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house Bill H. Res. 295

Should the House Support Police Body Cameras?

Argument in favor

Body cameras help both civilians and police. They make police more aware of their actions, thereby reducing violent interactions, and provide them with evidence when there’s a lawsuit — evidence that could acquit police. It’s a win-win.

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08/11/2015
"We need to federally fund and require body cameras for law enforcement officers to make it easier to hold them accountable." [berniesanders.com]
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BarackObama's Opinion
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08/11/2015
"there's been a lot of talk about body cameras as a silver bullet or a solution. I think the task force concluded that there is a role for technology to play in building additional trust and accountability, but it's not a panacea." [cnn.com]
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tea's Opinion
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07/24/2015
Body cameras would help police become more cognizant of their actions; because, you know, sometimes it is difficult to notice when you're putting a nonviolent civilian in a chokehold.
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Argument opposed

Body cameras don’t work. They’re not going to stop bad cops from beating people up— police have killed people on video — and they’re going to make good cops feel micromanaged. This is pointless.

LibertyForAll's Opinion
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08/02/2015
This is a State/Local issue, that should be voted on as such.
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Eric's Opinion
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12/05/2015
Put a body camera with audio on the president. all members of congress and the Supreme Court justices 24/7. They're committing more crimes and are involved in more conspiracies against the American people than all law enforcement officers put together.
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ark4162's Opinion
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06/11/2015
Not the federal government's call. Leave it to the local municpalities. They know what's best for their district. Also if something isn't working chances are there's a model in a similar city somewhere to follow and fix it.
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What is House Bill H. Res. 295?

This resolution seeks to improve the relationship between citizens and police by having the House of Representatives formally promote the use of body cameras by law enforcement.

After referring to two studies that find on body cameras, the resolution asks the House to:

  • Formally acknowledge law enforcement’s effort to keep civilians safe,
  • Recognize the ability of body cameras to improve relations between citizens and police,
  • Encourage State and local law enforcement to consider using them.

Impact

Police and law enforcement officers, police accountability groups, the House of Representatives.

Cost of House Bill H. Res. 295

A CBO cost estimate is unavailable — though with most resolutions, you can probably bet that it won't cost anything other than the time it takes for legislators to vote.

More Information

In Depth: This resolution has bipartisan support. It’s a simple resolution, not a law, which means that it’s pretty much just an expression of an opinion. The President doesn’t even have to sign it!


Of Note: The bill begins with a nod to Police Officer Body-Worn Cameras: Assessing the Evidence, a study by the Department of Justice in 2014. It’s biggest find: we don’t really know that much about how effective or ineffective body-cameras are. But it did find that wearing them could be a very beneficial tool for training police.

Scientists at the University of Cambridge, however, were able to put forward a more definitive verdict. In a study on body cameras in Rialto, California, they found that the cameras reduced both violence towards civilians by police and by police towards civilians.


Media:

Summary by James Helmsworth
(Photo Credit: Flickr user West Midlands Police

Official Title

Supporting local law enforcement agencies in their continued work to serve our communities, and supporting their use of body worn cameras to promote transparency to protect both citizens and officers alike.

simple resolution Progress


  • The house Passed June 10th, 2015
    Roll Call Vote 421 Yea / 6 Nay
      house Committees
      Committee on the Judiciary
      Crime, Terrorism and Homeland Security
    IntroducedJune 3rd, 2015

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    "We need to federally fund and require body cameras for law enforcement officers to make it easier to hold them accountable." [berniesanders.com]
    Like (152)
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    This is a State/Local issue, that should be voted on as such.
    Like (6)
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    "We have to give strength and power back to the police. You’re always going to have bad apples... [but] the police have to regain some control of this crime wave and killing wave that we have in this country." [thinkprogress.org]
    Like (61)
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    "there's been a lot of talk about body cameras as a silver bullet or a solution. I think the task force concluded that there is a role for technology to play in building additional trust and accountability, but it's not a panacea." [cnn.com]
    Like (40)
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    Body cameras would help police become more cognizant of their actions; because, you know, sometimes it is difficult to notice when you're putting a nonviolent civilian in a chokehold.
    Like (16)
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    “Number one, cops have a right to go home and see their families at night. And number two, everyone — regardless of race, ethnicity or immigration status — has a right to be treated with dignity and respect..And the only way that happens is if we see one another…and that only happens if we know one another.” [fox2now.com]
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    The cameras, as proven in the city of Rialto, "reduced both violence towards civilians by police and by police towards civilians." This could only have positive effects.
    Like (5)
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    "ought to be some consideration of ... expanding cameras (and) certainly more training," Read more at http://www.cnn.com/2015/07/31/politics/clinton-bush-share-stage-florida/
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    However!! NOT to turn on and off at Officers choice...Should remain ON AT ALL TIMES during on duty, unless on own personnel time
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    "I wish in retrospect that we had been leaders and implemented body cameras as well," [nationaljournal.com]
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    Body cameras would not only serve to protect citizens against police brutality but would also be a protection for police officers against false accusations or as a testimony to support their actions. As long as the cop isn't doing anything sketchy both parties would benefit.
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    Only support it if the funds for cameras are taken from the community which they are being used for. Don't federally tax us for something that might be unnecessary.
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    Video is invaluable in court in holding police accountable and determining the truth.
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    Put a body camera with audio on the president. all members of congress and the Supreme Court justices 24/7. They're committing more crimes and are involved in more conspiracies against the American people than all law enforcement officers put together.
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    The truth protect the good police and the public . Yes the cost may be a problem in the start but in the long run will save lots in lawsuits .
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    "there are consequences to show that we treat everyone the same in America.” Read more at http://newsone.com/3164935/gop-debate-ignores-black-lives-matter-movement-police-brutality/
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    Body cameras are one of the only ways police can be held accountable. Anybody who is doing their job right would have nothing to worry about.
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    Equipping police with body cameras will ensure all parties are protected and remove questions on police actions that may be not otherwise be available. Our police should be protected as they do their jobs. Municipalities may need Federal help to buy these cameras.
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    It's time for widespread accountability. Just like regular citizens, cops who wear body cameras and don't break the law will have nothing to worry about.
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    Technology should be used to its fullest advantage to enhance our democracy. Those who protect & serve our communities uphold our laws but should not be exempt from them. If body cameras are the only consistent & accurate means to hold officers to accountable, they should be mandatory & fully funded.
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