As we discussed in a previous blog, the idea of bringing body cameras to the Baltimore Police Department has been gathering support for a while now. That support was shown in a measurable way when, this past Monday, the City Council voted yes for the body camera bill, which would require the city’s officers to wear the devices while on duty. The Council was overwhelmingly in support of the measure, voting with a 13 to 1 margin. But an impending veto from Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake is expected, and Council President Jack Young does not believe that the 12-vote majority that would be required to override her veto can be met. So what is the mayor’s objection to the body camera bill, and how far back from progress will this veto potentially set Baltimore? Read on to find out more.
Mayor Rawlings-Blake wrote a piece entitled “A more thoughtful body camera approach” that was published in the Monday edition of the Baltimore Sun. In it, she states that while she is personally “100 percent in support of police body cameras,” she believes that there is a certain procedure that should be followed before they are signed into law.
“The City Council and I both agree on the need for quick action to address police misconduct,” she writes, “but we have to work smart to produce the best possible outcome for our constituents.”
While many believe that the immediate institution of body cameras would, in fact, produce the best possible outcome for Baltimoreans, Rawlings-Blake is taking a different approach. What is encouraging, in spite of her veto of the bill, is the fact that she does seem dedicated to this issue and will not let it fall by the wayside as other bills might. She has formed a research group who will evaluate the different factors associated with body camera usage, including the success of similar programs elsewhere, the issue of privacy, data storage, and the cost this plan would amount to for taxpayers. While all of these are important things to know, many are in agreement that the sooner they can be identified and the body camera bill can be put into place, the better for everyone involved. Citizens will be kept safe, cops will be kept honest, and the City of Baltimore will hopefully see a reduction in police misconduct and crime.
Rawlings-Blake, in her Baltimore Sun article, says that she believes her slow-but-steady approach will ultimately be in the city’s best interest, as it will allow the funding for this project to be carefully and deliberately spent. Her final words on the subject amount to a promise that Baltimoreans cannot help but be in support of: “We are going to have police body cameras in Baltimore City, but I will never give up on fighting for us to do it the right way. The stakes are too high and the lives impacted too valuable to have it any other way.”
Your Criminal Defense Attorney: Bruce Robinson & Associates
Bruce Robinson & Associates is a criminal defense law firm based in Baltimore, MD. If you have been accused of criminal act and need aggressive counsel, Robinson & Associates is here to help. For more information and to schedule your free consultation, give Robinson & Associates a call at 443-524-7395 or visit us at www.marylandcriminallawyer.com. You can also follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+.