August 22, 2014 By Douglas Hanks, McClatchy News Service
In the wake of national outrage over alleged police misconduct in Ferguson, Mo., Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez on Thursday vowed to make “body cameras” mandatory for all county patrol officers.
His proposed budget calls for purchasing 500 of the mini cameras, enough to outfit about half of Miami-Dade’s patrol force. Made by Taser, they’re small enough to snap onto a pair of glasses or a hat in order to record everything an officer sees.
“I want a camera on every police officer,” Gimenez told the audience at a budget town hall meeting in Little Haiti.
Gimenez’s strong words put Miami-Dade, one of the largest local governments in the country, on the forefront of a national debate over police cameras in the wake of the Ferguson shooting of an unarmed teenager by an officer. Days of unrest followed, with protestors alleging homicide and authorities saying they didn’t yet have enough evidence to pass judgment. Civil-liberties activists have raised concerns about a police force essentially filming every civilian they come in contact with.