Friday, November 21, 2014

Letter from the Chapter Advocating Body Cams

917 Third Street
Eureka, CA 95501

November 20, 2014

Humboldt County Board of Supervisors
Eureka City Council
Arcata City Council
Redwood Empire Municipal Insurance Fund
Eureka Times Standard
Lost Coast Outpost
North Coast Journal
Mad River Union

Ladies and Gentlemen:

On November 18, 2014, the Board of Directors of the Redwood Chapter of the ACLU of Northern California unanimously adopted a resolution calling for all peace officers in Humboldt County to wear body cameras while on official duty. In a study conducted by the Rialto Police Department and reported in the New York Times on April 6, 2013, entitled "Wearing a Badge, and a Video Camera," it was found that body camera use by police reduced use-of -force incidents by 60%, and reduced citizen complaints against the police by 88%.

In the past ten years, police in Humboldt County have killed Cheri Lyn Moore, Christopher Burgess, Martin Cotton, Gabriel Cuevas-Maldonado, Jonni Honda, Zachary Cook, David Sequoia, Robert Garth, Eloy Infante-Toscano, Peter Stewart and Tommy McClain. Clearly, change is needed. The death of Cheri Moore did prompt some reforms in how police handle mentally ill people locally, and those reforms are to be applauded. We believe that introduction of mandatory body cameras will benefit both citizens and police.


The Redwood ACLU Board of Directors


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