Posted on January 3, 2006

ACLU Will Provide Cameras to Tape Police

Jeremy Kohler, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Dec. 31, 2005

St. Louis police officers often say they feel as if people are looking over their shoulders.

That feeling isn’t likely to let up this year.

The local chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union, a frequent critic of the city police, says it plans to arm residents of the city’s north side with video cameras to record officers’ dealings with the public.

The activist group says the department often mistreats and unfairly targets blacks and said it hopes the presence of cameras will act as a deterrent to police abuse and result in smoother dealings between residents and police.

The group said the cameras will start rolling in the summer, after a series of workshops near Fairground Park where blacks can learn about how to protect their rights during dealings with police. The program is called the Racial Justice Initiative.