White House Proposes $263 Million Plan That Puts Body-Worn Cameras in Police Departments

David Martosko, Daily Mail, December 1, 2014

President Barack Obama will meet with controversial black pastor and MSNBC host Al Sharpton on Monday at the White House, and plans to demand 263 million from Congress to put 50,000 body-worn cameras in U.S. police departments in response to the August police shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri.

Brown’s parents have pushed the cameras as one solution to the distrust between police and criminal suspects following physical encounters. The White House said in August that it agreed with the idea in principle.

‘We support the use of cameras and video technology by law enforcement officers, and the Department of Justice continues to research best practices for implementation,’ the administration wrote in response to a public petition that attracted more than 154,000 supporters on the White House website.

The new initiative will provide 50 per cent of the funding for cameras, but will not pay for them entirely, at a cost of $75 million.

It will also provide new training resources and funds to study how to reform police practices.

It’s unclear why Officer Darren Wilson didn’t wear a camera during his fateful encounter with Brown. Members of the Ferguson Police Department were photographed wearing body cameras later that month during an August 30 rally.

Obama has a jam-packed day with three separate meetings to discuss the deteriorating situation.

He will also announce Monday that he wants the Pentagon and Congress to review the program that puts surplus military hardware in the hands of state and local law enforcement.

The White House is pushing a new torrent of public messages about the death of Brown, a young black man, at the hands of Wilson, a white officer.

Meetings with cabinet officials, with a group of ‘young local and national civil rights leaders,’ and with top law enforcement officials are on the president’s official Monday schedule.

Speculation ran rampant on Twitter that Sharpton would attend the civil rights meeting, and his representatives confirmed it just before lunch.

Sharpton, a community-organizer-turned-minister-turned-TV-host, is a frequent White House visitor and has appeared in Ferguson. On Sunday he preached at the St. Louis church where Michael Brown’s funeral service was held.

‘The fight ain’t over,’ he told a capacity crowd.

Alicia Garza, a special projects director at the National Domestic Workers Alliance and a co-founder of the emblematic ‘Black Lives Matter’ movement, tweeted a cautionary note.

‘Obama–meeting with Al Sharpton isn’t what’s going to change conditions. Those days are LONG GONE,’ she wrote.

Missouri Lt. Gov Peter Kinder said Monday morning on the Fox News Channel that Sharpton ‘is an inciter of mobs and he demands mob justice.’

The Pentagon program that supplies military equipment to police forces has moved more than $5.1 billion in gear–including guns, tactical vehicles and even aircraft–since its inception. About $500 million in hardware was passed out this year alone.

But White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest explained during a briefing Monday that ‘the ‘majority of the funds’ spent through those programs ‘has not been used to purchase law enforcement specific equipment.’

He characterized it instead as largely a source for office supplies and other materials that can help a police department run smoothly.

Earnest told reporters that the program should be tweaked to ‘enhance crime prevention while at the same time strengthening the bonds with the communities they are sworn to protect.’

He said the president had no plans to visit Ferguson personally but hadn’t ruled it out.

Black communities, especially in Ferguson, have complained that the federal government is arming their local police to the point where they more resemble paramilitary armies than law enforcement agencies.

But on the nights following a grand jury’s decision not to indict Officer Wilson, rioters burned buildings and looted stores while shots rang out. Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon was criticized later for not deploying the Missouri National Guard, a fully militarized force, in downtown Ferguson.

Obama said during an August 18 press conference that it would be ‘useful for us to review how the funding was done, how local law enforcement has used grant dollars, to make sure that what they’re purchasing is stuff that they actually need.’

‘There is a big difference between our military and our local law enforcement, and we don’t want those lines blurred. That would be contrary to our tradition,’ he said then.

Earnest said Monday that the president will appoint a new task force, led by Philadelphia Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey and former assistant Attorney General Laurie Robinson, to study what the White House has called ‘best practices’ in policing.

