Friday, May 25, 2018

They wanted police body cams, now they regret it

As I wrote in a previous blog post, for years and years activists in the United States have promoted the use of police body cameras, the idea being, of course, that this way police officers will be caught and held responsible for any wrongdoing, abuse, discriminatory practices or crimes they commit while on duty, especially racially motivated crimes against black people.

Ironically, rather than oppose this idea, most police officers in the country actually support the idea. To protect themselves! And now case after case is coming up of people claiming discrimination, abuse and misconduct from police officers, only for the body cam footage to show the accusations to be completely false and fabricated, and completely exonerate the officer (and land the accuser into trouble for false allegations and abuse of the legal system). The more widespread police body cameras are becoming, the more frequent these cases seem to be.

Of course now the same people who promoted the adoption of body cams are starting to regret it, and are now starting to rally against their use. No irony meter is sufficient to measure any of this.

Take this report, for instance: Police Body Cameras Can Threaten Civil Rights Of Black And Brown People, New Report Says.

Now, if you haven't read this (or any similar articles), you might think that the argument is about privacy. Body cameras might be seen as an invasion of privacy, and might expose people's private conversations and so on? Perhaps this could potentially lead to abuse, where the police has undue power over people due to having recorded their private (but not illegal) conversations and private lives?

If you thought that, then you are an intelligent, reasonable person. After all, perhaps some kind of argument could be made based on that (whether there's merit in it is one thing, but at least it would be a somewhat reasonable concern). But this isn't an argument made by rational people. This is an argument made by regressive leftists, so you know it's going to be mind-bogglingly stupid. Let's read some excerpts from the article to see what the actual argument is:
“Unrestricted footage review places civil rights at risk and undermines the goals of transparency and accountability,” said Vanita Gupta, former head of the Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division and current head of the Leadership Conference, in the report’s introduction.
What? Undermines the goals of transparency and accountability? Is this some kind of bizarro world where everything is reversed? Police body cams undermine transparency and accountability? Of the police officers themselves? (Yes, it's really talking about the police officers themselves, who are wearing these cameras.) This is absolutely insane.
Because an officer’s memory of an event may be altered by watching body camera footage, doing so will likely alter what officers write in their reports.
Yeah, the reports will be more accurate, and will not be so reliant on the police officer remembering every single detail, which might have happened in a stressful and confusing situation where many simultaneous things happened very fast. In other words, the reports will have less errors in them. So what's the problem? The paragraph continues:
That, in turn, can make it more difficult for investigators or courts to assess whether the officer’s actions were reasonable based on what he or she perceived at the time of the incident, states the report.
Didn't I promise that it would be mind-bogglingly stupid? Yeah. It's so utterly stupid that it's actually hard to decipher what this report is talking about.

After reading that a few times, I believe that what it's trying to say is that police officers should not only be held accountable for what they did (which becomes clearly apparent from the body camera footage), but also for what they thought and felt during the incident. What their own subjective impression of the situation was.

So, in other words, police officers should be held accountable for thought crime.

How to catch thought crime? Have the police officers write incident reports based on their own memory of the event, without allowing them to review the footage, and thus catch them for wrongthink, maybe. Essentially, punishing the police officer for doing the right thing for the wrong reasons.

What matters is not what the police officer actually did. What matters is not his actions. What matters is what his motivations were. What he was thinking. Again, thought crime. The regressive left is now regretting the proliferation of body cameras because police officers are "getting away" with the thought crime that they surely committed, even though it wasn't caught in the camera footage. Sure, perhaps the officer acted completely professionally and by the book, but most certainly his motivations were racist! Surely the person accusing the police officer could read the officer's mind and knew that his motivations were racist. And now the body cameras are taking away the rights of these people to accuse police officers of racism and misconduct... by showing what actually happened.

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