One more time, a video shows how a police officer used deadly force when it was unneeded. This time, it happened in Cincinnati, where a man was fatally shot by an officer whose conduct has been condemned by other police. The officer claimed he was being dragged by the man’s car. But footage from a body camera showed that was not the case. Now the officer has been charged with murder.
Video has contradicted the stories of other officers in recent months. Video taken by happenstance showed a man in South Carolina being shot from behind by an officer who told a different story initially. There have been several incidents around the country where police officers’ stories of self-defense have been contradicted by amateur video.
In Ferguson, Mo., officers now are wearing body cameras after the shooting last year of an unarmed African-American young man by a white officer ignited riots and spurred conversations about police behavior nationwide.
Certainly a body camera could have been informative about that incident last August. The officer claimed the youth was reaching for his gun.
North Carolina lawmakers are considering body camera legislation. The latest episode in Cincinnati should spur faster action on the measures now in committee. There should be a sense of urgency to getting body cameras on officers at all levels of law enforcement. Cameras will protect good officers from phony accusations and help catch officers who abuse their power.