In response to the recent Michael Brown case in Ferguson, Mo., President Barack Obama is asking Congress for funding to buy 50,000 body cameras for police officers around the country to wear while on duty. The small, lapel-mounted cameras can be used to record events such as altercations, shootings, and more.
He commented that he wants to ensure the United States is not supporting or building a “militarized culture” within police departments. He added that he would be creating a task force to study success stories and recommend ways the government can support accountability, transparency and trust in police.
Obama says the goal is to build trust and confidence between police and minority communities around the country. He is proposing a three-year, $263 million spending package to increase use of body-worn cameras, expand training for law enforcement and add more resources for police department reform. The package includes $75 million to help pay for 50,000 of the cameras to record police on the job, with state and local governments paying half the cost.
During a recent press conference, Obama said: “Part of the reason this time will be different is because the president of the United States is deeply invested in making sure that this time is different. It violates my belief in what America can be to hear young people feeling marginalized and distrustful even after they’ve done everything right.”
Black leaders such as Al Sharpton, and even the family of Michael Brown, support the idea heavily.