Embrace Transparency on Body Cams

14791866078_154b636d92_qThe New England First Amendment Coalition yesterday urged law enforcement in Vermont to release all body camera footage of a recent police shooting of an unarmed man. Questions about body cameras, their use by police and their implication on public record laws have become increasingly common as more officers are beginning to use the technology. Please see the coverage of NEFAC’s statement below, as well as a recent on-point editorial by the Caledonian Record.

From the Caledonian Record:

“As more officers throughout the region begin using body and dash cams, it’s necessary for police departments to set a standard of transparency and trust,” said Justin Silverman, NEFAC’s executive director. “In police shooting cases such as this, there is a need for credibility and camera footage provides an important source of information for the public. The recordings in this case should be released as soon as possible so the public better understands how the shooting occurred and how law enforcement reacted.”

We agree wholeheartedly with Silverman. As body and dashboard cameras become more prevalent among police, Vermont can lead the nation and provide a model playbook by embracing transparency and building public trust. [Full Editorial]

More coverage of NEFAC’s statement on the Winooski shooting and the release of police body camera footage:

Body camera stock photo taken by Flickr user West Midlands Police and used with permission through a Creative Commons 2.0 license.