Los Angeles City police officers are increasingly becoming equipped with body cameras. The cameras, introduced gradually over the last year, record officer activities as they interact with the public. Though the plan for body cameras has been in the works for a considerable amount of time, the incidents of police involved shootings in recent months throughout the nation have exacerbated demand.
Though details are still emerging on exactly how the cameras will be used, multiple media reports indicate that the Department has just ordered 3,000 Tasers that, when used, automatically activate the cameras. Previously the Department had purchased several hundred body cameras with plans to purchase several thousand more in the coming months. TIME reports that if LA carries out its plan for body cameras, it would be the largest agency in the nation to fully adopt body cameras. Eventually all 6,000 plus officers will be equipped with the body cameras.
The deaths of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Eric Garner in New York, Ezell Ford in Los Angeles and other unarmed black men throughout the nation over the last several months have created intense scrutiny on police. This is especially true since none of the officers involved in the shootings has been charged with a crime. By having video documentation of interactions between the police and the public more readily available, perhaps there will be more trust developed at a time when such trust is at a premium.