Just a week on the job, U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch on Friday unveiled a $20 million pilot program to expand the use of police body cameras for “transparency” amid nationwide protests over law enforcement treatment of suspects, according to NBC News.
“Body-worn cameras hold tremendous promise for enhancing transparency, promoting accountability, and advancing public safety for law enforcement officers and the communities they serve,” Lynch said in a press release, notes the television news outlet.
The move follows protests over allegations of police brutality in black communities across the nation following several high profile deaths, including Michael Brown by a white officer in Ferguson, Mo., the killing of a homeless man on Los Angeles’ Skid Row and most recently the spinal injury while in police custody that led to the death of 25-year-old Freddie Gray, the report says.
NBC says the program includes $17 million in competitive grants for cameras, $2 million for training and technical assistance, and $1 million for evaluation.
Police departments around the nation have begun equipping officers with the cameras, with encouragement from the Obama administration, which has asked Congress for increased funding for the cameras, notes NBC.
A day after Lynch announced the program, the Democratic National Committee at its quarterly meeting on Saturday in San Francisco, Calif., supported the program and passed a resolution calling for reform of the criminal justice system and community investment.
“[S]ince Michael Brown was killed in Ferguson, we have witnessed over a dozen high profile officer-involved shooting cases and the loss of dozens more unarmed black men and women whose names we do not see in headlines or hashtags,” the resolution reads in part. “We can no longer endure the pain, heartbreak and destruction.”
article by Lynette Holloway via theroot.com