Local News

Ferguson shooting draws attention to body cams for NC cops

Posted August 26, 2014

— The shooting death of 18-year-old Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo., has prompted a national discussion on profiling, deadly force and law enforcement procedures.

The police department in Greenville is a step ahead of the conversation with lightweight, pager-sized cameras that 23 of the city's patrol officers, or 45 percent, wear as part of their uniforms.

They've been doing so since last year.

"We saw them as an opportunity and a good idea of promoting police legitimacy and sort of evening the playing field, because we were being recorded all over the place," said Greenville Police Chief Hassan Aden.

Aden says he is convinced that having the ability to see what officers are doing while they are on patrol has improved the department's relationship with the community.

Since officers have started using the cameras, the number of valid complaints against them has decreased by 33 percent.

Aden says he would like to have 75 percent of his officers wearing the cameras by the end of the year.

"It's a game-changer in terms of community engagement, and also, people have been known to make false accusations against the police," Aden said. "So, those are dealt with pretty quickly when we can go to the videotape."

Once an officer is done recording, the video is uploaded to the police department's server and usually stored for 90 days. Videos that involve felony or internal affairs cases are kept until the case is adjudicated.

Now, armed not only with a gun but a second set of eyes and ears, police officer Ron Wilder says he feels more secure.

He recently used the body camera during an interaction with a hostile woman.

"As soon as she opened the door, she got belligerent and started cursing, so I turned the camera on and started filming," Wilder said. "That was really for my benefit."


This story is closed for comments.

Oldest First
View all
  • 68_dodge_polara Aug 27, 2014

    View quoted thread

    However much this is true I don't like the violation of Constitutional rights that would be necessary for this to be instituted.

  • bonikas Aug 27, 2014

    And to DISGUTED2010 That's not hatred that's called FED UP when you have seen what I've seen and lived you can't speak for me....My husband's murderer has been on the loose for 19 years, he was killed by a stray bullet to back of his head while sitting in the car on his way home, they know who did it but yet have not done anything about it and NOT trying to. If I go to inquire they are quick to ask me do I know where he is..THAT'S YOUR JOB NOT MINE!!!!!That's what you are GETTING PAID FOR!!!! They don't care until it happens to one of their own!!

  • Chad Hines Aug 27, 2014
    user avatar

    View quoted thread

    Instead of all the cop bashing make anyone convicted of a felony wear a body camera. (not an arrest, but a conviction in court) That would certainly cut recidivism rates and make all the folks here who 'want to' believe all police are bad, scream!! It's sad where society trusts criminals and blatant liars more than the police.

  • 68_dodge_polara Aug 27, 2014

    View quoted thread

    What I don't get is I've watched the version that they are touting and I don't see money being exchanged as they claim. What is more telling though that their shortened version totally skips Brown's assault on the much smaller clerk.

  • MajorLeagueinfidel Aug 27, 2014

    Turn the public against the low level local Government employees (Cops)...because it effectively keeps their minds and ire off the politicians that are the ones that need recorded and videotaped 24/7. Brilliant tactic and clearly it's working.....

  • Lightfoot3 Aug 27, 2014

    "All I'm seeing on here is protection for the COPS, you would be surprise at how many of your so called "here to protect and serve" are just as crooked as the crooked civilins." - bonikas

    You missed my post where I said it could also expose corrupt cops.

    "The un-fabricated video revealed Brown paying at the counter" - Lamborghini Mercy


  • GETOUT Aug 27, 2014

    Why would the cameras need to record an officer going to the bathroom, talking to his wife/family or even the music they are listening to in the car? Im all for the cameras but them running 100% of the time has some logistical issues that i dont think some have thought about....... Also the cameras cant be controlled by someone sitting at a desk, as some have stated they should be monitored by someone other than the officer....

    On another note I agree with the commenter who stated someone with a criminal record should have to wear on as part of their conviction! Good idea!!!

  • Bullcity34 Aug 27, 2014

    View quoted thread

    I've seen the video several times. And again you Don't pay for something and the clerk comes after you for no reason. 2nd a witness saw him steal the cigars because they called 911. So stop with this leftist stuff. Stop listening to sharpton and Jackson play their race card over and over

  • sinenomine Aug 27, 2014

    Body cameras of this sort will provide evidence of crime, both by civilians and, when it occurs, by police. Aside from their value as evidence recorders they will probably result in police and civilians acting better when they know they are being filmed.

    These cameras should not be capable of being turned off by officers. Were an officer to knowingly tamper with a body cam, or purposely turn one off, or damage one he/she should be punished for a departmental offense or even, under some circumstances, for a crime.

  • GETOUT Aug 27, 2014

    Dont know where many of you live but here in NC nobody gets convicted of anything other than homicide. The court systems are too crowded and they dismiss EVERYTHING regardless of guilt or innocence....