Sen. McCaskill: Police Ought To Have Body Cams

By Matt Lupoli |

Published 08/26 2014 05:48PM

Updated 08/27 2014 12:51AM

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- Police officers should all wear body cameras to document public encounters -- especially if their departments seek federal funding, Sen. Claire McCaskill said in Springfield on Tuesday.

"Before we give federal funds to police departments, we ought to mandate that they have body cams," she said.

McCaskill visited Springfield to tour Custom Metalcraft and talk about the US Import-Export Bank for local companies that do international business, calling for support to renew it, but she also answered questions about what she observed in Ferguson.

McCaskill has already ordered a Congressional hearing to look into what she calls the militarization of police across the country.

She said officers are now at a disadvantage because of the proliferation of cellphone cameras.

"Everybody on the streets now have cameras," she said. "Someone can tape the last part of the encounter and not the entire encounter."

She said body cams would offer the community reassurance.

"I would like to see us say, 'If you want federal funding, then you've got to have body cams on your officers,'" she said.

Michael Brown, 18, was shot to death by a police officer in Ferguson on Aug. 9, sparking a public outcry over race relations and police response.

McCaskill spent several days in Ferguson and said the situation there brings up a host of issues that she hopes can be improved in Missouri and all over America.

"It would be a great legacy over this tragedy that's occurred in Ferguson, regardless of what the facts say about whether anyone was criminally culpable," McCaskill said. 

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