"If Police Encounters Were Filmed"

Jorge Muñoz
Period: 4
January 20, 2014

NY Times Article can be found here:


New York City Judge Shire A. Scheindlin ordered changes to the "Stop-and-Frisk" tactics and made it a requirement for police officers to carry cameras on their person. Judge Scheindlin says that tactics violate the constitution and found that police officers were ignoring procedure. After a little research she claims that the tactics involve stopping people based on furtive movements and through racial profiling. More than half the time the police stopped adolescents because they had bulges in their pocket, which then turned out to be keys, phones, or wallets. As a result about ninety percent of the people stopped were released and raised suspicion towards the police. Although some people did not like the changes, others did because the cameras protected the police from misconduct and from false accusation.

Should police officers be required to wear cameras that record their interactions with the public?

Structural Function

1. The changes to New York City's "Stop-and-Frisk" made it a requirement for police to wear cameras in order to record street encounters.

2. The "Stop-and-Frisk" tactics were made to reduce crime rate.(Role Expectation)

3. The murder and major crime rates in New York fell to historic lows.(Manifest function)

4. The Terry V. Ohio, 1968, case made stopping and frisking constitutionally permissible under certain conditions.(Law)

Social Conflict

1. The "Stop-and-Frisk" tactics mainly targeted blacks and Hispanics but not many whites.(Latent Function)

2. The tactics preferably looked for youths of a race rather than the adults.

3. Judge Scheindlin also believed that the tactics had racial profiling within them.

Symbolic Interaction

1. Many people say it is a great idea because the camera provides the entire interaction with the other person as soon as it turns on.(Verstehen)

2. Others thought that the cameras showed distrust within the police.

3. Police Officers and citizens also believe that it eliminates the hearsay problem.

4. One of the biggest benefits of the cameras is that it will expose the corrupt within the force but also protect those police officers or citizens from false accusations.

For Police Officers to wear cameras is a good idea because they provide a lot of information on what happened. It gives the public a better feeling of protection since they know that the police are being filmed for any possible misconduct. Not only does it benefit the citizens but also the police officers from any false accusations.

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