Josh Mitchell's Defcon presentation analyzes the security of five popular brands of police bodycams (Vievu, Patrol Eyes, Fire Cam, Digital Ally, and CeeSc) and reveals that they are universally terrible, though the Digital Ally models are the least bad of the batch, as Wired's Lily Hay Newman reports.
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Amazon bills its Rekognition image classification system as a "deep learning-based image and video analysis" system; it markets the system to US police forces for use in analyzing security camera footage, including feeds from police officers' bodycams.
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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."
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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.
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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.
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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
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
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
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
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
"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
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 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
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 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
Daniel Shaver said "please don't shoot me" moments before Officer Philip Brailsford shot him five times. Shaver was unarmed. Read the rest
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