Cameras Being Installed On Nlv Police Taser Guns - Printable Version
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Cameras Being Installed On Nlv Police Taser Guns - Shinobi - 04-07-2007 05:35 AM
Lots of questions have been raised about Tasers and now a new video camera may answer some of them.
Cameras are being installed on Taser guns to record the situation as it unfolds. It's actually something the North Las Vegas Police Department is excited about.
Adding video cameras to Tasers is an idea that has been tossed around among law enforcement agencies for the last year, but in a couple of days, the NLVPD will start using the cameras, and many are hoping the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department follows suit.
It's a controversial tool that now captures every move and sound through a tiny camera. It will soon be placed on forty Tasers within the North Las Vegas Police Department, all to document exactly what happens from the moment the safety is unlocked.
The police department says these cameras will help record the truth.
Tim Bedwell, of the NLVPD, said, "The more evidence we can have every time a Taser is deployed, the better we know what officers are doing. The better we can prove to the public that we are doing the right thing with our Tasers."
It's a tool attorney Cal Potter believes would have come in handy when he says his client, Keith Tucker, was tasered four times by Metro back in 2004. "He's finally handcuffed and then he is tasered when he is handcuffed. That's what makes this case very unique," Potter said.
It all happened inside of Tucker's home. Potter, who has filed a $20 million lawsuit against Metro on the family's behalf, says police officers beat Tucker first and then each used their Taser on him. Tucker later died.
The coroner found he suffered from cardiac arrest and also had cocaine in his system. Though a jury found the officer's actions excusable during a coroner's inquest, Potter says the way the officers used the Taser was a contributing factor.
"In this particular instance, I think video tape would have helped to show that police used excessive force that the actions they took were not necessary," Potter continued.
It's a risk the NLVPD is not worried about. "The credibility of the police department depends of the public belief that we do investigate fully and this is another thing that will help our credibility," Tim Bedwell explained.
It's a move many, like Attorney Cal Potter, hope Metro eventually follows because no matter who is to blame, the camera never lies.
Again, the Metro officer's actions were deemed excusable in the Tucker case. That lawsuit against Metro is in the federal court system.
Metro says that right now they have approximately 50 video cameras being used with their Taser devices. They are still in the testing phase. While they are convinced the cameras are a good idea, they are checking to make sure the quality of the video and audio are reliable before they invest money.
The cameras cost $450 a piece.