Chris Christie

Chris Christie Urges Lawmakers to Rewrite Police Dashcam Law

May still support it

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dashcam

Gov. Chris Christie (R-N.J.) is leaving the door open for his support of a bill requiring police departments to equip their vehicles with dashboard cameras, after that law was ruled an unfunded mandated by the Council on Local Mandates.

"I signed it the last time so I'm certainly willing to look at it," Christie said, "but look at it in light of the new costs."

The dashcam bill, first introduced in 2014, included a $25 surcharge on DWI offenses as a method of paying for the dashcams. Christie has not been shy to support increased fines as a method of paying for government mandates before. In 2013, he signed a bill into law that increased penalties for failure to keep right from the $50 to $200 range to the $100 to $300 range, including a $50 surcharge to pay for "keep right" sign.

While the dashcam bill's sponsor argues that the Council on Local Mandates doesn't have the power to review partially funded mandates and asked Christie to appeal the decision, Christie agreed with the council that its decisions were not reviewable. The New Jersey Constitution calls the council's decisions "political and not judicial determinations."

The Constitutional provision about the Council on Local Mandates does offer a number of other ways legislation can avoid review by the council, including laws, rules, or regulations "which implement the provisions of this Constitution," something the bill's sponsors perhaps could have argued the dashcam law did, but didn't argue. Another provision exempts laws, rules, or regulations "which are required to comply with federal laws or rules or to meet eligibility standards for federal entitlements." There are no federal rules tying federal funding of local and state law enforcement to transparency measures like installing dashboard cameras or using body cameras.

I've previously suggested a tax on police associations and unions to pay for the dashcam, but suspect that's an idea that would be met in the New Jersey legislature with bipartisan opposition.

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  1. Yo, fuck Chris Christie. /xeones

    1. not even with someone else’s dick

      1. What kind of anaconda would someone have to have to get through those zounds of blubber? *barf*

    2. Not literally, of course. LOL. Funny how we use phrases like “fuck you” and “cocksucker” as insults. I think Lenny Bruce had a good take on that.

  2. I really don’t know what good the dash cams are doing. I mean, sure it’s spreading awareness. But you can show the boot lickers 100 videos of cops murdering unarmed people who are in no way resisting and they’ll still say something like ‘well, that guy had to be doing something wrong’. I think that before something changes, a majority of people will have to be outraged, so I think the cops are safe for the foreseeable future, unfortunately.

    1. Many people have a religious-like faith in their government. For them to be outraged at the police would require giving up that faith, and that’s just too much for many people.

  3. I’ve previously suggested a tax on police associations and unions to pay for the dashcam, but suspect that’s an idea that would be met in the New Jersey legislature with bipartisan opposition.

    Why don’t you just tax the phrase “stop resisting” while you’re at it?

    1. I don’t think it’s fair to single out organizations by purpose for specific taxation. That amounts to First Amendment-violating viewpoint discrimination. If it can be wielded against people I don’t like, then it can be wielded against me, too.

      However, I imagine some fat-trimming on the benefits and pensions cops receive could net ample funds for dashcams…

      1. You can’t expect the people who actually use the dashcams to pay for them. No, they must be paid for by everyone else. Because fairness or something.

        1. The should tax police misconduct settlement payments.

          1. What would that accomplish? Most settlements and judgments are not taxable, why single those out?

            1. /sarc/

        2. I still question the necessity of dashcams vis-a-vis holding cops accountable. The over-reliance on modern “definitive” forms of evidence is (paradoxically) dangerous to the rule of law. Moreover, we’ve had accountable cops in the past; it didn’t take dashcams, it took things like strike-busting and enforceable standards of conduct.

          I see a lot of this as just an expensive boondoggle. But for a bunch of walking expensive boondoggles to complain about it…

          1. The over-reliance on modern “definitive” forms of evidence is (paradoxically) dangerous to the rule of law.

            Certainly. And government started it. Now suddenly when the tables are turned government wants a double-standard.

            A dash cam could present the reasonable doubt the police need to save their own asses. But authoritarians are never bright enough to figure their own tactics will ever be used against them.

            1. A dash cam could present the reasonable doubt the police need to save their own asses.

              Oh, I think they’re already well aware of that possibility but don’t see it as a net benefit. Without being too conspiratorial, I think they would rather go unrecorded than have a recording be available to exonerate them in the rare instances they are brought before a jury.

    2. We could put quarter-operated locks on their sidearms.

  4. I totally forgot about my Google Chrome extension that turns “Chris Christie” into “Reek.” Brightened my morning.

  5. Unfunded mandate my ass. How many of the police cars a purchased with such unnecessary luxuries as power brakes and power steering?

    1. I’m pretty sure those are standard nowadays (when was the last car manufactured without power brakes? or did you mean anti-lock brakes?). Now, the thousands of dollars worth of upgrades and add-ons that turn a stock vehicle into a police cruiser, doubling the price (or more), those are a different matter.

      1. Most cops would be just fine in a Prius with a cheap laptop and a cellular wi-fi. The Mad Max cop cars they buy nowadays are a colossal waste of money.

        1. The feds and most states have acquisition regulations that require them to buy from domestic automakers. I humbly suggest this vehicle instead.

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