tv Hearing on Police Body Cameras CSPAN May 19, 2015 2:30pm-4:31pm EDT
peed. it demonstrated to me it was the typical washington rush to judgment let's spend more money. we saw it in the va. there was a crises so how do we for a throw more money at it. the bottom line is this if there are additional resources necessary for a specific fix with amtrak that would have prevented this, of course congress is going to embrace it. both sides of the aisle will. >> like the technology that av woulde th slow the trains down. >> that's right. are the positive train control. but they've announced this week they're going to implement that , and in the northeast corridor. in 2008 congress passes a law that says by 2015 amtrak has to implement positive train control. they're missing the deadline. 2008 congress passes a law. 2009 the stimulus bill provided amtrak with $3 billion to 'em plimt ptc in the northeast corridor. amtrak failed to do that. co it is a combination of leadership and resources the
appropriate role for congress is to consider what is that right ecisio combination between leadership, management and resources and nt lik makee a responsible decision. not rush to judgment like the democrats did last wednesday and then play politics with what is a national tragedy. i think it's samehameful that they did that and hopefully cooler heads will prevail and we'll gton make responsible decisions. ye >> there's aar piece in the priva washington times about the privatization of amtrak.yo should that u happen?ing of >> i would like to see amtrak privatized. i don't know that we're there yet. you have to go back to theiv beginning of amtrak. the reason we have amtrak is in ics of p 1970 private rail service was completely failing. the financial model, the economics of private rail service given the interstate highway system and the growth of airlines, by 1970 the private b rail system was collapsing. it was a bailout. amtrak was a bailout.f the act that congress passed and nixon signed into law in 1970 and in 1971 we saw the birth of have
amtrak. some have suggested it was intended to be a temporary bailout. it turned out to be amtrak which is wildly popular for those who use it. for those who don't in my district in florida, they still don't understand why taxpayers subsidize this. understand, amtrak operates at a loss of nearly $300 million a year. this year amtrak a for-profit 00 mil corporation supported by theli government, will operate at a nearly $300 million loss and congress will step in with taxpayer taxpayerin taxpayer taxpayer taxpayer taxpayer dollars and cover that loss. would we be better off finding arow. privatization solution? yes. we are a ways from that. if congress stepped out tomorrow, the system would collapse like we awe insaw in 1970.
>> representative david jolly, head. republican of florida, joining us. tony from california thanks for waiting. go ahead. >> caller: good morning. i just want to let him know that i know that amtrak is quasi government. heever said that politics -- there'sit is politics in everything. well, he's playing politics now. it's so disheartening to listen to elected officials come on here and say things that can't t be done.think he said the president -- he doesn't want the president to think it's christmas day and veryth that congress is not doing . everything but congress is not o doing everything and i don't know how some of these officials get in office and stuff and go in congress and do absolutely nothing just to oppose the president.w that y you can smile, you can laugh all you want to, it's okay because ot doi the american people know that
you guys are noty doing anything for this country. you're not doing anything to move this country forward. thank you. >> i appreciate your conviction. let me share with you this.l about in congress the president elected office, politics, it is each all about a contest of ideas. we each subscribe to our own is a fi ideas. this is a contest of ideas. but it is not a fight against each other. it's ait's a fight for what we believe is right for the future of our country. we all get concerned about the gridlock and the debate and the in am acrimony, i do. our fundounders established this inefficient system of collection making. the process can be discouraging. i understand that and i share that concern that you have. but i would share this with you. my reference to the president -- but listen, he's the president of the united states. he has the authorityel of the white house.
