Boston, MA- When an encounter between a police officer and a civilian takes a wrong turn or ends in violence, it can sometimes be hard to tell which party is telling the truth. Police are generally trustworthy, but there are some out-of-control officers on the force who are more than willing to use excessive force or wrongfully arrest suspects to make themselves look better.
Boston PD Ends Body Camera Program
On September 13, 2017, the Boston PD ended their body camera pilot program without little certainty about its future. The department may decide to use body cameras permanently, but that hasn’t been determined yet.
Initially, the Boston Police Patrolman’s Association tried to block the program but relented and agreed to participate in the pilot for six months. In March 2017, the union and the police department decided to extend the program for an additional six months.
Police Commissioner William B. Evans said consultants would review over 4,000 hours of footage gathered by Boston officers participating in the program to the determine the effectiveness of body cameras. The Boston Globe reports that it could take up to nine months to decide if the force will make the body camera program permanent.
Data Suggests Body Cameras Reduce Misconduct Complaints
While Boston Police Commissioner William B. Evans and the officer’s union are still unsure about body cameras, prior studies have found they actually reduce excessive force complaints.
In a 2015 study conducted by the University of Florida on behalf of the Orlando Police Department, found that use-of-force reports filed by officers fell 53 percent over a 12-month period and excessive force complaints against officers fell 65 percent, the Huffington Post reports. The study also found that civil injuries caused by officers decreased significantly.
According to the Huffington Post, officers said civilian behavior changed when they were wearing cameras, and they helped diffused potentially violent incidents.
Most criticism of body cameras concerns the cost. Police departments need digital storage and lots of it to store body camera footage. Storing and managing body camera footage is a monumental task, but these cameras are beneficial to police forces and could save them from costly civil suits.
Body Cameras Won’t Stop All Misconduct
Plenty of violent encounters between officers and detainees have been recorded on body cameras, so it’s clear they won’t stop all police misconduct. If an officer uses excessive force, tries to plant evidence on you, or makes up charges, you need to speak to a police brutality lawyer in Boston to see if you have a valid case to pursue. USAttorneys.com can help you locate a skilled attorney near your location to help you file a police misconduct complaint.