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Cameras, Corruption, and Cops

August 28, 2014 5 Comments

Well, as through the world I’ve rambled, I’ve seen lots of funny
Some rob you with a sixgun, some with a fountain pen- Woody Guthrie

I have been advocating for cameras on cops because it makes sense. Even if you don’t think the police are corrupt you must agree that getting evidence straight is a boon to justice. There is a petition being circulated by citizens who are demanding that all cops be wired with cameras when on duty.  I think it is essential to somehow regain respect for local law enforcement, but many of us have direct experience of cops wildly abusing their power.  My neighborhood has a fake neighborhood watch for the sole purpose of willfully denying crime.  This has lowered our quality of life for years and certainly lowered our opinion of the Tucson Police Department.  It seems that they apply for grant money by gathering signatures and submitting them to some agency claiming that they are doing some kind of relationship building or neighborhood policing.  It does not matter if the signatures are all gathered from folks who are committing heavy duty crimes against their neighbors, or that the cops refuse to respond to citizens reporting those crimes (for years).  They support these corrupt activities with Federal grant funding because it is so easy to defraud the funding agency.  Cops never expect to be investigated and act accordingly.

While I am also saddened by the loss of life and violent deaths of innocent citizens at the hands of cops, I believe that corrupt cops do more financial damage than we can imagine.  I think every word that comes out of  an on duty cop’s mouth must be recorded for everyone’s benefit.  The police departments using the camera system report a huge drop in complaints about the force, so I don’t know why they would resist this idea of recording what they do while they are on salary.  The people with the most potential to damage public trust in the police are the cops who interact with the public “informing” us.   Delivering highly edited and mendacious information is not the same as communicating with the public.  Communication is not a one way street.  Both parties have valid positions in communication.  Both parties are honest in ethical conversations.  In order for the public to have ethical conversations with police we need back up and evidence that protects us…the citizens.  We know cops protect and serve themselves, but I want them to start to protect and serve the public with the same zeal.  I do not think this will naturally occur.  Please sign the petition and communicate with the White House on this important issue.  It would be great to be able to trust the cops.



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