People protest Sunday, Aug. 17, 2014, for Michael Brown, who was killed by a police officer last Saturday in Ferguson, Mo.
In the aftermath of the Ferguson, Missouri, shooting of an unarmed African American teenager, a locally-based petition demanding all law enforcement officers wear video cams is now actionable by the White House.
First posted on Wednesday, the petition on WhiteHouse.gov took just four days to reach the 100,000 signature threshold needed for the Obama Administration to take action. The petition asks the White House to propose legislation requiring all state, county and local police to wear a camera. The goal of the so-called “Mike Brown Law” would be to prevent police misconduct:
Create a bill, sign into law, and set aside funds to require all state,county, and local police, to wear a camera. Due to the latest accounts of deadly encounters with police, We the People, petition for the Mike Brown Law. Create a bill, sign into law, and set aside funds to require all state, county, and local police, to wear a camera.The law shall be made in an effort to not only detour police misconduct (i.e. brutality, profiling, abuse of power), but to ensure that all police are following procedure, and to remove all question, from normally questionable police encounters. As well, as help to hold all parties within a police investigation, accountable for their actions.
Jim Harper, a senior fellow at the Cato Institute, says such a law would help ensure the rights of citizens.
“Law enforcement officers would know that everything they do is subject to review. Everything they do is subject to oversight. To the extent they're inclined to pull some shenanigans — to the extent that they're going to be fast and loose with their weaponry — they’re going to think twice, think a third time and think a fourth time, because they know that they're going to be watched using these cameras," Harper says.
Harper, who signed the petition, thinks the chances of passage are better than usual, pointing to bipartisan agreement on the need for increased oversight of increasingly militarized law enforcement.