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Body Cameras Come Full Circle | U.S. PATRIOT NEWS & REVIEWS

Body Cameras Come Full Circle

Remember when citizens’ rights groups called for an increase in the use of body cameras? How about every time there is a police incident and the first thing you hear is, “Where is the video?” or, “Why isn’t there a video?” Well, it doesn’t look like that same attitude will be applied to the presidential inauguration.  Those same civil liberty organizations are now “concerned police will be overprotective” during the upcoming and wildly publicized protests.

It is no secret that the upcoming inauguration will consist of more than the swearing in and associated festivities – many anti-Trump groups have openly advertised their pans to protest throughout the city.  Now some of these protesters, including the DC area ACLU, are concerned that police body cameras may capture their activities. NBC 4 Washington DC reported that the DC Police Complaint Office will even have specially trained investigators monitoring the parade route to ensure officers do no become “overzealous” and potentially violate the rights of protesters.

Forgive me if I shake my head and confess confusion. Only a few short months ago, the call was for more police body cameras, one for every officer. If a department complained of the cost, questioned the retention difficulties or did anything other than immediately equip every officer, they were accused of hiding something. Now the DC Police have finally equipped every officer, and the fear is the cameras will capture too much.

I know, the protesters and their supports are concerned police will use the cameras to monitor their “lawful protests” and maybe even build a data base of who was present. The only thing I can say is get over yourself. Do these protesters really think they are that important that ANYONE cares who they are? Do they really think that the average patrolman has the time or desire to tape their activities unnecessarily? Washington DC will be flooded with dignitaries, tourists and even criminals looking to prey on those visiting the festivities. Police will be focused on protecting the visitors, arresting or deterring the criminals and keeping the streets safe – in other words, they will be doing their job. If anyone is taping the protesters, it will not be a uniformed beat cop via a body camera.

The ironic part of this whole thing is that while complaining the police may tape them these same protesters are instructing their own members to video the police as much as possible. Of course, the protesters are allowed to do so because the officers have no expectation of privacy on the public streets or while performing official duties, something protesters claim should not be a problem if the officers are not doing anything wrong. Of course, the argument is one sided, and if you say the same about police possibly videoing protesters on those same public streets, it is an unthinkable invasion of privacy.

I agree that there are places where the idea of the government recording your involvement in a protest might raise concern. There was even a time in this country when that was true. But this is 2017 – you are photographed and video recorded so many times for so many reasons, it really doesn’t matter anymore. Plus, if you are so concerned about your identify being known, why are you conducting television interviews about being possibly being recorded?

Disclaimer: The content in this article is the opinion of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the policies or opinions of US Patriot Tactical.



Tom Burrell

Tom enlisted in the US Marine Corps Reserves in 1987. Following service in Desert Storm, he transitioned to active duty with the US Coast Guard. In 1997 he left the USCG to pursue a position in conservation & maritime law enforcement. Tom is currently a Captain and he oversees several programs, including his agency investigation unit. He is also a training instructor in several areas including firearms, defensive tactics and first aid/CPR. In 2006 Tom received his Associate’s Degree in Criminal Justice from Harrisburg Area Community College and in 2010 a Bachelor’s Degree from Penn State University.
Tom Burrell

2 thoughts on “Body Cameras Come Full Circle

  1. I suppose I can see why naive people would assume that because the FBI has been collecting intelligence on American citizens under questionable circumstances, that video of protests might eventually find its way onto to some giant database of disaffected Americans.

    That said, in my experience, police surveillance of protests most usually assists in identifying the small proportion of violent individuals while simultaneously affording a level of protection to those engaged in legitimate freedom of speech. The other factor is that with every cop having a camera and just about every protester having a mobile phone, anyone wanting to track the activities of either group is no going to be deficient in sources. Sounds like a storm in a tea cup to me.

  2. Welcome to the digital crap game. The full circle may be constitutional complaints of the fourth, fifth and sixth amendments violations. Go figure! Everyone has a phone in everyone else’s face taking video but cries foul when the same happens to them. Maybe a warning in one and a half inch block letters in contrasting colors on the front and back of police uniforms. This will make other case law look like a cake walk.

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