It sounds like the making of a great scandal, but in fact it’s just one of the most interesting examples of modern police auditing. Oakland spent $540,000 for body-mounted video cameras for its police officers to wear. The plan was for officers to activate the cameras for each of their stops, citations, and arrests. This time, the camera captured the video of a police officer chasing down a suspect, wrestling over a weapon, and the subsequent shooting.

while the shooting is not being questioned, Oakland investigates all police-involved shootings. The video, which was not available for the officer to review before giving his statement, has been turned over to the departments internal affairs division and the district attorney’s office. With the ability to review the actual footage of a shooting or incident, it can provide a powerful tool for protecting and defending officers against fraudulent claims of excessive force or abuse. It can also be helpful in deterring those same practices and provide an extra layer of assurance to populations who have endured a sometimes turbulent relationship with their peace officers.

From the San Francisco Chronicle:

In a Bay Area first, a fatal shooting by police in East Oakland was captured on video – not by a bystander with a camcorder or a smart phone but by the officer himself, who wore a city-issued camera on his chest.

Oakland police officials will not say what the footage from Sept. 25 depicts, citing an ongoing investigation. But the fact that the shooting was captured at all illustrates a profound change in law enforcement, with officers increasingly strapping on cameras along with their guns, radios and handcuffs.

Read the full article here.