The Rise of the Bodycam
In the wake of years of allegations of police misconduct across the country, a movement has taken place insisting officers in the field wear audio/video recording equipment, known as a “body-worn cameras” or “bodycams” to monitor and record their official (and unofficial) activities while on duty. The original intent of these devices was to create an audiovisual record to corroborate an officer’s version of events surrounding any confrontations, investigations, or arrests made, and to defeat any false claims of police misconduct.
Of course, these recordings are also available to contradict an officer’s version of events in a given case where an officer’s version is “less than truthful.” Recently, a bodycam video was used to prove a police officer guilty of obstructing justice and filing false reports and perjury, in connection with his conduct in a drug arrest. Apparently, these bodycams not only capture an officer’s actual conduct in arrests, but also can pick up evidence of an officer actually breaking a law.
Bodycam Busts Crooked Cop
Recently in Denver, a police officer, while investigating a crime scene, came across a large sum of cash.
A detective reviewing the officer’s bodycam noticed what appeared to be the officer pocketing a number of $100 bills. First, the video shows the pile of money with a $100 bill on top. Then the officer does some sleight of hand, and you then see the same pile, but with a $1 bill on top.
After investigating further, only 118 dollars were found, none of them $100 bills. Upon investigation, the officer turned in twelve $100 bills, totaling $1,200, with the lame explanation that they somehow fell into his bag. Amazingly, that explanation did not convince the investigators—he was charged with felony theft. Upon pleading guilty, this crooked cop was placed on 18 months’ probation, and then he resigned.
Hail the Bodycam!
The bodycam has given legitimacy to a system that was deemed “broken” due to a lack of trust in our sworn law enforcement officials. It has done this by putting officers on notice that their actions are being watched, reviewed, and if they violate department rules or violate the law, they will be disciplined and prosecuted.
If you are charged with any criminal offense, you need effective legal representation to protect you and to fight for your rights in court. You need the experienced Chicago criminal defense lawyers at Mitchell S. Sexner & Associates LLC. Call us at (312) 644-0444 to schedule a no-cost, no-obligation, confidential consultation with one of our lawyers at our Chicago office, our Arlington Heights office, or another location near you. Call now.