Although there are several police departments all throughout the state of Mississippi that require its officers to wear body cameras, the Jackson Police Department only began implementing this practice around June or July 2019. According to the Clarion Ledger, after receiving $306,000 from the city for the new equipment along with $300,000 from a grant provided on behalf of the Department of Justice, the Jackson Police Department (JPD) was able to purchase 271 Getac body-worn cameras.
The news outlet highlighted that the number of body cams purchased was “enough to equip every patrol officer in the department.” Aside from receiving a body cam, officers are also expected to be trained on how to properly use them. Not only will they be required to wear the body camera at all times, but officers are also required to turn them on once they are alerted of a call. They must leave their body cam on for the duration of the call up until the point where the call has been completed. Any officer who fails to comply with this requirement will face disciplinary action, said a Jackson Police Department spokesman.
What led to the JPD purchasing the body cams for all of its officers?
The JPD has faced a significant amount of scrutiny in the past over instances many perceived to involve police brutality. Back in January 2019, three officers allegedly beat George Robinson to death and in September 2018, Jackson police officer Vincent Lampkin was sentenced to a year in jail after he allegedly assaulted a 19-year-old during a traffic stop. The victim, John Knight III said that after Lampkin pulled him over, he attacked him. Unfortunately, the incidents don’t stop at that.
Because of the numerous police brutality and misconduct complaints the department has received and continues to receive, its spokesman believes the new body cams will “improve accountability and transparency,” they will also “serve to clear officers of alleged misconduct,” and “they will reduce the number of unnecessary excessive force complaints against the department.” Not only will these body cams, when used properly, of course, help to clear the names of officers who were falsely accused of applying unnecessary force or engaging in an act of misconduct, but they will also serve as a valuable piece of evidence in any police brutality case that arises.
I was mistreated by a Jackson, MS police officer and I think the incident was caught on camera. How can I find out if it was, in fact, recorded?
Your best bet would be to speak with a police brutality lawyer in Jackson, MS. The fact is, there are certain court documents that must be obtained before you can gain access to the police recordings that may have captured the incident. If you would like to discuss your incident with an attorney in your areas who can explain the steps that must be taken to acquire the video footage, contact Williams Newman Williams, PLLC.
Williams Newman Williams, PLLC is located at:
129B South President Street
Jackson, MS 39201