That task force will have 120 days to report back to the White House. Its work is expected to focus on alleged disparities between the treatment of blacks and whites at the hands of sworn officers.

The White House said in a statement that the president’s cabinet meeting would concern ‘federal programs and funding that provide equipment to state and local law enforcement agencies.’

But it did not respond to a request for information about who else, other than Sharpton, would attend its civil rights meeting.

The Associated Press reported that Obama’s meeting with the civil rights community would focus on challenges posed by ‘mistrust between law enforcement and communities of color.’

That topic was a major point of emphasis when the president addressed the nation one week ago as Ferguson burned.

‘The fact is, in too many parts of this country, a deep distrust exists between law enforcement and communities of color,’ Obama said on Nov. 24.

‘Some of this is the result of the legacy of racial discrimination in this country. And this is tragic, because nobody needs good policing more than poor communities with higher crime rates.’

‘The good news is we know there are things we can do to help,’ he added. ‘And I’ve instructed Attorney General [Eric] Holder to work with cities across the country to help build better relations between communities and law enforcement.’

Earnest said Monday that it’s ‘an unfortunate irony that in those communities where the crime rate is the highest, sometimes the trust is lowest between the members of the community and the police force.’

Protests have continued in Ferguson, but have been more muted than the violence sparked last week by a grand jury’s decision not to indict police officer Darren Wilson in the shooting of 18-year-old Michael Brown after he held up a convenience store.

Wilson resigned his post over the weekend.

Obama’s cabinet meeting will concern ‘federal programs and funding that provide equipment to state and local law enforcement agencies,’ according to the White House.

That has been a front-burner issue since the Ferguson shooting in August, when police showed up in force in military-style vehicles that the Obama and Bush administrations provided through programs that distribute surplus Pentagon equipment.

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  • AlfalfaDoLittle

    Personally, I find it utterly insulting and revolting that Al Sharpton is anywhere near the White House. He is repugnant. He has weaseled his way into being Obama’s unofficial Racism Czar.

    • pcmustgo

      Louis Farrakhan apparently gets white house visits too.

    • LexiconD1

      I think it says more about exactly who, and what, Obama, than anything else.

    • Who Me?

      True, but for once in his miserable life he has a good idea.

    • See The Future

      How will they ever get the smell out of the white house?

    • Earl P. Holt III

      Why? Do you think Obama is any different than these cesspool scrapings…?

    • WR_the_realist

      Imagine the outrage from the mass media if a white president invited Jared Taylor to the White House to discuss matters concerning the civil rights of white people. There is of course, no possibility of this ever happening.

  • President Barack Obama will meet with controversial black pastor and MSNBC host Al Sharpton on Monday at the White House, and plans to demand 263 million from Congress to put 50,000 body-worn cameras in U.S. police departments in response to the August police shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri.

    If Darren Wilson would have been wearing such a camera on August 9, we would have video evidence of what we already know.

    He will also announce Monday that he wants the Pentagon and Congress to review the program that puts surplus military hardware in the hands of state and local law enforcement.

    I’m in favor of having this debate, but I don’t think it should happen now, because it had nothing to do with what happened in Ferguson. In fact, the cops that responded to and tried to prevent subsequent riots really weren’t all that militarized.

    Missouri Lt. Gov Peter Kinder said Monday morning on the Fox News Channel that Sharpton ‘is an inciter of mobs and he demands mob justice.’

    Peter Kindercare is one of the biggest n-lovers around. I dread the notion that he’s got the inside track for the Republican nomination for Governor in 2016.

    But on the nights following a grand jury’s decision not to indict Officer Wilson, rioters burned buildings and looted stores while shots rang out. Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon was criticized later for not deploying the Missouri National Guard, a fully militarized force, in downtown Ferguson.

    The Oathkeepers showed up and were able to save a few businesses and lives, but the official cops chased them away.

    • propagandaoftruth

      263 million more toward the diversity/reparations bill.

  • Roninf9

    This is about more Federal government control of local police.

