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Should Police Wear Body Cameras?

Graham Coreil-Allen / Flickr / Creative Commons

The shooting of Michael Brown, an unarmed black teenager, by a Ferguson, Missouri, police officer last month amplified a national conversation about how and when police make the decision to use deadly force. One question it raised: should police wear video cameras? The Baltimore City Council will consider just that this fall. And some Washington, D.C. police will start wearing video cameras next week.

We wanted to understand how a police force with cameras might work, so we got in touch with Richard McLaughlin, chief of police in the city of Laurel, halfway between Baltimore and D.C. A good percentage of Laurel police officers have worn body cameras since the spring of 2013. Chief McLaughlin joins Sheilah by phone from his office in Laurel.

The Police Executive Research Forum, with help from the Justice Department, put together a report on best practices for putting a body camera program into place. You can read it here.

Sheilah Kast is the host of On The Record, Monday-Friday, 9:30-10:00 am.