A report from NBC news indicates that police officers in Ferguson, Missouri are being equipped with on-body cameras in the aftermath of the shooting of Michael Brown by Officer Darren Wilson.

The picture above captures an example of footage from this type of camera at the moment an equipped officer (not from Ferguson) was assaulted by a suspect, thus supporting the officer’s responsive use of force against the suspect. (Video below the fold.)

I first came across one of these devices when cough, cough a “friend” of mine was pulled over for speeding in New Hampshire maybe three years ago. (Yes, my “friend” was on his motorcycle at the time.) The officer approached and immediately pointed out that he was wearing the camera, and asked if it was OK for our interaction to be recorded. Naturally, I said yes. I was frankly surprised he asked—or at least went through the motions of asking—for my permission.

This was NOT a major city in New Hampshire, which are tough to come by in the “Live Free or Die” state under the best of circumstances, so even small New England towns have been making use of these cameras for some years now.

Today they are apparently used by over 1,000 departments, and at a cost of about $300, it seems a worthwhile investment for most ANY department. Officers are equipped with body armor to protect them against physical attacks; they ought to be similarly equipped with on-body cameras to protect against false claims of legal liability.

Below follows the NBC video report.

–-Andrew, @LawSelfDefense

[Featured Image Source: NBC news video embedded above]


Andrew F. Branca is an MA lawyer and the author of the seminal book “The Law of Self Defense, 2nd Edition,” available at the Law of Self Defense blog (autographed copies available) and Amazon.com (paperback and Kindle). He holds many state-specific Law of Self Defense Seminars around the country, and produces free online self-defense law educational video- and podcasts at the Law of Self Defense University.