Title

Truth and Evidence: The Role of Police Officer Body Cameras in Reforming Connecticut's Criminal Justice System Note

Authors

John T. Cigno

Document Type

Article

Abstract

Unresolved animosity between the public and the police has given rise to an "Us vs. Them" mentality. This divisive mentality perpetuates itself as the public extrapolates anecdotal evidence of misconduct to justify condemnation of the law-enforcement community as a whole. In response, many within that community find themselves entrenched behind a "Blue Wall of Silence" in positions of collective self-defense, often to the detriment of their sworn duties. This animosity is a product of the public's perception that police officers seem to be able to break the law with impunity. Although that perception is rooted in an incomplete understanding of qualfied-immunity and excessive-force laws, it accurately reflects the de facto unfairness of the standards themselves. However, with the advent of modern body-camera technology it has become possible to effect criminal justice reform in a way that obviates legal anachronisms and thereby solves these problems at their source. Connecticut has taken important first steps towards this goal, but so far it has been unable to create lasting change. This Note advances three proposals that will allow Connecticut to bridge any remaining divide between its goals and its achievements, between its public and its police, and between truth and evidence

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