Hawthorne mayor wants cops to wear cameras

Hawthorne Mayor Chris Brown is calling for all officers to wear cameras, saying it's time to take action to protect the people of his city.
Hawthorne Mayor Chris Brown is calling for all police officers to wear cameras, saying it's time to take action to protect the people of his city.

The move comes following the controversial police killing of 18-year-old Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri.

"In light of recent events, it is clear the safety of our civilians and uniformed officers is not guaranteed," Brown said in a statement posted on Twitter. "I am simply not willing to gamble with a single life, or the wrongful accusation of upstanding officers."

This is still only a proposal, but Brown says he wants to do everything possible to make sure all uniformed police officers will be equipped with body cameras.

In Hawthorne, motorcycle traffic officers are already equipped with a helmet-mounted cameras that provide an officer's point of view in high definition.

Hawthorne's police department has 95 officers. Currently about 20 are provided cameras. A handful of officers have volunteered to test cameras as the city explores its options.

The mayor and police chief say the cameras provide accountability for the public and for officers.

In March, the Los Angeles Police Department started a 90-day trial of body cameras. LAPD officials are expected to choose a camera system in the next few weeks.

Brown said the ordinance would be introduced at the Hawthorne City Council meeting on Aug. 26. If it's approved, it could take several months before the city finds the funding and the appropriate camera system to equip all of its officers.

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