we disagree on a lot of things but he deserves our respect. but how do we pay for the projects? that's not a political question. how do we pay for our national priorities? some people would suggest more taxes are okay. that's how we fund projects. we simply don't have the ationa revenue. when this president took office in 2008, our national debt was at $10 trillion.008, w so in 220 years of our republic, 1789 to 2008, we accumulated $10 trillion in debt. wit when thish president leaves office 8 years later with the co lessens of the congress as well there's blame on both sides of this, when he leaves office 8 d the years later we will be at $20 trillion. in 8 years we will have doubled the amount of debt that it took injec 220 years to accumulate. my comments are m trying to inject responsibility into the decisions we make. i just got elected a year ago. i have no interest in having a nal political career serving in a
body that continues to accumulate national debt at the be t rate we'rehe doing and ultimately compromise what i believe would be the national security of the united states if we see an economic collapse.her i appreciate your concern.he this is how the process works. we challenge each other with ideas whent we're in the congress. we challenge the president's ideas. it's okay. it's important that we keep it civil. >> what did you do before you r for were elected? >> i worked for my predecessor for a number of years. he was the chairman of the appropriations committee. he served in my district. when i left his staff i had a fo private law practice and and advocacy practice. i started off as a small business person. i got to learn what it means to sign the front of a check not the back of a check, how to go months without paying yourself i so you can keep your employees employed, what regulations mean i had to a small business. i never intended to run for this
office. it wasn't something i had in my plan. providence sometimes prevails and there's a greater plan. >> fair to say you were a eprese lobbiest? >> i certainly was. >> what type of industry? >> i represented a number of industries. i represented colleges and universities, a couple of small businesses in my district thatnt supplied counter ied devices to lobb the military as well as a number of nonprofits. people like to talk about the lobbying term and i talk about my pri advocacy and theva importance of advocacy and i stand by my private sector career every day. you know, mark lunsford, some of the viewers might recall he lost his daughter jessica to a sexual predator. he built a coalition of what are p called surviving parents to advocate before congress and theority to white house for greater penalties but also to give the r marshall service to go after ab .
skonders from the sex offender registry. he shared with me the way congress works is we pass a lot of laws.on passe mark had been very successful in getting this legislation passed ding but then we don't fund the activity. so hevice needed help getting funding for the marshal service mark, to get these guys and he wasn't able to get it done. i said to mark, i'm going to help you. over the next self years we got 50 to $60 million to go after these bad guys. right you can call it lobbying if you o want and that's fine. i stand by it. s but it'sho advocacy for the right the am reason. it's important.peop it shows the direct engagement of the american people with kay their elected officials. >> here's oak city oklahoma up next. hello. >> caller: yes, hello. >> good morning. >> caller: sorry, i got the chokies this morning. my question for representative jolly is i was under the impression that the stimulus ructur
package provided funding for infrastructure and then there was the infamous joke about it not being all shovel ready. my questionam is what happenedtr to that money? >> that's a great question. let's talk about the amtrak issue. the lastac caller suggested that there are politics involved in this. there's not.enin if we gog su back to the independenthis deba caller earlier this morning who suggested we need better management, that's at the heart wa of this debate. in this stimulus bill $3 billion was provided to amtrak specifically for the northeast corridor to implement new technologies. that was in 2009. to be having a debate in 2015 about why positive train controla mana is notge implemented throughout the northeast corridor that's not a funding debate. that's a management debate. it's okay to hold people ee accountable.
