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Via St Louis Post 30min ago..

Police officers here began wearing body cameras on Saturday as marchers took to the streets in the most recent protest of a shooting three weeks earlier by a city officer that left an unarmed teenager dead.

Ferguson Police Chief Tom Jackson said his department was given about 50 body cameras by two companies, Safety Visions and Digital Ally, about a week ago. The companies donated the body cameras after the fatal shooting on Aug. 9 of Michael Brown Jr. by Ferguson officer Darren Wilson.

Video recordings are seen as a way to allow judges and juries to follow police-involved events as they unfold, helping to shed light through the often-conflicting or hazy recollections of witnesses.

In the wake of Brown’s shooting, other police departments in the St. Louis area are also moving toward the use of wearable cameras. Ellisville approved a $7,500 expenditure shortly after the shooting to buy cameras for its officers.

They are also catching on elsewhere. Earlier this month, a New York City official championed a $5 million pilot program to outfit 15 percent of the city’s police officers with wearable cameras.

Meanwhile, 152,000 people have signed a petition to establish a national “Mike Brown Law” requiring all police to wear cameras.

Good news here, and good job by the American companies who are donating these high quality cameras to the police. And the police seem to like them too. Its win-win..

(update) the Times of Trenton NJ has a nice editorial on police cams:

The deaths of Michael Brown in Missouri and Eric Garner in New York have increased public demand to equip police with on-body cameras, both to provide greater transparency and to decrease chances for the misuse of deadly force.

Now Gov. Chris Christie has on his desk a law requiring that police vehicles either have cameras mounted on them, or that officers be required to wear the small devices while on patrol – a laudable measure that deserves the governor’s signature.

In light of the tragic incidents, law-enforcement officials are taking a harder look at wearable cameras: small devices that attach to an officer’s lapel or collar, and record both video and audio at the touch of a button.

The Southern California city of Rialto, population 100,000, has become something of a poster child for the cameras’ success. The city’s police department saw an 88 percent decline in the number of complaints against officers in a yearlong trial of the cameras.

Incidents of police force against suspects also declined. The results were so striking that the city made the devices mandatory when the experiment ended last year.

The cameras already are in wide use in England, Australia and Brazil. The small Burlington County borough of Riverton became the first municipality in New Jersey to buy the cameras back in 2012, and now at least 20 law-enforcement agencies statewide have signed on, the latest being Atlantic City. U.S. Rep. Adam Schiff, a Democrat from California, is asking colleagues to sign on to a letter urging U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder to help all law-enforcement agencies purchase the equipment.

The police and the people they serve both benefit. Not only do the cameras help protect community residents from police misconduct, but they also shield cops from bogus complaints by documenting potentially charged situations.

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