With so many police forces being saddled with body cams against their (or their union’s) will, you’d think this form of public accountability (but not really, because so many legislators are helping cops opt out of the “accountability” part) was foisted upon law enforcement by axe-grinders looking to finally expose the proverbial “bad apples.” There’s some truth to that, seeing as some of these implementations have originated as stipulations in settlements with the DOJ.
But what can damn can also exonerate. This video, posted by notorious cop-haters* CopBlock (who, in return, are universally hated by haters of cop-haters…), shows that body cam recordings aren’t solely there to encourage cops to be on their best behavior. They’re also there to nudge citizens in the right direction. But in this case, the “aggrieved” citizen was far too impaired to notice her dramatics were being observed by an unblinking eye.
*I am, of course, using the term facetiously.
The young woman in the video attempts to set the officer up by using her phone to record an audio only performance meant to make it appear as though he was acting inappropriately. She was attempting to ‘flip the script’. What she failed to realize is that the entire thing, including her devious performance, were recorded.
Audio-only: for when you want a certain version of the “truth” on record. (Still a step ahead of the FBI’s pen-and-paper interrogation “recordings…”) After failing a field sobriety test, this woman thought she could turn an embarrassing arrest into sexual assault allegations. She asks to use the restroom, and while in there, wonders aloud (a bit too aloud, apparently) how she can get her arresting officer in trouble. Cue the false accusations of “inappropriately touching” her while she was in the squad car and her saying, “Please don’t touch me” when the officer is outside the bathroom door, getting this all down on his body cam.
Now, while this does show that body cams can help cops, rather than just “hurting” them, there’s still the issue that far too many agencies retain strict control of the resulting footage. This was released by the involved police department — something likely expedited by the fact that the recording showed no wrongdoing by the officer. The real test of this department’s transparency will come when the disputed footage isn’t nearly as flattering.