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The South Florida Roundup

Florida Roundup: Police Body Cameras In South Florida

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Walter Michot
/
Miami Herald Staff

Miami-Dade Commissioner Jose “Pepe” Diaz was charged with driving under the influence of alcohol last weekend in Key West – and the traffic stop was captured on video via body cameras.

Key West cops began using the cameras this summer. Miami-Dade County was recently awarded funds from the Department of Justice to kickstart the program.

West Palm Beach police are using police body cameras and favor the cameras because for one, it shows their point of view. Proponents say it sometimes it even helps deescalate situations when people are told they’re being recorded.

We asked you the Public Insight Network if police should use body cameras, even if they are used on you during a stop or arrest:

“I would be uncomfortable during my arrest if the police [officer] was not wearing a body camera or in some other way recording the event. The body camera is my assurance that the police are following the rules and respecting my rights as an accused person.” – Tom Nagle, Miami
“As a law enforcement officer myself of over 20 years seeing things change, it is important. Cameras will either clear up doubt or incriminate the wrong . Rule of thumb is films don't lie. But the problem will be, film without sound leaving interpretation or perception of an incident. Those cameras will make some people rich and some people unemployed or incarcerated.” - Roy Griffin, Miami
“I'm overall in favor of the doctrine because it eliminates the “he said/she said" uncertainty of police/citizen interactions. But one thing that will be negatively impacted is that the friendly "police warning" is gone and it's something the public better be aware of. No more getting stopped for a ticket-able infraction and them saying: "I'll let you off with a warning this time..." - Jim Kononoff, Miami

Be part of the conversation on the Public Insight Network by telling us what you think about police in South Florida using body cameras.