In the wake of one of the most controversial police shootings in modern times, a growing interest by the public has been placed on whether or not officers should be required to wear body-cameras at all times. In case you missed it, here is a brief recap of the events in Ferguson, MO:
Fatal Shooting: An unarmed, 18 year old black male was killed after being shot multiple times by Darren Wilson, a white male police officer. Details of the incident were slow to be released, and in the absence of information, racial tensions and violence grew.
Questions have arisen. Did the officer feel threatened? Did the victim attack the officer? Was the shooting justified? Details of the circumstance that led to the shooting have yet to be answered and tensions remain high.
Many witnesses provided their accounts of the incident, but eyewitness testimonies are no longer the gold standard. Intentional or not, these testimonies have become unreliable over the years, further supporting the need for information that is not filtered through the human experience and therefore less biased.
This unfortunate and sad event resulted in the decision to adopt the use of body cameras in the St. Louis suburb. Police are now utilizing this technology to not only protect the innocent (whether the public or law enforcement), but to change behaviors – people act differently when being watched.
The use of technology to gather intelligence for criminal investigations and deterrence is nothing new, and body cameras are growing in use. But is this sole body camera enough? Varied perspectives and camera angles are needed for a full understanding of fast-moving events, such as that which occurred at Ferguson.
Smartphones will provide this varied perspective. With the right level of engagement, the public will learn to provide the missing information, and not fear retaliation or loss of anonymity.
Companies like sci-Shot offer a new generation of ‘trusted’ mobile Apps developed by private enterprise for the sole purpose of providing Users with unintimidating, confidential and universal tools for reporting threatening, unsafe, or illegal conduct or conditions from anywhere.
sci-Shot’s public safety Mobile App accepts pictures, video and comments from its Users, and ensures that the information is delivered to the appropriate parties, while ensuring complete anonymity. sci-Shot includes other rich features like two-way confidential communication with public safety stewards, public safety Alerts, and Rewards!
Putting cameras on police is one option, but what can we do with the power of the Crowd?
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