New bills about cops

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ELB
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New bills about cops

Postby ELB » Thu Apr 02, 2015 9:44 am

When I was looking at the House committee meeting calendar, I noticed the Select Committee on Emerging Issues in Texas Law Enforcement has a meeting on 9 April.



The Hearing Notice lists the six bills as being considered. I have not read any of them yet, but I note that one of them deals with others recording (and other activities) police (and this is NOT the one (HB2918) we already had a discussion about), and three deal with police body cameras.

HB 368 Villalba Relating to the duties of a peace officer investigating a family violence allegation or responding to a disturbance call that may involve family violence and the admissibility of certain evidence obtained during that investigation or response.

HB 455 Johnson | et al. Relating to a body worn camera program for certain law enforcement agencies in this state.

HB 474 Reynolds Relating to requiring certain law enforcement officers to wear body worn cameras.

HB 541 Canales Relating to the electronic recording of certain custodial interrogations.

HB 1035 Johnson Relating to criminal offenses involving the filming, recording, photographing, documenting, or observing of a peace officer.

HB 3053 Fletcher Relating to complaints against a law enforcement officer or fire fighter.

HB 3929 Fletcher Relating to the use of automatic license plate reader systems; creating a criminal offense.

HR 1349 Wu Requesting the speaker to create an interim committee to study issues relating to police body camera equipment.


ETA: I took a quick peek at HB1035 -- it basically says it is a defense to prosecution for Interference with Public Duties if recording/photographing/documenting/observing was what you were doing (as long as you obey lawful orders to change position or proximity).
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Re: New bills about cops

Postby nightmare69 » Thu Apr 09, 2015 12:37 pm

After seeing videos of OCers in Austin shoving huge shoulder mounted cameras in troopers faces I would like to see a bill that would prevent them from getting too close. After watching the video I'm reminded of my brother holding his finger 1/4in from my face saying, "I'm not touching you". Annoying to say the least. Record all you want but getting in the way or in the face of a LEO is unnecessary and most do it just to jerks and try to get a reaction to up their view count on YouTube.
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Re: New bills about cops

Postby steveincowtown » Thu Apr 09, 2015 12:53 pm

nightmare69 wrote:After seeing videos of OCers in Austin shoving huge shoulder mounted cameras in troopers faces I would like to see a bill that would prevent them from getting too close. After watching the video I'm reminded of my brother holding his finger 1/4in from my face saying, "I'm not touching you". Annoying to say the least. Record all you want but getting in the way or in the face of a LEO is unnecessary and most do it just to jerks and try to get a reaction to up their view count on YouTube.



What is the appropriate distance for freedom? Serious question though.

From the videos I have seen LEO are more than happy to approach/ get in the personal space of the folks filming than vice versa. I have seen ZERO videos where someone is filming so close that the LEO turns around and his surprised or threatened. I have seen 100s where someone is filming at a safe distance and the LEO chooses to engage them.

Don't get me wrong, I am sure these situations can be challenging for an LEO, but those who aren't doing wrong don't have anything to be scared of.
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Re: New bills about cops

Postby A-R » Thu Apr 09, 2015 1:32 pm

The appropriate distance away from a police investigation is far enough that your presence does not create a dangerous distraction.

Appropriate distance for freedom? Cute. But we all know that is not the issue. Your freedom stops where it infringes upon others' rights, duties, and privileges.


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Re: New bills about cops

Postby steveincowtown » Thu Apr 09, 2015 1:49 pm

A-R wrote:The appropriate distance away from a police investigation is far enough that your presence does not create a dangerous distraction.



Not disputing that police need space to work. Again though, I have had seen zero videos where someone filming caused a dangerous situation. I have seen lots where LEOs have decided to engage people filming them. To my knowledge there is also zero proof (anecdotal or on the record) that someone filming a cop has caused a dangerous distraction that caused an incident.

I will concede that the majority of people who make a habit out of filming the police are children. If LEOs were smart they would treat them as such and ignore them. As soon as people quit getting that "gotcha" moment from LEO, I imagine they will find a new hobby.

On the topic of body cameras, the real data shows that when cops wear body cameras EVERYONE (including them) behaves better.

http://www.policefoundation.org/content ... -use-force

"The findings suggest more than a 50% reduction in the total number of incidents of use-of-force compared to control-conditions, and nearly ten times more citizens’ complaints in the 12-months prior to the experiment."


I hope TX passes some sort of bill to require body cameras.
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Re: New bills about cops

Postby nightmare69 » Thu Apr 09, 2015 2:45 pm

The one video that comes to mind was the gentleman who was arrested for OC a black powder handgun in front of the Governor Perry's mansion. This was the same guy who OC a AR in Walmart. There are a couple more videos like that with those recording trying to get a reaction from DPS. I'm on my phone but I'll try to post a link.

This is the video. These angry OC activist get way too close for comfort.

http://youtu.be/uZyKh-5RZ1s

I cannot enable it on my phone. If the link doesn't work the title of the video is...Two or more open carry activists falsely arrested. Near roit ensues.

