Police misconduct and abuse have been getting a lot of extra media attention lately. In just the past few months, Americans have been horrified by stories of grenades thrown in children’s cribs, homeless men beaten to death, unwarranted anal probes, and more. The outrage in Ferguson underscored the rapid growth in police militarization, highlighting the perceived code of silence upheld by those behind the “thin blue line” and driving demand for more accountability among the nation’s law enforcement officers. Could cameras offer a viable solution to the problems at hand?
Does filming police make for more accountable law enforcement? Will on-body cameras (such as those recently adopted by D.C.’s Metropolitan Police Department as part of a pilot program) force accountability, or will they suffer form the same problems that have plagued existing cameras placed in police vehicles? What are your rights as a citizen journalist when it comes to filming police actions in a public space?
Join us for a lunchtime discussion about technological solutions to many common complaints about police misconduct. Jonathan Blanks, a research associate in Cato’s Center for Constitutional Studies and a frequent commentator on criminal justice issues, Steve Silverman who founded Flex Your Rights to improve the constitutional literacy of all Americans, and Matthew Fogg, a 32-year veteran of the United States Marshals Service, will touch upon some of the biggest victories and concerns surrounding police work and cameras.