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Body Cameras Are Betraying Their Promise

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  • They’re not transparent. They’re not independent. They’re not even turned on when they should be.
  • Related: Innocent? Don't talk to the police.

Robinson Meyer, the Atlantic

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https://cdn.theatlantic.com/assets/media/img/mt/2016/09/AP_16254534931658/lead_960.jpg?1475247367Sep 30, 2016 | When they were introduced to the American public two years ago, police body-cameras seemed like they might help everyone. Police departments liked that body cams reduced the number of public complaints about officer behavior. Communities and protesters liked that they would introduce some transparency and accountability to an officer’s actions.

 

Today, research suggests that body cameras significantly reduce the number of public complaints about police. But recent events subvert the idea that the devices help or increase the power of regular people—that is, the policed. Instead of making officers more accountable and transparent to the public, body cameras may be making officers and departments more powerful than they were before.

Robinson Meyer is an associate editor at the Atlantic, where he covers technology.

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Related:

Innocent? Don't talk to the police, James Duane, Los Angeles (CA) Times

Don’t talk to the police—except to tell them, respectfully, that you will not answer any questions and that you would like a lawyer.

Education Ruling: OK To Shut Out Disabled Kids?

Frightening is the underlying notion that the level of societal expenditures on an individual ought Beyond that, this notion could lead to a termination of benefits for the elderly, as well as the disabled. It is a notion out of the selfish and stern philosophy of Ayn Rand.

We must, as a society, reject such an approach. We need to focus on unlocking the potential of all our citizens. We need to focus on the contributions made by each of our neighbors. Only by helping those most in need can we create a just society.

Andrew Feinstein, Hartford (CT) Courant

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September 10, 2016 | Judge Thomas Moukawsher issued a monumental ruling Wednesday in the case of Connecticut Coalition for Justice in Education Funding v. Rell, finding that Connecticut's system of funding education is irrational and unconstitutional. As to his basic findings, Judge Moukawsher is to be applauded.

The excellent decision came, however, containing a very dark poison. Judge Moukawsher proposed that certain children with severe disabilities be denied a public education. He says, "The call is not about whether certain profoundly disabled children are entitled to a 'free appropriate public education.' It is about whether schools can decide in an education plan for a covered child that the child has a minimal or no chance for education, and therefore the school should not make expensive, extensive, and ultimately pro-forma efforts." He claims, inaccurately, that "no case holds otherwise, and this means that extensive services are not always required."

Andrew Feinstein of Mystic is a lawyer with a particular focus on special education.

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A former Marine was fired as a W.Va. police officer after failing to shoot somebody

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Even though he was just 24 when West Virginia Police Department hired him, Stephen Mader was already a bonafide hero — one of the good guys. (Staff Sgt. Brian Buckwalter/U.S. Marines  

Shaun King, New York (NY) Daily News 

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http://cdn.thinkprogress.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/30163700/Police-Have-Not-Been-Held-Accountable3-1125x635.jpg Tuesday, September 13, 2016 | On July 24, 2015, the Weirton, W.Va., Police Department announced the hiring of three new officers for the force. All three men were celebrated for bringing some much needed youth to an aging department in the sleepy rural city 35 miles outside of Pittsburgh.

Zach Springer was just 20.

Adam Mortimer was 21.

And the old head among them was Stephen Mader, who was 24.

Shaun King: Senior Justice Writer for the New York (NY) Daily News

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Innocent? Don't talk to the police.

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Don’t talk to the police—except to tell them, respectfully, that you will not answer any questions and that you would like a lawyer.

James Duane, Los Angeles (CA) Times

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http://www.trbimg.com/img-57bf6fce/turbine/la-1472163875-snap-photo/400/16x9 Kash Register begins to cry after realizing he'll be freed after spending 34 years in prison for a crime he didn't commit, in Los Angeles in Superior Court in Nov. 2013. (Los Angeles Times)

August 26, 2016 | Someday soon, when you least expect it, a police officer may receive mistaken information from a confused eyewitness or a liar, or circum­stantial evidence that helps persuade him that you might be guilty of a very serious crime. When confronted with police officers and other government agents who suddenly arrive with a bunch of questions, most innocent people mistakenly think to themselves, “Why not talk? I haven’t done anything. I have nothing to hide. What could pos­sibly go wrong?”

 

Well, among other things, you could end up confessing to a crime you didn’t commit. The problem of false confessions is not an urban legend. It is a documented fact. Indeed, research suggests that the innocent may be more susceptible than the culpable to deceptive police interrogation tactics, because they tragically assume that somehow “truth and justice will prevail” later even if they falsely admit their guilt. Nobody knows for sure how often innocent people make false confessions, but as Circuit Judge Alex Kozinski recently observed, “Innocent interrogation subjects confess with surprising frequency.”

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James Duane is a professor at Regent Law School in Virginia Beach, Va. This essay is adapted from his book “You Have the Right to Remain Innocent,” forthcoming from Little A in September.

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Related:

Book review |‘ Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption’ ~ Bryan Stevenson, Rob Warden, Washington (DC) Post

  • Criminal justice in America sometimes seems more criminal than just — replete with error, malfeasance, racism and cruel, if not unusual, punishment, coupled with stubborn resistance to reform and a failure to learn from even its most glaring mistakes. And nowhere, let us pray, are matters worse than in the hard Heart of Dixie, a.k.a. Alabama, the adopted stomping ground of Bryan Stevenson, champion of the damned.
  • Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption | Ebook PDF Free Download
  • Prison Without Punishment

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