NYPD's Bratton: Department Eyes Body Cams for Police

Wednesday, 13 Aug 2014 11:09 AM

By Wanda Carruthers

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Equipping police officers with body cams is the way of the future, and the New York Police Department is looking at implementing them, said New York Police Commissioner Bill Bratton.

Cameras could be helpful in determining the facts of incidents, such as in the chokehold death of Staten Island resident Eric Garner by a police officer in New York City last month. Body cams could prevent a "he said, she said" situation, Bratton told MSNBC's "Morning Joe."

Body cams are "the direction where American policing is going. That's where we're going in the NYPD," Bratton said Wednesday. "But, even with video, there are still circumstances around the event that we have to look at."

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The investigation into Garner's death is continuing, Bratton said, adding that there is "a way to go" before Staten Island District Attorney Daniel Donovan Jr., would have any conclusions. He said that isn't stopping the NYPD from initiating officer training to prevent a similar occurrence.

"We'll accelerate the training of about 20,000 officers over the next several months on reinforcement of the skills, take-down skills," he said. "We owe that to our officers."

Bratton said investigating tragedies like the Garner incident gave police departments the opportunity to "go about [investigating] it in a way that the public feels that they're transparent to the greatest degree possible." By doing that, he said the focus was to determine if there could be "gains made in building public trust, building police confidence, in terms of their skills."

"You always try to learn from these things, to improve the training we give to our officers, and to move forward," he said.

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