A-R wrote:Whether or not cops are recorded is not the issue that reveals your anti-cop bias (most already are - dash cams). The issue I have with BOTH of your written assertions is that you both place a higher value on police oversight (body cams) than police safety (body armor). I find that open admission from both of you staggering and very telling of the value you place on your socio-political ideals and voyeristic "gotcha" wants over an officer's physical safety and quite possibly his/her life. Seems both of you would rather see video of an officer shot and killed than to have an officer alive with a slug in his vest but no video to quickly and easily "prove" how nor why.
If you'd said we want body cameras AND body armor, then there would be no issue and no labeling. But you both willfully and seemingly happily announced your twisted logic.
Go ahead and spin this and pontificate all you want. I'm done. Should've stayed out earlier - my mistake.
Nice try. An attempted preemptory strike of ad hominem, name calling, red-herring, and straw-man "arguments." I'll go a step further and state unequivocally that the mantra of "officer safety" has gone way too far and is now to the point where the results of this philosophy threaten public backlash.
It is safer to be a cop now than it has been in about 100 years. I posted stats on another thread proving that assaults on LEOs are at a 10 year low and LEO deaths, unadjusted for population are on a downward trend. Adjusted for population LEO deaths have declined dramatically. For instance, 116 LEOs were killed in 1914, when the US population was about 100 million, less than a third of what it is today. In 2014 117 LEOs were killed. The bloodiest period for US law enforcement by far was between 1920 and 1935. Furthermore, over the past 10 years, traffic related fatalities have outnumbered deaths by gunshot by 605 to 539. http://www.nleomf.org/facts/officer-fatalities-data/year.htm
There are no such exact totals of citizens killed by police. Is that because the police are anti-citizen? However, it is estimated that these deaths average around 400 a year. Some claim the numbers are much higher. In 2014 the estimate of citizens killed by police is 593. And that isn't just more than 4 times the number of LEOs killed, it's more than 10 times, because only 48 LEOs were killed by gunshot in 2014, and the same number were killed in traffic accidents. Yeah, cameras are not a panacea but they are an aid in determining if a killing is justified. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_killings_by_law_enforcement_officers_in_the_United_States
Furthermore, law enforcement is far from being the most deadly occupation in America. LEO deaths have been hovering around 18 per 100,000 (and this rate includes traffic accidents, not just criminal assaults for which body armor would help). Commercial fishermen have a death rate in the range of 120 to 160 per 100,000. Other occupations that are more deadly than law enforcement: loggers (102 per 100,000), pilots and flight engineers (57 per 100,000), refuse collectors (41 per 100,000), roofers (32 per 100,000), steel workers (27 per 100,000), farmers and ranchers (25 per 100,000), sales workers and truck drivers (24 per 100,000), power company linemen (20 per 100,000), and taxi drivers (19 per 100,000) --approximate rates based on the link provided.http://pattyinglishms.hubpages.com/hub/Most_Dangerous_Jobs
Everyone should get to come home at night, not just LEOs. Being a LEO is not supposed to be risk free and totally safe, and in fact, can't be and also keep the public trust. It's strange how militaristic the police have become while at the same time eschewing the associated spirit of sacrifice. I entered the military prepared to die in the line of duty. Sometimes we did things that weren't "safe." The military is the public defense against external enemies. The police are supposed to be the public defense against the internal enemies of society. It's not an occupation that can be without risk, but it's not particularly dangerous either and it is supposed to entail a sense of public duty and obligation, just like military service.
The camera or vest "argument" is a false dichotomy. LEOs on this board have said that their departments do not issue them a handgun. Some have to purchase all their own equipment. These polices are known to those seeking employment in a given department. Personally, I think departments should issue body armor and provide a stipend for purchasing a handgun (which I think should, within certain needs dictated by department policy be a personal choice)...or a least a stipend for an officer to purchase his own body armor. Policing is one of the only legitimate functions of government so I have no problem with getting the funds from some other part of whatever budget.
However, just like LEOs are perfectly capable of providing a sidearm at their own expense, along with other equipment, they're also capable of acquiring body armor at their own expense ---IF they consider it important enough. Obviously, many do not. And equally obvious is that fact that much of the time there are officers who don't wear it even when they have it because they feel the risk of not wearing it is not outweighed by the discomfort of wearing it.
OTOH, LEOs are very UNLIKELY to spend their own money on body cameras. Some might, but which LEOs are going to be the least likely to purchase and properly use a body camera? Those who are most likely to transgress and don't want evidence of their transgression. Body armor is also a stand alone item, like a handgun. For body cameras to be effective at protecting LEOs and the public there has to be some centralized method of storing and accessing the recorded video, effort and expense required beyond the resources of the individual LEO.
So, yeah, for all these reasons I think body cameras should be purchased by a department before body armor --not instead of. Just like many departments purchase other equipment and don't issue sidearms. Such a policy does not prevent a LEO from acquiring body armor. Not having LEOs with body cameras does prevent citizens from acquiring some important additional measure of police accountability. LEOs get a choice in the matter either way, citizens do not.
"Journalism, n. A job for people who flunked out of STEM courses, enjoy making up stories, and have no detectable integrity or morals."
From the WeaponsMan blog, weaponsman.com