Should cops be wearing video cameras?

Mpls. police move toward the crowd.
Minneapolis police move closer to the rowdy crowd in Minneapolis.
Bridget Bennett / The Minnesota Daily

Eighteen-year-old Michael Brown was memorialized Monday at a St. Louis church. The teenager's shooting death sparked a lot of questions about what we might know about what happened that day between Brown and Officer Darren Wilson if the police officer had been wearing a body camera.

Police in Minneapolis this fall will begin wearing cameras as part of a pilot project.

In Burnsville, cops are expanding their use of body cams. KARE 11 reports,

The Burnsville Police Department will expand the use of on-body cameras this fall, in recognition of the benefit of recording officers' interactions with the public.

"The goal is the protect officer, to protect the citizen and actually document exactly what's happening out there in the street," Burnsville Police Chief Eric Gieseke told KARE.

The case of the officer-involved shooting in Ferguson, Missouri has reignited the debate about body cameras.

Currently, 35 of the department's 51 officers are wearing the cameras, which must be started and stopped manually. The chief says officers, by and large, are happy with the recorders and do their best to record their encounters with members of the public.

"So really our goal too is to create good cases for court and really show from the perspective of the officer when they arrive on the scene what actually they're seeing."

Howard Wasserman, a law professor at Florida International University, says many police departments favor body cams because they might reduce complaints against officers. And he says cams have support among the public, which sees the devices as a way to curb police misconduct.

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But law enforcement body cams are certainly not infallible. On The Daily Circuit, we discuss what research reveals about their value and what you might call the "blind spot" of body cams.

Do you think more police departments should be replacing dash cams with body cams? How comfortable would you be in knowing that any interaction you might have with a police officer was being recorded? Leave your comments below.

More reading:

Putting Body Cameras on Cops Is Hardly a Cure-All for Abuses (Mother Jones)

Why Cops Need Cameras (National Review)

California police use of body cameras cuts violence and complaints) (The Guardian)

Even Police Body Cameras Can Lose Sight Of The Truth (NPR)