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Letter: Body cameras would benefit police, public

Body cameras would benefit police, public

Police corruption is rampant and unacceptable, locally as well as nationally. Oft-quoted defense jargon regarding law enforcement invariably goes something like “they put their lives on the line every day” or “think of the ‘scum’ they have to deal with.” These are broad generalizations that, while true to an extent, absolutely don’t serve as sane rationalizations for atrocities committed by those charged to protect and serve citizens. Law enforcers opted for a field with inherent risk (very similar to military enlisters; fortunately the U.S. isn’t enforcing a draft now) and need to exude professionalism and respect more than machismo.

Just a few cases of recent and ongoing egregiousness from those who sport badges and carry guns locally: Gregory Kwiatkowski’s various misadventures, the needless killing of dogs in house raids (many of which were executed prematurely, unconstitutionally, or at wrong locations), and the unwarranted and glossed-over slaying of Wardel “Meech” Davis. There isn’t enough space here to adequately get into ingrained, condescending attitudes and systemic racism/prejudice.

I have nothing but respect for the majority of police: decent people trying to act honorably and help others. Sadly, the minority of cops – the sadistic or indifferent – do the majority a great disservice in terms of public perception and ensuing relations with that public.

Body cameras for all police seem like a good use of tax dollars. Big Brother watches us; let’s watch him to reduce bad behavior. Checks and balances; hold the “accountants” accountable.

Joseph Mikoley

Buffalo

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