Saturday, January 3, 2015

Recent polling shows growing consensus on anerican law enforcement reform

With the recent cases of Micheal Brown and Eric Garner burned into society's collective memory, attitudes among both the left and the right have started to show some common ground emerging. In a Washington Post-ABC poll taken within the last month, it was revealed that the differences between those that identified the furthest left, liberal democrats, and those that identified as the furthest right, conservative republicans, largely agreed on the topics of body cameras (94% and 79% support respectively) as well as bringing in independent prosecutors (97 and 76% respectively).

With an overall 86% consensus for use of police body cameras and the Obama administration already showing support for the measure, it's uplifting to see partisanship still hasn't removed all change of agreement. It's possible we may see congress legislate upon in within their next term, but who knows? I'll leave that question to you.

Do you support the implementation of police body cameras?
Do you think independent prosecutors should be brought in when an officer is in question?
Do you think congress will act on this public consensus?
(REUTERS/Carlo Allegri)

1 comment:

Eddie Huang said...

Based upon a study of officer behavior with or without cameras, ( body camera usage decreases the tendency of police officers towards use of excessive force, especially when the person whom the force was used upon was not the initiator. Though the sample size was still relatively small, the fact that cameras eliminated cases where the police initiated the violence is promising, especially in the context of cases like that of Eric Garner, where police force was used on someone who did not initiate force. Given the effectiveness of cameras, and their popular support, (which would in turn help mend the relationship between the public and the police where such a relationship has faltered) I support the implementation of body cameras.

In cases where local prosecutors are assigned to prosecute police officers, "daily working arrangements between police and prosecutors can flummox district attorneys trying to make impartial decisions about prosecuting officers" ( Given the obviously halfhearted prosecution of Darren Wilson, the presence of an independent prosecutor would have gone a long way in terms of preventing prosecutorial bias. Independent prosecutors are less likely to fall victim to the bias that local prosecutors may inevitably experience, and thus, independent prosecutors in police prosecutions would be advantageous. Though the determination of when to use independent prosecutors can complicate matters,(Only in lethal cases? For all cases involving police officers?) given the distrust of the public in the justice system in the wake of the non-indictment of Darren Wilson, independent prosecutors are necessary to restore confidence in the justice system.