it's hard. we all balance it. i serve on a commiter to the define veterans affairs. we have incredible people that rful serve on the front lines of healthcare and benefits in the v.a. in my district we have wonderful people working at the v.a. but was there a failure of leadership in washington at the department? certainly there was. when it comes to resources, the v.a. receives virtually everything they ask for and yet continue to fail our veterans.ership that's a management issue. as congress, i try to work with ut at the leadership recognizing the y leadership of the v.a. but at the same time we do have an oversight authority. so in any business, any tween th organization, there's that natural tension between the board of directors and the president or ceo.suffic how do you give sufficient confidence in your leadership i thin but at the same time provide ership sufficient toversight? i think washington's failures hat we are more defined by leadership roblem than by resources and the thin suggestion that we just keep
throwing money at problems like in the stimulus, i think that's republ the wrong direction. that's why frankly, i consider myself a republican. i don't think the answer is always in more spending.is up i think it's in management and efficiency. >> buffalo new york chris is repr up next. >> caller: yes, thank you very my much mr. jolly or representative jolly. >> good morning. if th >> caller: my comment is that if this country wanted to show basically the world how really powerful it once was, that's all it would have to do is raise taxes and it would scare the hell out of the rest of the world. everybody knows we have not raised taxes since president bush was in office. every other tax that was raised was due to a program going up.ver
in my opinion, the worst line that was ever spoken in government was ronald reagan e saying, i am from the government and i am here to help.ernmen why woult d we elect republicans who are against government to run government? >> i appreciate that phone call. let me share with you a little bit. i'm a less government ative. conservative but i'm not a no government conservative, particularly in the areas of is sa safety fenets.e gove there are times that there's a safety net that only the government can provide. there's not a private sector th model when you come to certain in safety net programs. so that's why i support investing in early childhood th education and department of labor programs thatn dealou with ntify a dropoff retention and invest in our youth.courses i'm trying to identify a way
that we can make ged courses for adult dropouts more accessible infr and affordable. there is a role for government s th but i believe it's limited.ax infrastructure is one of those areas, that's true.esn' here's the real issuet when it comes to taxes. first of all, i don't agree withaxed and the notion that we need to raise taxes. i think we're overtaxed as it is. i believe that president obama put a tax package through that did include some tax increases on the wealthy.e true d i will tell you this, it's important to remember where the true drivers of the deficit are coming and every time we talk tional about how can we find more moneys crushi for transportation or education or our national priorities, we have to talk about what is really crushing our debt and that is mandatory spending. social security, medicare medicaid, interest on the debt.onsumed if you go back to around 1960, of our those programs consumed only on h about 30% of our federal budget, meaning we had 70% of our tax . dollars to then decide how do we
prioritize those on infrastructure and education andtoday, so forth defense homeland security. that was 1960. today medicare, medicaid, interest on the debt social security, that's eating up about 70% of our budget. our think about what the pie chart eli looks like now. that means only aboutad 30% of our taxpayer dollars are actually eligible to address national priorities.in in my lifetime those four programs will consume 100%. meaning that every single thing we pay for for the operations of government, v.a. defense transportation, education, would be debt spending.e talk so i like to use the opportunity any time we talk about concerns to over discretionary spending on government activities, we have to talk aboutethe long term reform to our mandatory programs. if we can solve that, if we can come together, republicans democrats, independents, and deb agree to an entitlement package that reforms our debt and those ho programs, we will have plenty ofepresent taxpayer dollars without raising taxes to pay for all the priorities we need.
>> representative david jolly ofy of f florida our guest. guest louisiana is up next. i'm sorry, john from massachusetts, you're on. >> caller: yes, sir. i would love to know where the stimulus money went. i'd love to see that accounted for line by line. i got a feeling that the unions took full benefit of most of that money. thank you very much.you >> thank you for that call. quickly i'll use that as an opportunity to share with you ased legislation that i am co-sponsoring and i think is the right thing to do.ida it's called zero-based budgeting.that eac a colleague of mine from florida is leading this.s it is the notion that each year we should start at zero and determine what our priorities are and begin to add up the budget from there as opposed to taking last year's budget with ast many failures and inefficientsies that we see within the administration.ncreas using last year's budget and ach ye proposing that we increase it byiated whateverpr that percentage is each
