67 Fla. L. Rev. 1811 (2015)
Hands up, Don't Shoot: Police Misconduct and the Need for Body Cameras

handle is hein.journals/uflr67 and id is 1855 raw text is: 



HANDS UP, DON'T SHOOT: POLICE MISCONDUCT AND THE
                   NEED FOR BODY CAMERAS

                            Jesha S. Nunes*

                               Abstract
   The 2014 shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri is
probably the most notable of the many recent cases in the media involving
police officers' use of excessive force. After Officer Darren Wilson shot
and killed Brown, varying accounts of what transpired between the two
men surfaced. Officer Wilson claimed he was defending himself against
Brown when he fired the fatal shots; however, other witnesses claimed
Brown had his hands raised above his head in a position of surrender
when Officer Wilson killed him. This case highlights the need for police
officers to wear body cameras because the extremely different eyewitness
accounts of the incident make it nearly impossible to conclude with
certainty what actually happened. Did Officer Wilson perjure himself to
avoid liability for killing Brown? Did eyewitnesses change their stories,
or were they never actually sure of what occurred during the encounter?
If Officer Wilson had been wearing a body camera, these questions would
have easy answers. In fact, if Officer Wilson had been wearing a body
camera, Brown may still be alive today.
   This Note explores the effectiveness of body cameras and argues for
the use of body cameras by all law enforcement officers. This Note also
examines how body cameras can benefit the court system by increasing
its efficiency in processing § 1983 claims that often arise from law
enforcement officers' use of excessive force. Part I discusses the endemic
problem of police misconduct by highlighting notable cases. It also
discusses how courts analyze § 1983 claims and the effect that faulty
eyewitness testimony has on such claims. Moreover, Part I addresses the
commonality of police perjury and the need for forced accountability of
police officers. Part II examines studies concerning the effectiveness and
benefits of body cameras. It also discusses how many agencies currently
use body cameras and ways to increase the technology's use nationwide.
Part III considers and dispels various concerns regarding the use of body
cameras, including cost, privacy rights of law enforcement officers, and

      * J.D., expected May 2016, University of Florida Levin College of Law. B.A.,
Criminology, B.S., Family, Youth, & Community Sciences, December 2012, University of
Florida. I would like to thank Professor Darren A. Hutchinson for his assistance in helping
structure and develop this Note and University of Florida Reference Librarian Shira Megerman
for steering me away from a horrible Note topic and guiding me to this important one instead.
Thank you also to Lisa Caldwell, Angelia Forder, Professor Dennis Calfee, my Note advisors,
and the amazing editors of the Florida Law Review for their diligence, advice, and effort
throughout the entire note-writing and publishing process. Finally, I would like to thank my
husband, Michael A. Nunes, and my family for their amazing support and listening ears as I
tirelessly worked on this project.


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