This topic created a lot of debate on my KMOX show yesterday and today — if you’d like to comment, here’s another chance.
The ACLU is starting a program that will provide video cameras to residents of north St. Louis so they can record the actions of the police in their neighborhoods. They want to document how law enforcement deals with citizens and get evidence of any abuse. Chief Joe Mokwa says it’s not against the law, and if any of his officers are doing anything wrong, he certainly wants to know about it, but he hopes the citizens with cameras don’t bait or provoke the situtation or get in the way. The president of the St. Louis Police Officers Association says that officers already assume that whenever they do anything in public, they’re being videotaped.
Before anyone gets a camera from the ACLU, they’ll have to complete a series of workshops on what’s expected of them and how to deal with the police. I’ll bet that the biggest legal challenge to this won’t be from the police, but from citizens who don’t get cameras for one reason or another, and end up suing the ACLU!
What do you think of the progam, which is the first of its kind in the US?