Police body cameras…a real solution?

Your tax money at work:

The Obama administration is spending $20 million on police body cameras, amid rising tension over police violence.The announcement from the Justice Department on Friday would create a new pilot program to equip police in dozens of cities with the devices, as the first step in a $75 million three-year effort that President Obama requested from Congress in December.

Source: Feds roll out $20M police body camera ‘pilot program’ | TheHill
I’ve wondered for a while whether these are actually a step in the direction of increased transparency or they are just a red herring.  First off,  there was last summer’s example of someone being killed on camera that resulted in no charges being filed.  But what worries me more about these body cameras is how easy it would be to manipulate the videos they capture.  What keeps people from editing the videos to remove key frames or in more advanced cases even add things that weren’t there?  Anyone who’s seen a movie made in the last 15 years knows that just because you see it on a screen didn’t mean it happened. It would seem to me that some sort of hash could be calculated based on a combination of key frames and the audio track and stored along with the video itself.  When the video is replayed, another hash is calculated and compared to the original and any differences flash an alarm.  Maybe they have these already, but if not I think there might be a market opportunity there.  “Video hash” won’t solve everything, but at least future juries could be sure that what they are seeing is the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.






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