In recent years, there have been a number of highly publicized and highly controversial police shootings. These shootings and other similar events helped renew conversations about requiring law enforcement to wear body cameras when on duty. The idea stems from citizens’ need for transparency, and to hold officers accountable for their actions.
Due in part to the national conversation, many jurisdictions have begun implementing the use of body cameras, including the City of Los Angeles. Officials hope that the cameras will build trust among citizens and law enforcement, create accountability, and become useful in the event a police shooting needs to be investigated.
WHY SHOULD BODY CAMERAS BEEN USED?
In DUI cases, much of the evidence the prosecution has against an accused driver is based on the information found in the police report. Police reports detail why the driver was pulled over, what the officers observed about the accused, and the results of the field sobriety tests given at the time.
However, given the length of time that a DUI arrest can take, officers may not get around to writing these reports until a few hours after the fact. How many details can be remembered after that time? Can anyone validate that the information contained in the police report is completely accurate?
A foggy memory is one reason why requiring body cameras for police officers may be a good step. When an officer alleges that a defendant exhibited clear signs of intoxication in connection with a DUI arrest, the evidence found on a mounted body camera can show whether or not that was truly the case.
A body camera can illustrate the individual actions of the suspect, as well as provide more clarity on field sobriety tests and chemical tests. This can work to prove the validity of the police report, or on the flipside, demonstrate holes in the officer’s story and work to strengthen the defendant’s case.
Here is an excerpt from an article run in the Orange County Register on Sep. 9, 2017:
“Orange County cities continue to learn the benefits of equipping police officers with body cameras. The latest addition is Buena Park, whose police department expects uniformed officers to be sporting their new equipment by Oct. 1 .
“It is another positive step for accountability in law enforcement which these pages have long advocated, both to dissuade the unnecessary use of force by officers against civilians and to prevent civilians from making false claims of police brutality against law enforcement agencies.”
If you or a loved one has been arrested in connection with DUI, you need a defense attorney who can work against a police report to prove your innocence. With a board-certified DUI defense expert on our team, you can trust the legal representation from the Law Offices of Virginia L. Landry, Inc. Call for a complimentary consultation today!
Related: Video Evidence in OC DUI Cases