Tennessee sheriff who ordered deputies to kill driver of slow-moving car and gloated over his corpse faces excessive force lawsuit

Robyn Dial is suing White County, Tennessee Sheriff Oddie Shoupe for excessive force in the killing of her husband Michael Dial, who was shot in the head after he drove away at low speed from a traffic stop while towing a heavy trailer behind his 40-year-old pickup truck; Sheriff Shoupe was captured on bodycam mics ordering his officers to gun down Dial rather than run him off the road and risk cosmetic damage to their cruisers; after he arrived on the scene and observed Dial's corpse, he was recorded saying "They said 'we’re ramming him.' I said, 'Don’t ram him, shoot him.' Fuck that shit. Ain't gonna tear up my cars. I love this shit. God, I tell you what, I thrive on it. If they don’t think I’ll give the damn order to kill that motherfucker they’re full of shit. Take him out. I’m here on the damn wrong end of the county." Read the rest

New York City's Right to Know Act requires cops to record people's explicit consent to warrantless stop-and-frisks

You could write books about the evils of "broken windows" policing and its handmaiden, stop-and-frisk searches (this is a rather good one, in fact), and few places have been more prolific in the racist pursuit of this policy than New York City, where walking-while-brown is a one-way ticket to being stopped, searched, even stripped, all without a warrant or any particularized suspicion. Read the rest

When Las Vegas cops put on bodycams, they used 37% less force and generated 30% fewer complaints

A study published this year traces policing outcomes in Las Vegas between Sept 2014 and Oct 2015, comparing the conduct of 200 officers who wore bodycams and 200 who did not. Read the rest

Pueblo, CO bust falls apart because cop staged his bodycam footage to frame his suspect

Colorado prosecutors have dismissed felony drug and weapons charges against a suspect because they learned that Pueblo Police Department offier Seth Jensen defrauded the court by faking his bodycam footage, "recreating" his bust after the suspect's car was in the impound lot. Read the rest

Taser ships a pistol-holster sensor that triggers record mode in all nearby bodycams when cops draw their guns

The Signal Sidearm is a sensor designed to be fitted to a police pistol holster: when triggered, it wirelessly signals all nearby police bodycams to go into record-and-archive mode. It's made by Axon, the bodycam division of Taser International. Read the rest

Mom reports assault on her son to Ft Worth cop, who wrestles her to the ground, then arrests her and her daughter

On Dec 21, Jacqueline Craig called the Fort Worth, TX police to report that her neighbor had choked her 7-year-old son; the cop who arrived was belligerent and dismissive, blamed her son for littering and her for not parenting him adequately, and then, when she became upset at his refusal to take her report, he violently wrestled her and her teen daughter to the ground, cuffed them and arrested them. Read the rest

Study: with body-worn cameras, complaints against police "virtually vanish"

Complaints against police dropped by 93% when they were wearing body cameras, according to a University of Cambridge study that examined 2,000 officers in the US and UK. Read the rest

Not one Boston cop volunteers to wear a bodycam

Boston's police do not want to be accountable for their actions: not a single officer volunteered to participate in a pilot program for the force's bodycams, which will now be randomly distributed.

The Boston Globe reports [Police Commissioner William ] Evans made the comments Tuesday during his monthly "Ask the Commissioner" interview on WGBH-FM's Boston Public Radio. The move comes after Evans warned that he might have to force officers to wear them because no officers volunteered. The rollout date for the pilot program is Sept. 1.

The Boston Herald reports that they're still trying to find a way to avoid wearing the cameras.

Patrolman’s Association President Patrick M. Rose has said forcing officers to wear body cameras goes against the deal the union reached with the department. Rose did not respond to requests for comment yesterday. ... Attorney Leonard Kesten, who regularly represents officers, said the union may claim “unfair labor practices” if it deems that body cameras are a change in working conditions. But personally, he said he is in favor of them.

A sad reminder that it's not a case of bad apples, in many police departments, but a rotten barrel. What better reason to place public servants under scrutiny than their attempts to evade it? Read the rest

Study: bodycams increase some fatal police shootings

"Use of wearable video cameras is associated with a 3.64% increase in shooting-deaths of civilians by the police," according to a research paper from Temple University. Here's where this research gets more interesting: Read the rest

Chicago cops switched off bodycams and high-fived after shooting unarmed black teen

The Chicago Independent Police Review Authority has released a video showing the aftermath of the July 28 police shooting of an unarmed black man, in which the officers checked to ensure that their body-cameras were switched off and then gave each other high fives. Read the rest

Chinese government decrees that it is always legal to video-record the police

Chinese state corruption is so weird and manifest that it has its own literary movement, and the use of the internet to uncover corruption has become a political football that has spilled over into the Chinese press, and into street-brawls. Read the rest

North Carolina adopts the nation's worst police bodycam law

House Bill 972, signed into law by NC governor Pat McCrory [R] on Tuesday, makes police dashcam and bodycam footage off-limits to public records requests, off-limits to anyone who isn't personally pictured in the footage, and then only by request, which can be turned down, forcing subjects to appeal to the state Supreme Court. Read the rest

FBI Director: viral videos make cops afraid to do their jobs

FBI Director James Comey told reporters that "viral video effect" (which is his latest term for what used to be called the "Ferguson effect") is responsible for increased violent crime in some US cities, in that police are scared to do their jobs because they might end up on Youtube in an unflattering video. Read the rest

Unarmed man begged for life before AZ cop with "YOU'RE FUCKED" sticker on rifle shot him to death

Daniel Shaver said "please don't shoot me" moments before Officer Philip Brailsford shot him five times. Shaver was unarmed. Read the rest

Man gasps dying words into officer's bodycam: "They're killing me right now... I can't breathe."

In 2013, Ana Biocini called the Oakland police because she'd heard a noise and thought there might be an intruder in the house. When the police arrived, they handcuffed her brother, Hernan Jaramillo, "without any lawful reason or justification," dragged him 20 feet down the sidewalk, threw him facedown into the ground, and three officers knelt on him while he begged for breath. The 51 year old man died at the scene. Read the rest

Should cops be allowed to see bodycam footage before filing reports?

As bodycams roll out in more and more American police departments, officers are asking to be allowed to review footage of shootings before they file their reports, on the grounds that fallible memories from high-stress moments can be augmented by footage -- but of course, this would also help an officer know how much he can lie without getting contradicted by the video evidence. Read the rest

Obama Calls For Turret-Mounted Video Cameras On All Police Tanks

As always, the Onion's headline nails it. Read the rest

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