year, i think zero-based budgeting would address those arco rub concerns. >> the associated press is looking at senator marco rubio's seat. is this part of your interest? >> my heart and soul is in the house. i said i ran for office a year ago. this is the first elected office i've served in. i ran for the house to serve in the house to serve my community in the house.to get one of the t things i've realized i do is too many people run for one n office just toot get to the other. i don't know that i have i con interestti in serving in the united states senate. here's what i dof know. as i continue to focus solely onsenate the house, the state of florida the third largest state, has an repr open senate seat that we need to have a remarkably qualified candidate to represent the y home entire state fromto pensacola to jacksonville, to tampa to miami l has toye my hometown of pin el las county. that field has yet to develop.electi i'm not making specific plans to
run for senate. i love the house. my plan is to run for re-election in the house but i have not ruled out the senate. i'm f patient. everybody gets aflutter there's an open senate seat. they have to consider should i run for that because i got to run for something else.d that's not my approach. i said i'm going to keep doing my job. let's get into the summer and we'll see what the field looks the pe like. if there's a well qualified at cou candidate that i'm confident can serve the people of florida, i would be happy to get behind them and make sure they get elected to the senate. >> have you been approached by anybody to run? >> certainlyna yes. listen our race last year became a national race.t it was a special election. the anchor of the i-4 corridor the ho purple district. president obama won it twice and yet as a republican i've won the seat in the house.ive so there is a question, am i mes able to articulate a republican conservative message that actually appeals to people from rticul all walks of life both sides of
the aisle, can i articulate a paren responsible governing message that mainstream understands and all of our communities and parents and teachers and firefighters and department of defense folks appreciate? perhaps so. i mean, i think that was part ofma had o our message in the special ouse election where i was able as a . republican to win a seat barack obama had won in the race a for the white house. florida is a diverse state. on both sides of the aisle i r this think you'll see people te considering how to be intellectually honest in running for the senate in a state as e two diverse as ours. >> marco rubio planning on rkable running for president. jeb bush looking at c it. which do you support? >> i look forward to having a president from the state of blican florida.now. jeb bush brings incredible nex leadership and experience. marco rubio is the shining star en is of the republican party. if we get to next august and one of those two are accepting the nomination for the president, it will be an exciting time.
>> which do you favor? >> i really do like them both. i lean more towards jeb because of his leadership and his experience. i do think we need -- and some fe of the callers referenced this. i think we need people in every office particularly in the federal government but also state and local, that are experienced, qualified seasoned. they've been tried, tested. they're measured, and they have the ability to lead. i see that in jeb bush. he has special leadership qualities. look, barack obamat reset that mold. he he came in with a short career in illinois, a very short careermerican in the united states senate and he captured the white house and the imagination of the american also h people and reset the model for what we look for in presidents. but you also have to then look at was he qualified to face some of the challenges he did as bateere is b president. that's something the nationlo can : debate long after he's president. >> byron fromn. louisiana, you're on. >> caller: yes i i'd like to ask the congressman a question.
first i'd like to make a ne comment. he is smart enough to know that he could cure the social security problem in one vote. all you have to do is index the st lik deductions on index the deductions on income to the cost of living and let at wou them go up each year, just like he does his salary.like t that would cure the social security problem. he knows that. he would not admit it. one other thing, i'd like to aske taxes him. did you sign grover norquist's t: pledge to never raise taxes?e that. to me, that's not a lows, that's a no tax. >> so i appreciate that. and i understand your concerns. let me first clarify congress does not continue to raise its salary. i think, members of congress were paidnu justmb fine. i think it's been level funded to so though, for manyci years. let's make sure folks understand that. thousand do we get tocy? social s security solvency? what's on the table is always the, the retirement age is one.
means testing is another. now, you mentioned indexing the social security tax i believe. i'm not sure that's something i would support. i think we already tax it just fine. a here's i think where we need to go. listen, republicans for many years have had their balanced ing a budget approach that has made changes, particularly to supp medicare to the cost of health care creating a voucher program or premium support program for people at 55 or 54 and under. that's not something i support.are were i voted against our own republican budget for a couple of things. with there seems to be a lack of acceptance that we are facing f this real debt cliff as a result of social security and medicare. and there's a lack of conviction to do anything. here's what i would propose that the parties consider.
