Video cameras may be the antidote to both police violence and violence against police, say defense lawyers F. Lee Bailey and Janet Johnson, who appeared Tuesday on Newsmax TV's
"Video in the courtroom is good, with the exception of the O.J. [Simpson] case, which became a circus, but beyond that, it has given the public a chance to see what really happened," said Bailey, who was one of the lawyers representing the football star acquitted of murdering his wife and her friend in 1994.
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"This is also true of street videos," Bailey said, "where they're taken from cop cars or taken from surveillance cameras on the wall. They eliminate he said, she said. They tend to pin down who did what and to whom. The public should always have the benefit of being satisfied that what their courts do is a correct result. That is frequently not the case, but it should be the case."
The lawyers discussed recent civilian deaths at the hands of police that have sparked public protests, including Saturday's fatal shooting of Michael Brown, 18, in Missouri. Police there have said Brown reached for an officer's gun.
Johnson said it's in law enforcement's best interest to have video of every interaction.
"Don't they want to show if they didn't do anything wrong?" she asked. "It's ideal for them to be able to say, look, he was going for the gun, or look, this was happening. The more, the better. It's like in an instant replay. Don't they look at it over and over and over from different angles? Why should this be any different? This is life or death. This isn't the Super Bowl. This is somebody's life."
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