30 Dec 2014

86 percent of Americans support requiring patrol officers in their areas to wear small video cameras while on duty, and 87 percent support having these independent prosecutors handle cases in which unarmed Americans are killed by police.

Congress doesn't get much done these days. But it has a really good chance right now.
Issues of race and police -- as with most things these days -- are deeply divisive. And our new poll shows that divide is as much about partisanship as race; white Democrats tends to be much closer to non-whites than to white Republicans, as our Dan Balz and Scott Clement report. Hence, more partisan gridlock ahead, right?
Well, maybe not. Even as people can't even agree on how big the problem is (or whether there is a problem at all), there is something almost everyone agrees upon: the solutions.
Or, at least some of the solutions.
The poll shows an almost-unheard-of amount of consensus when it comes to proposed changes in how law enforcement conducts its business.
It shows 86 percent of Americans support requiring patrol officers in their areas to wear small video cameras while on duty -- a finding in line with other polling on this subject.
What's a little more surprising, though, is the consensus on another issue related to the Ferguson and Eric Garner cases: independent prosecutors. The poll shows about the same percentage -- 87 percent -- support having these outsiders handle cases in which unarmed Americans are killed by police.
It's hard to overstate the consensus on these two issues. The lowest amount of support for each is among self-described "conservative Republicans," and 76 percent of them support independents prosecutors and 79 percent support body cameras. 
There is even overwhelming support for these changes among those who don't really see there being a problem right now.
While Americans overall say the grand jury was wrong not to charge the officer involved in the choking of Garner (Garner later died), Republicans are more likely to agree with the decision (50 percent) than to disagree (35 percent).
And here's how popular these two proposals are: Among those Republicans who say the grand jury got it right -- i.e. those who think there really isn't much of a problem here that warrants action -- even 76 percent of themsupport independent prosecutors. Just 22 percent are opposed.
These are the kind of consensuses you just don't often see.
Now, does that mean Congress will return in January and immediately pass legislation on body cameras and independent prosecutors? Of course not. Plenty of popular policy ideas never get passed for a wide variety of reasons. A similar portion of Americans, for example, supported expanded background checks for gun purchases last year, and that never happened. And in this case, law enforcement and unions might fight the proposed changes -- particularly when it comes to ceding power to independent prosecutors.


  1. "independent prosecutors" is still part of the machine and are subject to the same corruption that exists now. A civilian oversight committee that reports directly to the Grand Jury (with copies to the DA and defense) is the only way any semblance of transparency can exist. As long as the process remains in the hands of those who have something to gain from the outcome it will never be honest and dirty cops will continue to be whitewashed and their crimes covered up.
    A body cam is a great idea, and will not only record police action but also those of the accused, making it balanced. Here also the only way for this system to work is for the cams to be "on" all the time and turning them off would be considered an automatic admission of guilt, or as the law says "evidence of a guilty mind".
    Make the police accountable and transparent and society will not only be safer all around but police will once again regain some modicum of the respect they themselves have worked so hard to destroy.

  2. And only one cartridge.

  3. Trust us:

  4. Im only for this if the video is uploaded out of the police departments hands..offsite so they can't doctor it... remember this is the police recording you which is not the same as you filming them..they can not be trusted to have access to the video feed..if they are this is no protection at all..the whole thing is a scam so when they all have cams they WILL pass laws that say you can not film police because we all have cams now so for everyones safety filming of police WILL be forbidden..mark my words this is the plan...DONT FALL FOR THE LIE..

  5. Direct live feeds.