Thursday, June 4, 2020

Body cams for BC RCMP

A petition is calling for BC RCMP to be required to wear body cameras while on duty (change.org/BCBodyCams). Over 16,000 people have signed the petition since it was started five days ago.

Melaniem Banman started the petition, and says: “Currently, events in the U.S.A. are demonstrating why body cameras are so important. While police are supposed to be protectors, they are also human, and are not always able to separate their beliefs from their actions. This can lead to the death of minority members at the hands of those that have promised to protect us.”

The petition states that in 2019 the BC Solicitor General created guidelines for RCMP wearing body cameras. However, it was decided that the cost was too high to implement the cameras. Banman asks: “Is money more important than the lives of our citizens? Are RCMP officers allowed to do as they please with no accountability?”

Here are a few quotes from petition signers:

“What's the cost of human lives? Body cams for cops can work both ways, in defense of a libel suit and scrutiny of wrongdoing.” - Rolf Widmer, Powell River, BC

“It is required I believe to protect law as well as to show both sides. Especially in a court of law. Different versions of the truth can be proven with bodycam.” - Linda Rhoades, Kelowna, BC

“This is an important issue. It offers transparency for officers and citizens alike if it's used properly and not a coveted possession of police but available to those affected. Noone should be above the law. This a great way to hold all accountable, citizens and police alike” - Jim Ross, Slocan Park, BC

For the latest signer count and for more information please see change.org/BCBodyCams.