    • Beowald

      Money always has strings.

  • pcmustgo

    Go for it… it will just help cops solve more crime and prosecute better.

    • Sick of it

      Said money would be better spent on a border fence and immigration enforcement.

      • Beowald

        That’s the only immigration reform I support–enforcement.

  • One black civil rights leader was quoted as saying that the modern civil right movement as of today is the murder of whites. That’s proving true, I believe.

    Cameras will not derail the anti-white agenda to push out white cops and fill their shoes with blacks and browns. Cameras will be used to claim that every dead black and brown was a victim because the cop should have done something different. The new narrative on Darren is that he should have stayed in his car with the windows rolled up. Getting out of his car proves he intended to murder Mike Brown.

    See. You can’t reason with them, no matter what the evidence shows.

    • Beowald

      Yes, you’re probably right. No matter what they’re given, the Left will ask for more. On balance I do not object to cameras. I do object to increased federal control.

  • John Smith

    Al Sharpton? Really?

    Lost in all this insanity are the facts.

    A black thug attacks a store owner. Five minutes later, the black thug punches a cop twice in the face and tries to take his gun. The thug’s blood is all over the inside of the car.

    Oh, and the black thug was stoned on weed.

    • edwin karninsky

      Every normal person mellows out on weed.

      Black smokes pot and tries to kill a cop.

      I wonder what this animal was like without the gentle herb.

      • Dave West

        Weed also makes people paranoid. A dim-witted, prone to violence, black smoking weed can be a blue print for a disaster.

    • Earl P. Holt III

      Yes, but he were a “Honor Student,” and a “gentle giant,” and his momma dun goed to choich, and he were a “aspiring Rap Artist,” and he hepped ole ladies cross de streetses, an’ he were a jenious, an he were a fine yung manses, an his pantses dun hanged down pas his brains…

  • Dave West

    Police body cameras are fine with me. Al Sharpton thinks body cameras on police will “keep them in check.” When in reality all body cameras are going to do is reveal that in cases of supposed “police brutality” and “racial profiling” that the gentle giants and st sandwichs’ of the world are to blame 99 out of 100 times.

    Police cameras be rayciss!

    • phorning

      I’m concerned the police cameras will become a magnet for ACLU lawsuits against police officers and that a number of the lawsuits will be of questionable merit. I also see no reason to force all police departments nationwide to use them. Small municipalities with extremely low rates of violent crime are not likely to benefit from this program and don’t need to incur the extra cost.

  • Peters

    I am a white man and I strongly support the plan of body cameras for all cops. Although I sided with Wilson in the case of Ferguson, make no mistake, there is plenty of white on white and black on white police brutality out there. Body cameras may make the cop to think twice, and, in the Ferguson case, make the blacks appear even more stupid than now.

  • AmericanCitizen

    Police body cameras would be an excellent idea. It would help create a lot of race realists if people could see the way the inner city black lives and acts. It would also help fight the MSM narratives of “teens”, “youths”, “students” as substitute words for black criminals.

    • Who Me?

      And as in the case of the Oakland CA firefighter who tried to cry “racism” on the officer, it will discredit a LOT of the “police brutality” and “racism” claims that presently get paid off because of lack of evidence. Blacks are screaming for the cops to wear body cams. Well, they will get them, then they will be screaming the opposite because the chances of winning the ghetto lottery will drop to near zero.
      I’m all for it, and I’m sure every good law enforcement officer (approx. 95% of them) will be jumping for joy at the prospect of having positive, on-film proof that he acted appropriately in the teeth of black savagery. On the other hand, it will also allow police departments to weed out the few bad officers that do occasionally pop up by insisting they wear the cameras and have them ON at all times while on duty. (“What were you doing that you didn’t want recorded, Officer X?”)

      • rebellisMMXII

        Amazing isn’t it? I cannot see a downside and clean police should welcome the records.

  • Raymond Kidwell

    This camera business is probably why the media created this story and drummed up protests. It’s all a game of chess, only regular people always lose.

