Politics

Could A Police Body Camera Have Prevented The Chaos In Ferguson?

Even after the press conferences, autopsy report and disturbing video footage, there are still several unanswered questions surrounding Michael Brown’s death on Aug. 9. Now many are calling for the implementation of police body cameras to prevent similar cases in the future.

Kurt Vorndran, a member of the District of Columbia Office of Police Complaints Board, discussed the idea with HuffPost Live on Wednesday. After seeing a reduction in "negative" police interactions in Rialto, Calif., when the town implemented body cameras, Vorndran speculated that a camera could have changed the outcome of Brown’s initial encounter with the police in Ferguson.

“First of all, [there is] the deterrent effect: that these tragic incidents -- whatever happened -- may not have happened because you had both changes of behavior of the police officers and changes of behavior of citizens [when police officers were wearing cameras],” he said, referring the successful case study in Rialto.

He also explained that video footage would be particularly helpful in the aftermath of such conflicts.

“If there is a situation, as occurred in Ferguson, you do have a video tape, which, while it will be imperfect, adds to the evidence that can be used in determining what happened,” he told HuffPost Live host Alyona Minkovski.

Steve Soboroff, president of the Los Angeles Police Commission, suggested that cameras could also address the mistrust that has developed between police and citizens.

“What happened in Ferguson, what happened in New York, what happens in any one of these cases that is tragic because life is lost, is opening this Pandora’s Box to what these feelings are, of distrust,” he said. “And that’s what I think we all have to take some responsibility for.”

Watch the full HuffPost Live conversation here.

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1. Egypt
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LEFT: An Egyptian riot policeman secures a street in front of burning tyres thrown by supporters of Muslim Brotherhood movement during their rally to mark the first anniversary of the military ouster of president Mohamed Morsi on July 3, 2014 in Cairo's Ain Shams district. RIGHT: A police officer patrols a business district on August 13, 2014 in Ferguson, Missouri.
2. Venezuela
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LEFT: National Police members run during clashes in an anti-government protest in Caracas on March 22, 2014 in Caracas, Venezuela. RIGHT: Police wearing riot gear walk toward a man with his hands raised Monday, Aug. 11, 2014, in Ferguson, Mo.
3. Pakistan
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LEFT: Pakistani policemen carry riot gear as they gather at a roadblock in Islamabad on August 14, 2014. RIGHT: Police stand watch as demonstrators protest the shooting death of teenager Michael Brown on August 13, 2014 in Ferguson, Missouri.
4. Israel
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LEFT: Israeli police set up barricade for under 50 year-old Muslim worshippers entering the Al-Aqsa Mosque for friday prayer on July 25, 2014 in Jerusalem. RIGHT: Police in tactical gear stand in a street Tuesday, Aug. 12, 2014, in Ferguson, Mo.
5. Ukraine
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LEFT: Ukrainian soldiers and police take position at a checkpoint near the eastern Ukranian city of Slavyansk on May 15, 2014. RIGHT: Police stand watch as demonstrators protest the shooting death of teenager Michael Brown on August 13, 2014 in Ferguson, Missouri.

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