Some police in US looking to body cameras on their own

2015-04-23 20:28

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories


Armed robbery of a mountain biker in Somerset West caught on video

2014-06-04 13:47

A mountain bike rider who was hijacked by an armed gunman and two others recorded the whole event on his GoPro video camera. Western Cape police spokesman Andre Traut confirmed all three of the men have been arrested and been charged with robbery. Subscribe to News24 on YouTube here. WATCH

New Richmond - The dramatic body camera video shows the homicide suspect charging at the officer, screaming - pleading, even - for him to open fire.

"Shoot me!" yells Michael Wilcox to the back-pedalling officer, who keeps the suspect at bay until he ultimately surrenders when backup arrives.

The widely circulated video from Ohio police officer Jesse Kidder's own personal body camera illustrates not only the kind of life-or-death moments officers can face, but also how some in law enforcement are getting cameras on their own if their departments can't.

The tense encounter was recorded on a camera a family member had given Kidder in the aftermath of the violent protests that broke out in Ferguson, Missouri, after an officer fatally shot a black 18-year-old - one of a number of controversial killings by police in the US over the past year.

That shooting was not videotaped, although others have been either with police cameras or by witnesses.

While some police around the United States have baulked at the use of body cameras, saying they would subject them to an unreasonable level of monitoring, interest in supplying them to officers is growing. Studies of camera use by police in Rialto, California, and Mesa, Arizona, showed steep declines in citizen complaints and in use of force by officers.

In the Ohio village of New Richmond, where Kidder's restraint last week in the face of a potentially deadly suspect has drawn wide acclaim, police chief Randy Harvey said the video shows why he'd like to have the wearable cameras for all his officers. But he needs to figure out how to pay for them, an issue for many departments, large and small.

"It's all out there for everybody to see - it eliminates any questioning or second-guessing or speculation as to what really occurred," said Harvey, a police officer for more than three decades who said he "believes in my heart" that the vast majority of officers act with similar judgement.

Kidder had spotted the fleeing suspect and followed him in his police cruiser. Dispatchers had told him Wilcox could try to force a "suicide by cop" after his girlfriend was found dead.

50 000 cameras

Now hundreds of departments are trying them out and buying them - if they can pay hundreds of dollars for each device and the additional expenses they will have to incur - and President Barack Obama is pushing a $75m plan to help buy 50 000 body cameras for police.

"It's just an added safeguard to the public and an added layer of accountability for our officers," said Capt Jim Sizemore of the Fayette County, West Virginia, sheriff's department, which was introduced to body cameras when an individual deputy bought his own, wanting to document his policing and protect against false accusations.

Kidder, a Marine veteran of the Iraq War, told WLWT-TV that he wanted to "absolutely sure" before using deadly force against Wilcox.

Wilcox, 27, is being held in jail on $2m bond. A public defender assigned to him on Monday said she hadn't talked with him. Police in Kentucky were also investigating him in connection with a slaying last week, but haven't named a suspect in that case.

Harvey said this week that Kidder was back to his regular duties.

"He doesn't look at himself as a hero," Harvey said.

Read more on:    us  |  technology

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


WATCH: Man films himself going down water slide upside down as things go very wrong…

What is at first an exciting tummy-turning adventure stunt, quickly turns into a scarily bad idea caught on camera. Take a look:


You won't want to miss...

WATCH: Conor McGregor: Notorious the trailer
Best date night restaurants in South Africa
WATCH: Ryan Reynolds offers fans a free tattoo in new Deadpool 2 teaser
Should you date your co-worker?
Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.