Tags: Ferguson in Crisis | police | evaluations | body camera | militarization

Josh Orton: Police Need 'Fairness' Checks

By    |   Tuesday, 09 Dec 2014 11:43 AM

Policing strategies and procedures across the country need to be evaluated to ensure that communities are being "policed fairly," Josh Orton, a senior adviser at Progressives United, said Tuesday on "America’s Forum" on Newsmax TV.
 
"Police departments change and what the president is saying really comes down to whether or not we need to continue evaluating, how best to police our communities and whether they're being policed fairly," Orton, a former aide to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, told host J.D. Hayworth.

"That's sort of a point that's hard to argue with, that it's always important to re-evaluate best practices," he said.

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"We need to look at some standards and whether or not police departments across the country are doing the best job that they can to police everyone fairly and equally. The president in the past couple weeks has made a great point about different communities in our country feeling as if they are treated unequally under the law and a lot of those concerns are quite valid. It's hard to argue with that."

Last week, President Barack Obama asked federal agencies for recommendations to make sure the U.S. isn't building a "militarized culture" within police departments. Obama also called for police to wear begin wearing body cameras, an initiative for which he pledged $75 million over three years to help departments’ purchase them.

Orton did not have an explanation for who would be tasked with the evaluations or how it would be feasible for the federal government or anyone else to conduct reviews of the thousands of law enforcement agencies across the country.

While body cameras may be a good idea in some cases, they also have a downside, according to Orton.

"Clearly some people will have privacy concerns because all of that is being recorded," he said.

"In some instances the police want to maintain a relationship with individuals in the community who might otherwise feel hesitant to contact the police and maybe doubly so if they know that their face is going to be recorded when they're having discussions with the police so, I certainly don't think body cameras are a panacea," he said.

"They've shown substantive value when it comes to harm reduction in some of these larger police departments, but nothing's perfect and they have to be evaluated under department by department basis."

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Policing strategies and procedures across the country need to be evaluated to ensure that communities are being "policed fairly," Josh Orton, a senior adviser at Progressives United, said Tuesday on "America's Forum."
police, evaluations, body camera, militarization
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2014-43-09
Tuesday, 09 Dec 2014 11:43 AM
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