New Florida Law About Police Body Cams
You’ve heard it before—a police officer being accused of unnecessary force or even murder of suspected individuals. We’ve seen it play out in the news where sometimes the accusation is right; the cop did cross the line while other times the officer was just doing his or her job. He truth is, we need officers to be able to do their jobs, but we also want to protect our citizens from unnecessary violence. With so much back and forth and hostility between both sides, is there a solution? Perhaps body cams can be an effective tool in videoing and recording how each exchange really happened. Florida wants to make sure that body cams are handled properly.
What is the New Law?
A new Florida law requiring protocol for officer body cams may be the peace of mind everybody needs when it comes to accusations about police behavior. While the new legislation signed by Governor Rick Perry does not require the use of body cams, it does require that policies and procedures are put into place if such technology is used. Basically, police officers should understand how to use a body cam as well as the proper guidelines for storing and filing the videos. The guidelines will be set forth by each department. However, accountability and record-keeping will have to be followed consistently. If an officer has a body cam then he will be required to follow through with standard procedures put in place.
This law comes in response to the City Council’s vote to grant a $262,296 budget to purchase the body cams for Jefferson County officers. The council took action after a former officer from Palm Beach Gardens Police Department gunned down 31-year-old church drummer, Corey Jones. Jones was shot and killed by the plainclothes officer as he waited on the side of the road for a tow truck. Many people were outraged and wanted proof of what occurred between the pair. Without body cams, there was no way to really know the truth.
How it Can Help?
The police have a job to do and there will be times that altercations occur. When that happens, it serves everybody to know what actually transpired. The hope is that bad policing will be stopped and criminals can’t cry brutality if things don’t go their way. It seems like a win-win for everybody involved. While each department will have to come up with the funds to purchase the cams, it will certainly go a long way to helping everybody calm down and trust each other again.
Florida Criminal Attorney
There are still cases of unnecessary force. Did this happen to you? Do you need help with pending charges? Reach out to Attorney Scott Skier. He is located in West Palm Beach, Florida, and he offers quality legal defense. Allow his years of experience to work for you. He is available for a free consultation. Contact him today to get the help you deserve.