Body Worn Video Steering Group
As part of a keynote address at the David N. Dinkins Leadership and Public Policy Forum in New York former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton expressed support for police body cameras, commenting “we should make sure that every police department in the country has police cameras to record interactions.”
She added “That will improve transparency and accountability and help good people on both sides of the lens.” Clinton also expressed support for President Obama’s police training task force and other justice reform efforts, which have funded 50,000 body cameras to be distributed nationally
Touching on larger issues of police violence and criminal justice reform “it is rare to see Democrats and Republicans agree on anything today,” Clinton said, “but we’re beginning to agree on this: we need to restore balance to our criminal justice system.” Later in the speech, Clinton made the point even more forcefully: “We need to end the era of mass incarceration.”
Still, there have been significant concerns that cameras alone will not be enough to counter police violence, particularly if departments have the ability to delete footage in the event of a controversy. Still, today’s speech suggests the cameras will be a live issue in Clinton’s campaign for the presidency, which she launched earlier this month.
“There is something wrong when trust between law enforcement and the communities they serve breaks down … We must urgently begin to rebuild bonds of trust and respect among American between police and citizens.”
Clinton was not clear to explain how police forces would pay for body cameras on all officers, but this speech suggests it will form part of her presidential campaign.