Unlike many law-and-order conservatives, I'm tentatively in favor of mounting cameras on police weapons if the civilian political leaders think it would improve law enforcement.
New York police officers could carry mini-cameras on their guns under a proposal to bolster public confidence following a spate of controversial shootings.
The device, whose introduction is gaining support among state politicians, would create a visual and audio recording of police shootings for use in court.
Officers would not be able to tamper with the five-ounce camera which works by shooting out a bright red laser light at whatever is in the gun barrel’s path within two seconds of the weapon being drawn. The camera would continue to operate for up to an hour.
The laser light could only be switched off if might expose the officer to danger in a dark area. The camera footage could also be used to identify suspects.
I am a big supporter of police, and think they do a wonderful job 99% of the time, but I also realize that some jurisdictions have social/political considerations that put police in as much danger as criminals do. These cameras could exonerate police who are harassed by trouble-makers for justified uses of force.
Furthermore, I think the trend towards paramilitary police units is dangerous, and these sorts of cameras could encourage more careful police work.