Require Body Cameras for All Texas State Police Officers

police_violence_egypt_Matthew_Carrington

Target: Secretary of the Texas Board of Criminal Justice Leopoldo Vasquez III

Goal: Require all police officers in the state of Texas to wear body cameras.

A bystander video shows what appears to be a man getting shot and killed by police while surrendering. The man raises his hands in surrender and displays that he is not holding a weapon before a deputy shoots and kills him seconds later.

Because the released video was taken by a bystander a fair distance across the street, it is difficult to make out the exact details of what happened. After the amount of conflict with domestic authorities that the public has had in the past year as well as the proven inaccuracies of eyewitness accounts, the necessity for body cameras on all police officers has already been discussed.

Police aggression and violence has been very prominent in media and public discussion in the past year. Any simple Google search will bring up countless different stories and articles about unwarranted defense deemed necessary by police, including the discussion of Eric Garner’s death and quoted last words of “I Can’t Breathe” that has become a pillar of the Black Lives Matter movement.

Not all of the citizens that have been attacked by police have been guilty, but not all have been innocent either. The easiest way to remove scrutiny and uncertainty from these cases is by requiring all police officers to wear body cameras and have them turned on during the entirety of every public interaction. Start the discussion and the fight by telling Texas’ Board of Criminal Justice to require all state officers to wear functioning and powered-on body cameras.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Secretary Leo Vasquez III,

Recently, Bexar County has faced some controversy in the news because of a video released of two Texas officers gunning down and killing what appears to be an unarmed man. When confronted about the subject, the officers have claimed in their defense that the man was wielding a knife when they approached him. However, the claim is difficult to prove because the video was taken by a bystander from across the street and neither of the officers were wearing body cameras.

This concern of police reliability and justice has become a hot button issue throughout the media within the past two years, with the Ferguson shootings and protests as well as other attacks and the now very popular Black Lives Matter movement. An easy way to regain reliability and trust within domestic authority is by giving them functioning body cameras that will document each public encounter these officers face.

Eyewitness accounts have proven to be unreliable, and with today’s technology there is no reason to need to rely on it. Please provide all of your officers with working body cameras and require your police to have them recording during every public encounter to prevent future misunderstandings and controversy.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: Matthew Carrington

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