  • phorning

    Earnest said Monday that it’s ‘an unfortunate irony that in those communities where the crime rate is the highest, sometimes the trust is lowest between the members of the community and the police force.’

    Criminals generally don’t have a positive view of law enforcement Josh. I realize the WH press secretary gets to the point where he can say anything with a straight face, but Jay Carney and Josh Earnest have taken it to a new level.

  • edwin karninsky

    Cameras on cops will be a disaster for the blacks.

    The plan will backfire spectacularly when dozens, then hundreds, then thousands of videos of actual black behavior come streaming in to counter allegations of ‘dint du nuffins’ and ‘he a gud keed who had heez handz up.’

    • johningermany

      We need to double down now with everyone in a camera mood and put them in every classroom,too.” You never know just how you look until you get your picture took.”

  • LHathaway

    So basically, Sharpton is doing our work for us, in this case. Yes, TY for advocating for cameras for all police. Let’s have an unbiased way to reveal the footage. And let’s do so.

  • Yves Vannes

    These cameras will be eventually removed by demand. What they will capture is the vile barbaric behavior of blacks. Let the world see just what it is that the men in blue have to deal with day in and day out.

    • A Freespeechzone

      It won’t make a lick of difference, negroes caught exhibiting bad and violent behavior toward police will be discredited—-just ‘because’.

      Look at all the effort put into trying to railroad Darren Wilson—you know damned well the DOJ and others TRIED to make him guilty; but the scientific evidence PROVED otherwise.

      There won’t be any difference with police body cams for proof—it will still be seen by the negro as racism.

    • rebellisMMXII

      I don’t see how they can do a “turn the cameras off” once the practice is in place. But I see your reasoning…the truth will be ugly and there will be some sort of push back.

      • Fighting_Northern_Spirit

        It would have to be framed from a “civil libertarian” slant – “OMG!!! A surveillance society! Police state bla bla bla!” – never touching their real objection to blacks/browns behaving badly caught on video. And some of that would be legitimate, if it weren’t a smokescreen to hide the real issue. In a diverse society where upwards of 50% have no innate civilized norms, and white libtards automatically believe the worst about whites in authority, cameras will be the only protection whites have.
        .
        It’s probably not much of an exaggeration to say we can have diversity and a police state, or a white society and freedom.

  • Negro cams would better serve to document feral behavior.

  • Jaggers

    I wouldn’t want a camera recording me at work, and therefore I wouldn’t want to impose that on cops. I really don’t give a damn what Michael Brown’s parents want.

    • Dave West

      Let them do it, all it’s going to do is let the pressure off cops and prove the points of race realists.

  • See The Future

    THE USA is broke! Almost 19 trillion Federal and over 50 trillion counting states and municipalities. Who is paying for this?

    • Sick of it

      White people.

    • Beowald

      My question exactly.

  • Da Troof

    Wouldn’t it make more sense to make ghetto blacks wear body cameras? They commit per capita a hell of a lot more crime than cops do.

  • Maximo Partagas

    Unless the cameras turn off when a negro enters the frame, the American public is in for an awakening, I would love to see the truth of the savagery in negroes put on the TV and internet every day. Maybe, just maybe, whites will start to wake up from this multi-cultural nightmare we’re in.

    • Dave West

      It could make a good TV show if anything else!

      I notice that so many YouTube of “racist police brutality” are amateur videos that only show the part of the video where the black thug is being arrested (or resisting arrest) and screaming “I didn’ do nufin'” the events that preceded the chaos are left out.

      • superlloyd

        Like the video of Rodney King that was shown in the UK. The helpless black victim narrative. The disingenuousness of the left driven media is transparent but rarely commented on except in pages like these.

