Cop Cams May Be Coming to San Jose

SAN JOSE (KCBS) — San Jose’s top police watchdog agency wants officers to start wearing miniature video cameras on their uniforms.

One of the goals of the proposed move it to prevent race-based policing. That’s according to a list of recommendations issued by San Jose’s Independent Police Auditor, as a way of improving community relations with the police department.

According to the Auditor’s report, police in San Jose are forcing African Americans, Latinos and other minorities to “curb sit” more often than whites. “Curb sitting” is the police practice of directing individuals to sit on the curb during misdemeanor traffic stops.

The disparity in race and “curb sitting” is just one of the reasons Auditor LaDoris Cordell wants to see officers wearing the video cameras – it’s a way, she reasons, of recording everything that happens when an officer is on duty.

Video cameras on police cars or uniforms is apparently an increasingly popular practice.

“As police are subject to more and more regulations of this sort, the tendency towards unconscious bias, which is probably the knotiest problem in this area, probably diminishes,” argued professor Robert Weisberg, a criminal law expert at Stanford’s Law School.

KCBS’ Matt Bigler Reports:

In all, Cordell is making 30 recommendations in her annual report to the San Jose City Council.

(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed)

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