Peralta Community College District's Only Student-Run Publication
Peralta Community College District's only student-run publication.

The Citizen

Peralta Community College District's only student-run publication.

The Citizen

Peralta Community College District's only student-run publication.

The Citizen

    Keeping an eye on the police

    With the steadily increasing friction between police officers and civilians due to the recent string of violent and fatal incidences, reform seems to be inevitable as it is a growing focal point for the entire nation.
    On Dec. 1, the White House announced that President Obama will sign an executive order that will improve training for law enforcement agencies that receive equipment through federal grant programs.
    Among the proposed initiatives, there is a three-year, $236 million investment package; $75 million would go toward covering half the cost of 50,000 police body cameras.
    The cameras have been highly promoted by reform advocates, for they would aid in documenting interactions between police and the public, as well as hopefully eliminate the hearsay that is involved with cases that have no eyewitnesses. In Rialto, Calif., a pilot program was initiated between 2012 and 2013. In the first year of the city using police cameras, the number of complaints filed against officers fell by 88 percent and the use of force by officers fell off by 60 percent. 
    There is the argument from union members and police officials who believe the cameras are unnecessary and are a distraction for officers.
    However, there are police departments in major cities such as Chicago, New York, and other smaller cities such as Ferguson that have started using cameras or announced plans to start using them.
    Even with the small sample size of departments using body cameras, is common sense that having this technology will decrease the amount of cases of excessive force used by police officers and disputed incidences with the public.
    It’s extremely important that the lives of citizens are protected at all costs, but it is also important to understand that a police officer is to be afforded those rights too, and may take action when necessary to protect him or herself when they feel threatened so that they can go home to their families. These cameras will give everyone the opportunity to be protected and all incidences will be justified with the evidence that this technology will provide.
    All forms of racism, sexism and stereotyping are still very much present in society today. Privilege, whether patriarchal or white, is in fact a very real issue. It is an ugly truth that we have to live with in everyday life. Reform must take place in order to get closer to the goal of all people created equal.
    Chase Burkett is a staff writer. Email him at [email protected]

    About the Contributor
    In the fall of 2019, The Laney Tower rebranded as The Citizen and launched a new website. These stories were ported over from the old Laney Tower website, but byline metadata was lost in the port. However, many of these stories credit the authors in the text of the story. Some articles may also suffer from formatting issues. Future archival efforts may fix these issues.  
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