Police departments around the nation adopted body cameras after a series of high profile and controversial killings of African-American people, spurred on after the 2014 fatal shooting of Michael Brown. The public demanded accountability and transparency, and many municipalities mandated the use of cameras in an effort to curb any excessive force.
Body cameras appeared to be the best and most effective solution. Surprisingly, a recent study shows that nothing has changed.
Body cameras have little effect on brutality
According to an 18-month study of 2,000 officers who wore body cameras, officers still used force and received civilian complaints at the same rate as officers without cameras. These findings might be surprising to camera advocates, who would assume that officer behavior would change when the officers know they are being recorded. Others, however, would not be shocked to see the numbers remain the same, likely pointing out that some fatal police shootings were recorded by witnesses.
It is true the police have a dangerous job—however, just as we must follow the rules, they do too. And, body cameras or not, police cannot violate your civil rights. Their job is to serve and protect the community, not put them in danger. Some of the most common forms of police brutality include:
- Excessive force
- False imprisonment
- Racial profiling
- Unlawful arrest
- Harassment or threats
- Unlawful search and seizure
- Injuries while in custody
- Physical or sexual assault
Victims of police brutality
If you experience excessive force or brutality from the police, try to do the following immediately:
- Gather evidence (take photos and video, get contact information from witnesses)
- Save all your clothing
- Seek medical attention
- Write down everything that happened while you still remember it clearly
When you’ve done all of this, contact your lawyer, and schedule a time to review what happened, and your notes about the experience. Proving police brutality can be complicated, and you want to ensure that your attorney has as much information as you can provide to start an investigation of his or her own.
If you have been a victim of police brutality in Chicago, the attorneys at Gainsberg Law, P.C. want to help. We will support you and fight for your civil rights. For help with your case, please call us at 312-600-9585 or complete our contact form.