Will Police Body Cameras Improve Relationships with Black Communities?

In a recent article, President Obama has proposed $263 million in funding for police body cameras and training with the intent on improving relations between police departments and the Black community. Since the Ferguson grand jury verdict not to indict Darren Wilson for killing unarmed teenager Michael Brown, relationships across the nation between citizens and the police force have erupted into opposition between the police and the Black community.

Citizens have responded to the verdict by demonstrations across the nation. Even the United Nations have expressed concern with the recent killings of citizens by police officers. A United Nations anti-torture panel that’s investigating the United States said Friday that it was deeply concerned by what it described as the high incidence of police brutality and shootings, especially against African-Americans in the United States.

The number of Blacks and unarmed persons killed by police is not available to the public. However, the FBI’s 2013 Uniform Crime Report, reveals that there were 461 justifiable killings by police. Journalist estimate that there are 1,000 police killings a year. There seems to be a greater number of police killings when compared to other countries. For example, Great Britain had no fatal police shootings last year. Germany has recorded eight police killings over the past year. In Canada, our next door neighbor, the average number of police shootings is a dozen per year. None of these countries use body cameras and have the ability to successfully police without killing people.

The first problem with police body cameras is that it only tells one side of the story. It gives us a view from the police officers perspective, but it does not give us the perspective from the potential victim. The police camera does not gives a clue on how the police officer is evaluating the person’s behavior before shooting the person. For example, a White police officer tells the Black young man to put your hands ups. The Black young man puts his hands up but does not make eye contact with the White police officer. The White police officer has been taught since a child that people can be trusted if they make direct eye contact. The White police officer is thinking why is this Black man looking down. He must be looking for something. Maybe has a gun in his pocket? May be there is a gun on the ground? There is something suspicious about his behavior the police thinks. In that split second he squeezes the trigger slightly without firing.

The young Black man has been taught all his life that to make direct eye contact with a person in authority is disrespectful. He is innocently gazing at the ground in a position of surrender. The police tell him not to move. Keep you hands up!. The Black kid finally looks up and the move is swift and jerky. In a panic, the White police officer shoots, to find that he had no weapon. Subconsciously, is the police officer thinking, don’t shoot until you see the whites of their eyes?

Which leads to the second problem with police body cameras. The camera will not have the ability to provide the mindset of the police officer. It does not point to the fallacy with some of the thinking regarding the police culture. I remember when I met with a police sergeant associate of mine regarding a police community relations program that I developed. I finished my presentation and we started talking. I asked him, “What happens when a police officer makes a mistake?”. He said, “We do not worry about making mistakes, we know that people commit crimes and do not get caught”. I asked him, “What do you mean by that”. He stated, “All people speed. So if we make a mistake, we can chalk it up to a crime that you committed and did not get caught doing”. It is almost as a we against them mentality that will inhibit improved relations between the Black community and the police.

The third problem with police body cameras is that it will not transform the culture of the police force to one that is “friendly” to the Black community. Transforming a culture requires a shift in the mindset of both the police and the Black community. Police are taught even before they become police certain values that are contradictory to the Black community. Many Whites are taught and exhibit both verbal and nonverbal behavior that is contradictory to the Black community. And Blacks are taught the same.

The solution to improve community relations between the Black community and the police is not to provide the police with more gear. The only way to eliminate the distrust between Blacks and Whites police is to use a process that transforms the thinking regarding each other. It begins with developing a shared vision for that community. Then the police and the Black community must take that shared vision and develop a strategic plan for implementing that shared vision. This process forces a collaborative effort between the police and the Black community which is not available by providing police with police body cameras.

Related Articles

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Obama announces $75M for police body cameras in wake of Ferguson shooting

Seattle police may scrap body camera plan over costly record requests

Will Body Cameras Prevent the Next Ferguson?

How St. Louis Police Chief Can Mend Racial Divide

Dr. Derrick L. Campbell, Ed.D.
www.positiveracialrelationships.com
PO Box 1668 Blackwood, NJ 08012

 

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About Classroom Racism Exterminator