        • Fighting_Northern_Spirit

          That video was edited on day one by KTLA in Los Angeles to be as inflammatory as possible. As it got passed around, other news outlets chopped it smaller and smaller as it became a shorthand image of generic police “brutality.” But to be honest, the public was primed for it by decades of solemn inquiries into black whining, civil rights commissions, leftist agitprop and depictions of the supposed brutality in fiction. When the media finally had a video that could be edited to look really bad, they waved it around with manic glee.

  • RacialRay

    And when those very cameras are used more often than not to exonerate law enforcement officers who have no choice but to put down violent, dark-complected savages, the race-hustlers will…protest?

    Be careful what you wish for, homeboys.

  • JustJeff

    Meh. Even if the camera shows the cop is right they’ll still say the perp dindu nuffin.

  • rentslave

    Sharpton is crazy for wanting these cameras,as they will prove the existence of natural born liars from his ilk.

  • superlloyd

    ‘President Barack Obama will meet with controversial black pastor and MSNBC host Al Sharpton on Monday at the White House, and plans to demand 263 million from Congress ‘ Hopefully, Congress will tell this marxist, mulatto clown where to go.

  • Earl Turner

    This is great! I love it! Where can we donate so as to raise even more money? I want every single police officer who ever has to deal with Basketball Americans to have the best camera money can buy.

    Then we’ll sit back and laugh as the cameras tell the truth for all to see.

    How long will it be after that before we hear “cameras be racist!”?

    • sveltefamilyman

      What’s worse; a black criminal or a black cop? Which one do you trust more?

      • Earl Turner

        That’s a trick question, isn’t it? They’re both Basketball Americans so why should I trust either one?

        • sveltefamilyman

          Is there a difference between a tomato and a fire hydrant?

  • Earl P. Holt III

    For a fraction of that amount, we could put “body-worn cameras” on all the Obama Administration’s political appointees and the members of the Black Caucus:

    It would make future prosecutions easier…

  • WR_the_realist

    If they install the cameras I suspect those cameras will prove Al Sharpton wrong in just about every case involving police and black people. So bring it on, Al.

  • mael

    In a way, cameras are a good idea. It will show the world the true side of the negro experience. From a cops eye view. Pure savagery in all its forms.

  • newscomments70

    Obama actually believes that this will prove the white police officers’ racism. It will only backfire on him, proving that black males are extremely violent, racist and criminal prone.

  • sveltefamilyman

    I wonder why people think that color is a good way to discriminate. I mean I get it if something is color coded. A racists boss might say, “we need all the medium sized dildos over here and we need the bigger ones over here. To make your job easier, the big ones are colored black and the medium ones are beige.”

    I mean in that situation it will definitely help the sorting process. In the natural world that isn’t how it works though. Its not like all pedophiles are green. It’s be nice, but pedophiles come in many colors. Color doesn’t seem to be related to color at all.

    I’m sure I’m preaching to the choir. Stay black, everybody!

  • Connie Dung

    I demand that everyone, especially “minorities,” caught in the act of a criminal offense, permanently lose their “entitlement” benefits in order to cover the cost of these body cameras.

  • Connie Dung

    Whereas blacks shouted that they wanted Darren Wilson dead;

    Whereas blacks shouted “Burn this b-tch down”;

    Whereas evidence exonerated Darren Wilson and yet he had to resign due to death threats

    I demand that every violent black convicted due to body camera evidence, receive the following punishments:

    1. Permanent loss of “entitlement” benefits upon first conviction
    2. Life in prison without possibility of parole upon second conviction
    3. Death upon third conviction

  • Rusty Shackelford

    While the body cameras might catch/discourage police misbehavior, they’d likely just prove that in most cases, Dindu Nuthins, did, in fact, do something. Then blacks will call body cameras racist.

  • Rusty Shackelford

    Why a local law enforcement matter has to take time and attention away from the President’s busy golf schedule is truly perplexing to me. What will Sharpton et al do when there’s no longer a black person in the white house?

  • Paleoconn

    That still won’t be good enough cause they’ll argue that the video was modified. Even if all the blacks in America see the altercation live, they would still defend their thug if it’s against a White cop.