because math is math, right? the actuaries are obvious. they get reported to congress s take every year congress ignores ms them. let's take many of the reforms that have been embraced and re in suggested by republicans. but instead of implementing them as aggressively, why don't we suggest, you know what if you're in the current system now, medicare and social security promises made, promises kept, nothing's going to change.llyou are e you get what you have rightfully earned regardless of your age. but if you are entering the workforce tomorrow 18 19, 20 ty 24, whatever that age is guess ill st what, you're going to have a new include social security and medicare program. it will still be theng best in the tes world but it will likely include a number of changes we've been talking about from means testingthe wo to age of retirement to whether or not it has premium support. we implement changes for those orkfor yet to enter the workforce so they have an expectation that those promises can be kept.on o >> the last call in new mexico, . this is ray on our independent line. go ahead, ray, you're on.
>> yeah, hi, thanks for taking my call. excuse me. the question is do you think the gas tax is becoming obsolete? m and what do i mean by that?ed you know, within ten years, average miles per gallon for a car supposed to be in the low 50 miles per gallon?y we're seeing more and more electric cars. which don't pay any gas tax, but still use the roads.ystem? should we go into more of a mileage base system that you pay by how many miles you drive? and thanks for taking my call. >> thank you.on and you hit. on a great point we when haven't t discussed. this does go kind of to the user fee conversation. understand when the federal fuel tax was implemented, it was one g gas of theto original user fees, right? if you're driving a car, buying gas to get on the road. and so that gas tax is actually your user fee.uel with increased fuel efficiency you are seeing that reduction in federal fuel taxo . you're seeing free riders, if
you will right? those riding on the car in infras electric vehicles aretr paying very little in contributions toward the infrastructure that they're using. there have been suggestions of are th using a per mileage basis. are we there yet?the fore i don't think we're there in 2015. but you have to forecast 10 to 15 years out, we might be getting there.we the issue isn't protecting the privacy of that information, we don't want the government tracking where you're driving.t dumb but there is a way to put what's called dumb technology on a vehicle to measure the number of miles that have been driven. that is a debate that will be coming. there's no question. will the federal fuel tax one day be obsolete? of course, it will be.bility o is it 10, 20, or 100 years? for t it is a responsibility of congress and the administration to prepare t for that. frankly, not preparing for the or got downfall in the federal fuel tax revenue is what got us into thisst: hole. or previous congresses into this hole. we do have a responsibility to address that question. it's a great point.ou stand
>> i want to ask you a question about the usa freedom act. the patriot act and the reconsideration. where do you stand on whether it should stay the same or should changes be made? >> yeah. the issue of all those bills for me, is simply a question of due process. how do we balance national security needs against personal liberty? and there's a way to do that. i think in the -- i supported the usa freedom act for this reason. section 215 which had authorized this bulk collection of meta data or didn't authorize the bulk collection according to the courts. yet, the administration and previous administration as well had been using a it to collect data. i don't support a continued authorization of 215 because i think it infringes on the constitutional protections of liberty for individuals. how do we balance it with national security?ssion i think by injecting required s due process required agencies to go to a court get permission na using search-specific terms, if you will so we know what they it are collecting is actually
relevant to the national security threats that we're concerned about. it's simply a matter of due ap process. the s usa freedom act injects appropriate due process. >> david dally has been our guest, serves on several publications. thanks for your time. >> thanks very much. appreciate it. we have more live coverage coming up here on c-span 3 here in a couple of minutes as a senate judiciary subcommittee will look at whether body cameras could increase safety for police and the public sector. senator tim scott of south carolina and representatives from law enforcement and civil rights groups will testify. it was supposed to start at 2:30. running a little bit behind. it'll get underway, we think, around 3:00 p.m. eastern. we will have live coverage when it does get started. we have road to the white house cornell medical college coverage for you now. hillary clinton spoke with reporters during a stop in cedar rapids.