Racism is a menace and so we’ve been taught for ages which is the primary need for a diversity expert. However, even in this modern society of today where we see a lot of colored celebrities performing on stage with huge fan followings and of course an Afro-America President for the USA, we are still in a phase where racism exists in all its brutal glory and has been eating away at the society like a plague. Classrooms, are one of the most affected areas where color differences and racism exists to its extremes. Even after decades of progress and a lot of communal efforts at bridging the gaps between colored students, white students and teachers, it is sad to say that the disparities still exist and are just as pronounced today as they were back in the 1950s. Colored students, even in the likes of New York City, are attending under resourced schools or have been significantly isolated and made to be unequal in regular schools. Even if the teachers are well-intentioned, perpetuating the structural racism that has taken deep roots into the fabric of our education system is a tough task and make the need for a diversity expert imperative. Teachers need to recognize the biases that exist within the classroom and also take conscious measures to address them and their own biases of course. James Baldwin once said, “it is your very own responsibility to change this society, if you think of yourself as an educated person.” Dr. Derrick L. Campbell took this quote very effectively and straight to the heart and thus this Classroom Racism Exterminator happened. Classroom Racism Exterminator is an initiative that will teach you about your duty and moral obligation towards eliminating racism from the classrooms. This is where and how you will learn about what you need to do to produce a better society that is free of biases and disparities amongst the blacks and the whites. Because we understand how classroom biases and conversations about racism are difficult and how teachers and students almost avoid the topics altogether, we have put together a range of effective methods and products to help address the problem at hand and talk meaningfully to counter issues related to race and racism in the classroom. Diversity expert Dr. Campbell understands that it takes a lot of courage to talk about race and racism and that racial issues need to be viewed through a very critical lens that can understand and attend to the pertaining aspects of racism in the classroom. And therefore through this website we have made a conscious effort to eliminate racism from the classroom and make the educational system equal and beneficial for all. We know and we understand that there are no words that can actually describe how racism feels. There are cases and everybody tends to deal with it in their own manner. Some might lash out verbally or others might just withdraw into shells. Whatever the case, people don’t talk about it openly and teachers don’t really make a conscious effort at addressing the issue. We don’t really know if our children or if the youth is learning to be educated or become racists in their classroom. Our program is focused on helping children of color and regardless of their race, their full potential. We want every student to be able to recognize and reach their full potential so that they think of themselves as responsible citizens of their country and not regard themselves as worthless human beings. Here you will find motivational books and flash card games, all of which have been designed focusing on eliminating racism completely from our classrooms. The books and the games have been consciously designed keeping in mind the American society and educational system. It is a small effort on our and Dr. Campbell’s part to help this society become a better place to live in. A little about diversity expert Dr. Campbell Dr. Derrick L. Campbell the driving force behind Classroom Racism Exterminator is a dynamic figure and a constant source of motivation for us. He has a Bachelors of Science in Electronics Engineering Technology, Math Education, a Masters in Education Administration and also holds a doctoral degree in Educational Leadership. Dr. Campbell is a well known personality throughout the nation. He has lectured at various events including the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), Iron Sharpens Iron Men’s Conference and a lot of local churches. He is a personality well dedicated towards eliminating the plague of racism from our classrooms and helping every child recognize his/her true potential not the color of their skin. He realizes how a child would feel if he/she was made to think they are worthless human beings. Diversity expert Dr. Campbell is compassionate and related to the experiences and therefore this initiative is a constant and continual effort to eliminate racism manifested in us, completely from the classroom and from our society.
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2 Responses to Will Police Body Cameras Improve Relationships with Black Communities?

  1. the point of the camera on people service I put in a few years back and got no credit for and was made homeless for my contribution is to make an automated respondent that listens to voice patterns and tells the person wearing the camera what to do to prevent conflict, the wear a camera service (which again I made a few years back and shared with the world and got nothing except homelessness which is a real insult to anyone who wants to benefit others) it is is suppose to be an ear piece cameras not on a persons chest, I took a cellphone watch and made it into an ear piece so the person watching online tells the person wearing it what to do, at this point all muslims with a veil in my region are using my device to cheat in school tests, and take market research of areas and send the information back to their leader who tells them what to do, I hope people are allowed to wear the ear piece camera I made and have someone watch online and tell them what to do until someone puts a automated voice respondent that monitors tones and understands commands identical to the voice mail box on a cellphone, I was going to make a taser camera collar that tasers the person when they say the wrong thing but my fault was I live in Canada and I tried to put a hand crank dynamo on a clock and make it charge the cellphone camera and when I showed product developers I was attacked repeated for 7 years and had all my models stolen and destroyed, it caused me so much suffering that now I am homeless with a bunch of black kids selling crack to whites telling me to attack white people, it is dire, no one should have to suffer what I suffered to save the life of people who aren’t mine

  2. funny they want cameras to judge the police but no cameras on their people to judge the peoples actions, I want to wear a cameras its my actions that need to be corrected not the police

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