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Public gets demonstration, demands answers about police body cam - Live5News.com | Charleston, SC | News, Weather, Sports

Public gets demonstration, demands answers about police body cameras

One variety of police body cameras are worn on an officer's chest. (Photo Source: Live 5) One variety of police body cameras are worn on an officer's chest. (Photo Source: Live 5)
A second variety of police body cameras are worn on glasses. (Photo Source: Live 5) A second variety of police body cameras are worn on glasses. (Photo Source: Live 5)
Approximately 100 people attended the demonstration Friday at North Charleston City Hall. (Photo Source: Live 5) Approximately 100 people attended the demonstration Friday at North Charleston City Hall. (Photo Source: Live 5)
NORTH CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - State and Lowcountry leaders took on the issue of police body cameras, in a public forum at North Charleston City Hall Friday.

State Rep. Wendell Gilliard organized the event in the wake of the fatal shooting of Walter Scott by then-police officer Michael Slager.

The public had a chance to ask questions of two different camera manufacturers after seeing what some of these body cameras could do.

Klear Kapture's body camera would be attached to the officer's chest. It would record non-stop for 60 minute intervals once it's turned on at the beginning of an officers shift. All you have to do is press the save button on the camera to save the video from that 60 minute interval.

Meanwhile, Jonathon Wrenn with Taser showed off two different cameras. One would be attached to the officer's chest, the other on a pair of glasses. The officer would have to double click the Taser camera to start recording. It also grabs the previous thirty seconds of video from the moment it is double clicked.  


For both companies, the decision to turn the camera on or off would fall on the officer.

Many in the room complained, that's not good enough.

"If an officer has control over the camera, he has control over the situation," North Charleston resident Antwonn Gathers said.

For any camera, the officer still has a level of control. That's when several leaders jumped in to talk policy.

"All of this technology is only as good as the person who's wearing it," Charleston Police Chief Greg Mullen said. "I think what really needs to happen is we need to take a holistic view of what's going on in our community, our profession, and get down to the why of this trust factor"
Departments would still have to set rules to determine when it's expected for the cameras to be on or off. That's the human factor.

The reaction is still mixed.

The demonstration happened less than an hour after several civil rights groups asked for a federal investigation of all officer-involved shootings in North Charleston, and Charleston County for the past 20 years, saying they don't trust that agencies have been honest in past investigations.

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