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Transparency is not sufficient without reform, nor is it ensured by cameras.

First, there's no guarantee that the public will ever see footage from police body cameras, especially in cases where it may be helpful to defendants or civil litigants.

Body cameras, however, are no solution to the problem.

The real problem - which the president and Congress continue to ignore - is a legal system granting police broad latitude to commit civil rights violations.

Between Congress amending it and courts interpreting it, the law must change so that police face justice for arbitrary violence, whether their human rights abuses happen on or off camera.



Second, even when body camera footage is public, it remains an inadequate solution at best.Policy proposals responding to the movement, however, threaten to distract from its most crucial goals, undermine its interests, and ultimately exacerbate mass incarceration.After greeting grassroots organizers from Ferguson at the White House, and affirming his concerns about the "militarized culture" of domestic police forces, President Obama proposed to spend a quarter billion dollars on solutions including police body cameras.Cameras captured video of Eric Garner's death, which millions of people watched on You Tube.

Recent evasions of justice by the NYPD officers who killed Eric Garner prove what Americans of color have long known: Police can do anything - even murder someone in broad daylight on videotape, without provocation, using methods of force already held illegal - and get away with it.

Americans from all walks of life have responded with a rising tide of protests around the country, ranging from sit-ins at shopping malls and walkouts on college campuses, to the occupation of train stations, major intersections and highways.


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