enforcement agencies—and activists hoping to change them—argued about a different kind of mass video surveillance.In short, the cameras preserve information about the car’s location and state relevant to the image but more complete than it. Even if today’s models record only audio and video, future body cams will handle all sorts of other information.The video recording will exist almost as a heads-up display on which to show more useful data: GPS-determined location, weather, speed of movement, and whether a cop had taken his gun or baton out of its holster.4.After the pursuit ends, cops can return to the location to see if the suspect threw out a gun, drugs, or some piece of evidence.They can also record whether the officer had begun braking—an important detail if the car gets into a crash.But he also said the tape helped him understand the contour of an officer’s day, and where a bad encounter with citizens came from. In-car cameras which exist right now record data and detail about the world far beyond light and sound.
Something would annoy an officer in the morning, Meehan said, and you could hear him or her stew on it through the rest of the day.3. If a suspect throws something out of a car while being chased by police, for instance, officers can press a button on their dash cam to mark the area in GPS.
Instead of just focusing on police-citizen encounters, he watched entire day-long shifts.
It was not thrilling work.“If you look at the camera footage for eight hours, it’s pretty damn boring,” he told me.
Meehan saw routine traffic stops, the car driving around and stopping for food, the officers giving out parking tickets.
And while he gained an understanding of individual officers’ “style of policing and the community context,” it came slowly.
Creamer’s cameras—and those underwritten by Aetna—were part of the first wave, during the 1980s.