Ryan Wrecker

WRECKER: Body cameras will solve a lot of problems

Ryan Wrecker
May 28, 2018 - 10:00 am

What do you think happens more often – a person lies about their encounter with police, or an officer lies about their encounter with a person?  In St. Louis, more police agencies across the region are turning to body cameras.  Let’s look at two isolated incidents that made national attention.  In the past week, police body cameras cleared two officers who were accused by suspects. 

The first is the president of the NAACP in Timmonsville, North Carolina.  Rev. Jerrod Moultrie said he was profiled and pulled over for no reason because the officer “thought he had some drugs or something.”  Once the body camera footage was released, Moultrie was found to be lying.  He attempted to use race to get out of trouble. 

The second instance was even worse.  Sherita Dixon-Cole said a trooper leveraged his authority to rape her, also saying he would let her off the hook for drunk driving for sexual favors.  She even said the officer threatened her boyfriend.  The body camera footage determined it was all a lie.  National columnist and perpetual race opportunist Shaun King even went so far to round up a mob by use his following to turn on the innocent officer before knowing any of the facts.  He later changed his blog post to present the new evidence and admit his mistake, but the damage was done. 

Equipping everyone in law enforcement with a body camera will be worth the investment.  Between the devices and secure storage, it’s a lot of money for cities to find.  But we owe it to the innocent to clear their name, let it be the officer OR the citizen.  It will be an important tool to make sure any inappropriate and potential criminal behavior is driven by proof – and not mob mentality. 

There’s also the nature of secret payouts to families that accuse the police of wrong doing.  Your tax payer money is being used to make sometimes false accusations go away.  That needs to end.  We’re not flushed with cash in St. Louis.  We can’t afford that any more. 

I think it’s human nature to lie to get out of trouble.  It goes beyond shifting the blame.  Why hold yourself accountable when you can be cleared in the court of public opinion by lying?  But sometimes lying kills careers, and it hurts communities when good cops are driven out by false accusations.

The video will speak for itself… that is, if we see the value in it.