In the City of St. Louis, MO I have started noticing people stopping and observing the police when a “law enforcement event” is taking place in public such as police questioning an individual or group of individuals, or even giving a traffic citation. This is happening because the police are not trust-worthy anymore. They have too many incidents of brutality and harassment that are on camera against them. They can’t seem to shake this animosity towards them. Making the situation still worse is the fact that the police now monitor, at will, the general population using various public, private and government security video cameras in St. Louis. The police know where all the cameras are because they are the monitoring authority. They are careful not to get out of line when on camera, but who knows what they do when not on camera? Even if they are not doing anything wrong, the impression they leave is that they are.
According to the Police Officer’s Union the police seem to think that their personal privacy is being cast into jeopardy if they are required to wear “body cameras” while on the job. It’s alright for them to monitor our public life and license plates at will, but when we, the public, want the same courtesy they cry foul!
I think that, as trusted public servants and law enforcement officers, they should be required to wear body cameras at all times where close public interaction is possible. This Police Officer’s Union excuse of “personal privacy” is BS and they know it. They just want to be able to play their same old tricks and games and get away with it. A leopard can’t change its spots. A few corrupt and intimidating police officers have caused this schism between the public and the police to open up. Their union covers for them and causes the schism to get wider.
It’s time for complete transparency by our law enforcement authorities. If transparency does not happen then the flame of anti-police violence will be stoked until it’s an inferno requiring extraordinary methods to put it out.