Police body cameras hold the promise of accountability, but carry the risk of becoming another tool of surveillance aimed at communities that are already heavily over-policed and heavily surveilled. Defending Rights & Dissent has created guidelines governing the use of police body cameras and the videos they produce.
The people have the right to film the police under the First Amendment, but police do not always respect this right. Police are prohibited from destroying devices or images by both the 14th Amendment’s due process clause and the 4th Amendment’s warrant requirement. The Local Civil Rights Restoration Act provides model language to protect the right to film the police.
Police zeal to embrace military-grade hardware is unprecedented, and the deployment of surveillance technology on the public often occurs with little public debate or warning.
There Are Just Too Many Unknown Unknowns When it Comes to Local Police Surveillance. But Activists In Oakland are Changing That
Orwell’s dystopic vision of a society where cameras and computers spy on every person’s movements may be upon us, but even his prescient imagination did not envision the rise of non-disclosure agreements.