One of the great equalizers in achieving justice for police shootings was snatched from taxpaying citizens on Monday after a state’s highest court ruled that dash-cam video were no longer public record, according to a new report. The narrow ruling was reached because the New Jersey Supreme Court found “there’s no law mandating the recordings be made,” the Associated Press reported.
That means that following any questionable action by police, including and especially shootings and accusations of brutality and racism, law enforcement has no obligation to provide dash-cam video recordings of the alleged incidents. And with body cams many times being controlled manually – that’s code for how many times officers conveniently “forget” to activate them – it will always be the cops’ word against their accusers.
As history has shown, police routinely rely on the seemingly foolproof “I was scared for my life” defense that typically prevents any indictments. Compounding the news was the fact that now all citizens have to rely on to protect themselves from police is the hope that a bystander with a cellphone will react quickly enough to record an incident. (Although history has also shown that cellphone footage of everything from an illegal chokehold to beatings is far from any insurance that police will be punished.)
Dash cam video has recently proven to be damning against police officers who end up being accused of anything from “excessive force” to racism for what they’ve many times tried to cover up with lies.
That was especially true in Georgia, when an officer’s dash cam footage captured him threatening an African-American woman driver by telling her, “We only shoot Black people.” That officer was fired because those fateful words were recorded.
One police department in Connecticut recently reinstated the use of body and dash cams to demonstrate transparency top the community, something that will be missing in New Jersey.
“We hope this will help with restoring faith in the community about the police department,” Bridgeport Police Chief Armando Perez told the Connecticut Post last week. “It’s about total transparency. We want people to believe in our police department.”
In Mississippi, an officer was “suspended and will likely lose his job after dash cam video captured him using excessive force during a recent arrest,” it was reported last month.
But now in New Jersey, the possibility of something similar happening – you know, justice – just got that much less likely after Tuesday’s ruling. To add insult to potentially literal injury, Monday’s ruling came “a year after the state Supreme Court ruled that dash camera video of fatal police shootings should be released,” the AP reminded.
47 Black Men And Boys Killed By Police
1. Botham Shem Jean, 261 of 47
2. Antwon Rose Jr., 172 of 47
3. Robert Lawrence White, 413 of 47
4. Anthony Lamar Smith, 24Source:Getty 4 of 47
5. Ramarley Graham, 18Source:Getty 5 of 47
6. Manuel Loggins Jr., 31Source:Getty 6 of 47
7. Trayvon Martin, 17Source:Getty 7 of 47
8. Wendell Allen, 20Source:Getty 8 of 47
9. Kendrec McDade, 19Source:Getty 9 of 47
10. Larry Jackson Jr., 32Source:Getty 10 of 47
11. Jonathan Ferrell, 24Source:Getty 11 of 47
12. Jordan Baker, 26Source:Getty 12 of 47
13. Victor White lll, 22Source:Getty 13 of 47
14. Dontre Hamilton, 31Source:Getty 14 of 47
15. Eric Garner, 43Source:Getty 15 of 47
16. John Crawford lll, 22Source:Getty 16 of 47
17. Michael Brown, 18Source:Getty 17 of 47
18. Ezell Ford, 25Source:Getty 18 of 47
19. Dante Parker, 36Source:Getty 19 of 47
20. Kajieme Powell, 25Source:Getty 20 of 47
21. Laquan McDonald, 17Source:Getty 21 of 47
22. Akai Gurley, 28Source:Getty 22 of 47
23. Tamir Rice, 12Source:Getty 23 of 47
24. Rumain Brisbon, 34Source:Getty 24 of 47
25. Jerame Reid, 36Source:Getty 25 of 47
26. Charly Keunang, 43Source:Getty 26 of 47
27. Tony Robinson, 19Source:Getty 27 of 47
28. Walter Scott, 50Source:Getty 28 of 47
29. Freddie Gray, 25Source:Getty 29 of 47
30. Brendon Glenn, 29Source:Getty 30 of 47
31. Samuel DuBose, 43Source:Getty 31 of 47
32. Christian Taylor, 19Source:Getty 32 of 47
33. Jamar Clark, 24Source:Getty 33 of 47
34. Mario Woods, 26Source:Getty 34 of 47
35. Quintonio LeGrier, 19Source:Getty 35 of 47
36. Gregory Gunn, 58Source:Getty 36 of 47
37. Akiel Denkins, 24Source:Getty 37 of 47
38. Alton Sterling, 37Source:Getty 38 of 47
39. Philando Castile, 32Source:Getty 39 of 47
40. Terrence Sterling, 31Source:Getty 40 of 47
41. Terence Crutcher, 40Source:Getty 41 of 47
42. Keith Lamont Scott, 43Source:Getty 42 of 47
43. Alfred Olango, 38Source:Getty 43 of 47
44. Jordan Edwards, 15Source:Getty 44 of 47
45. Stephon Clark, 2245 of 47
46. Danny Ray Thomas, 3446 of 47
47. DeJuan Guillory, 2747 of 47
Dash Cam Ruling Makes It Easier For Police To Get Away With Brutality, Racism And Possibly Murder was originally published on newsone.com