Reason Writers on the Tube: Radley Balko Talks Cops and Cameras on FreedomWatch Tonight at 8pm ET


Tune in to Judge Andrew Napolitano's FreedomWatch tonight at 8pm ET on Fox Business Channel to watch Reason Senior Editor Radley Balko discuss recent cases involving citizens arrested for making video recordings of police officers.


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  1. The Twin Cities is ahead of the curve:

    Burnsville Police are the first in the state to use a new camera system actually worn by an officer, able to capture video and sound of everything the officer sees and hears.

    The system is called AXON and is made by the same company that makes the TASER. Each set consists of a camera mounted on a headgear worn at eye level, and a computer that records the video and audio typically worn on the officer’s belt. Each set costs about $2000. Currently Burnsville has 5 on the streets and will soon have 10, and hope to have a camera for every officer.

    Burnsville officer Chris Biagini likes the camera, saying the video helps officers when they have to testify in court. “I can tell a jury what happened, and I can tell a judge what happened, but there’s nothing like seeing it happen. This is what happened because i have video of it.”

    Burnsville Chief Bob Hawkins says the cameras have several benefits, among them, sparing the city legal costs associated with frivolous law suits. Disputed details from an encounter with an officer can now be seen and heard, “It’s right there on camera now, it eliminates them.”

    1. According to Chief Hawkins, a street officer can’t erase a video once it has been recorded. The video is stored by an independent company, and even if a supervisor chooses to have a video erased, a record that a video existed, who viewed it, and who ordered it erased cannot be removed from the system.

      Of course, the record of who deleted any unfortunate recording will never be released to the public.

  2. Conveniently, the supervisor is wearing a camera system while he deletes the video.

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