It's 14mins long.
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Re: New bills about cops

Postby nightmare69 » Thu Apr 09, 2015 3:07 pm

steveincowtown wrote:
A-R wrote:The appropriate distance away from a police investigation is far enough that your presence does not create a dangerous distraction.



Not disputing that police need space to work. Again though, I have had seen zero videos where someone filming caused a dangerous situation. I have seen lots where LEOs have decided to engage people filming them. To my knowledge there is also zero proof (anecdotal or on the record) that someone filming a cop has caused a dangerous distraction that caused an incident.

I will concede that the majority of people who make a habit out of filming the police are children. If LEOs were smart they would treat them as such and ignore them. As soon as people quit getting that "gotcha" moment from LEO, I imagine they will find a new hobby.

On the topic of body cameras, the real data shows that when cops wear body cameras EVERYONE (including them) behaves better.

http://www.policefoundation.org/content ... -use-force

"The findings suggest more than a 50% reduction in the total number of incidents of use-of-force compared to control-conditions, and nearly ten times more citizens’ complaints in the 12-months prior to the experiment."


I hope TX passes some sort of bill to require body cameras.


You prepared to foot the bill? Many small departments cannot afford the cost and upkeep of body cams. I've personally gone through 3 shoulder mics in less than a year. I would love to have a body cam but my dept and many others simply cannot afford them.
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Re: New bills about cops

Postby A-R » Thu Apr 09, 2015 3:23 pm

THIS

There are still officers in small departments who are not issued BODY ARMOR! Let's fix that problem before we start throwing money at body cameras.


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Re: New bills about cops

Postby steveincowtown » Thu Apr 09, 2015 3:28 pm

nightmare69 wrote:You prepared to foot the bill? Many small departments cannot afford the cost and upkeep of body cams. I've personally gone through 3 shoulder mics in less than a year. I would love to have a body cam but my dept and many others simply cannot afford them.


Taser Version is $399.

https://www.taser.com/products/on-officer-video

Seems within reason. I will concede that I have heard that the real cost in storing the data.
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Re: New bills about cops

Postby Papa_Tiger » Thu Apr 09, 2015 3:52 pm

Video storage and retention, as well as servicing FOIA requests for the video are the larger issues than just having the cameras.

Many of the officers I know would like to have body cameras, but there is a lot of additional expense that the department would have to absorb for each officer to have a camera and address the aforementioned concerns.


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Re: New bills about cops

Postby Cedar Park Dad » Thu Apr 09, 2015 3:54 pm

A-R wrote:THIS

There are still officers in small departments who are not issued BODY ARMOR! Let's fix that problem before we start throwing money at body cameras.


I'd rather spend the money on body cameras. :tiphat:
I'd be ok with making that a state expenditure though.

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Re: New bills about cops

Postby A-R » Thu Apr 09, 2015 3:56 pm

Cedar Park Dad wrote:
A-R wrote:THIS

There are still officers in small departments who are not issued BODY ARMOR! Let's fix that problem before we start throwing money at body cameras.


I'd rather spend the money on body cameras. :tiphat:
I'd be ok with making that a state expenditure though.


That's because you're not the person who has to wear either.


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Re: New bills about cops

Postby Cedar Park Dad » Thu Apr 09, 2015 4:00 pm

A-R wrote:
Cedar Park Dad wrote:
A-R wrote:THIS

There are still officers in small departments who are not issued BODY ARMOR! Let's fix that problem before we start throwing money at body cameras.


I'd rather spend the money on body cameras. :tiphat:
I'd be ok with making that a state expenditure though.


That's because you're not the person who has to wear either.


You're right. And? Like everything else, if you don't like the terms of employment, do something else.

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Re: New bills about cops

Postby A-R » Thu Apr 09, 2015 4:08 pm

Cedar Park Dad wrote:
A-R wrote:
Cedar Park Dad wrote:
A-R wrote:THIS

There are still officers in small departments who are not issued BODY ARMOR! Let's fix that problem before we start throwing money at body cameras.


I'd rather spend the money on body cameras. :tiphat:
I'd be ok with making that a state expenditure though.


That's because you're not the person who has to wear either.


You're right. And? Like everything else, if you don't like the terms of employment, do something else.


Wow, you pull out the universal conversation ender rather quickly. Then what? What's next? What do you propose after a large percentage of the good cops say "heck with this" and quit?

My comparison was a moral barometer about what you place the most import: officer safety (body armor) or officer oversight (body camera). Obviously, what you deem most important for your "employees" is clear. Just don't be surprised when your choices start sending the good employees looking for greener pastures.

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Re: New bills about cops

Postby mojo84 » Thu Apr 09, 2015 4:11 pm

A-R wrote:THIS

There are still officers in small departments who are not issued BODY ARMOR! Let's fix that problem before we start throwing money at body cameras.



I too think all officers should have armor available. I've offered to put on a fundraiser to help get it for our deputies that do not have it. My offer hasn't been accepted yet and the initial feedback was that the ones that really want it and would wear it, especially during the summer, already have it. That's also one reason it wasn't budgeted. I suspect there are other things that have been purchased instead of body armor that would not have taken priority if all officers were committed to wearing it.

Have you offered such? If so, what was the feedback you received? Have you looked at the budget to see what has been purchased instead of body armor?


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