Body cameras for police will show all facets of incidents
What would you do if you were a policeman who – fortunately wearing a ballistic vest – had just been shot by a suspect?
Remember, the impact of a bullet striking a ballistic vest is severe and often quite painful. And if you are the officer, your thought in the split-second before you must act may be that the suspect’s next shot could hit you in the head.
If you are most people, you probably pull the trigger on your own gun.
Cleveland Police Patrolman David Muniz did something else. He repeated a previous plea for the suspect, a distraught man who already had fired several shots at officers, to drop his gun. “I know you just shot me, but I’m not going to shoot you,” Muniz told Theodore Johnson, 64, on March 11.
Johnson, who had said he wanted to die, raised his weapon to fire again. Four officers with Muniz shot and killed him.
The tragic episode was caught on police body cameras. Obviously, Muniz acted heroically and compassionately – as law enforcement personnel throughout the country do, day in and day out.
Many proponents of body cameras for officers favor them to curb misconduct. But they can record other things – and the public should see those videos, too.