>> bring some order. bring some order. >> start with nancy. >> secretary clinton do you regret the way the clinton foundation handled foreign donations when you were secretary of state? and your opponents say the foreign donations and the private e-mails are examples of the clintons having one set of rules for themselves and another set of rules for everyone else. >> i am so proud of the foundation. i'm proud of the work it has done and it is doing. it attracted donations from people, organizations from around the world. and i think that just goes to show that people are very supportive of the life saving and life changing work it's done here, at home, and elsewhere. and i'll let the american people make their own judgments about that.
>> secretary clinton, given the situation in iraq do you think we're better off without saddam hussein in power? >> look, i know that there have been a lot of questions about iraq posed to candidates over the last weeks. i've made it very clear that i made a mistake, plain and simple. and i have written about it in my book, i've talked about it in the past. and what we now see is a very different and very dangerous situation. the united states is doing what it can, but ultimately, this has to be a struggle that the iraqi government and the iraqi people are determined to win for themselves. and we can provide support, but they're going to have to do it. >> secretary clinton -- >> on your income disclosure recently that just came out on friday, you are in the tiptop echelon of earners in this country. how do you expect everyday americans to relate to you? >> well, obviously bill and i have been blessed and we're very grateful for the opportunities
that we had. but we've never forgotten where we came from. and we've never forgotten the kind of country that we want to see for our granddaughter. and that means we're going to fight to make sure that everybody has the same chances to live up to his or her own god given potential. i think most americans understand that the deck is stacked for those at the top. and i'm running a campaign that is very clearly stating we want to reshuffle that deck. we want to get back to having more opportunities for more people so they can make more out of their own lives. and i think that's exactly what america's looking for. >> secretary clinton. >> can you explain your relationship as secretary of state with sidney blumenthal. there's a report you've exchanged several e-mails. and should americans expect you would have that same type of relationship with these old friends you've had for so long? >> i have many, many old friends. and i always think that it's important when you get into
politics to have friends you had before you were in politics and to understand what's on their minds. and he's been a friend of mine for a long time. sends me unsolicited e-mails which i passed on in some instances. and i see that's part of the give and take. when you're in the public eye, when you're in an official position, i think you do have to work to make sure you're not caught in a bubble and you only hear from a certain small group of people. and i'm going to keep talking to my old friends, whoever they are. >> secretary -- secretary clinton. >> secretary clinton we learned today that the state department might not release your e-mails until january of 2016. a federal judge says they should be released sooner. will you demand they're released sooner? and to follow up on the questions about the speeches, was there a conflict of interest in your giving paid speeches into the run-up of your announcement that you're running for president? >> the answer to the second is no. and the answer to the first is i have said repeatedly, i want those e-mails out. nobody has a bigger interest in getting them released than i do.
i respect the state department. they have their process they do for everybody, not just for me. but anything that they might do to expedite that process, i heartily support. you know i want the american people to learn as much as we can about the work that i did with our diplomats and development experts. because i think it will show how hard we work and what we did for our country during the time i was secretary of state where i worked extremely hard on behalf of our values and our interests and our security and the e-mails are part of that. i want them out as soon as they can get out. >> will you demand it? will you demand it? >> well, they're not mine. they belong to the state department. the state department has to go through its process. as much as they can expedite that process, that's what i'm asking them to do. please move as quickly as they possibly can to get them out.
>> thank you! thank you all very much! >> do you regret deleting 32,000 other e-mails, mrs. clinton? >> senator lindsey graham is a chair of this hearing. it's just getting underway. >> get used to it, but we're -- >> subcommittee. and i'm delighted that we're doing this, and i appreciate very much that our chairman is providing this forum for his junior senator. always a good tradition to deal with begin to address the question of how well body cameras work. i'd ask unanimous consent that my statement in that regard be entered into the record.
i hope we have more hearings in the weeks and months ahead. i've been particularly grateful to work with the chairman on the gray and white house bill, improving the criminal inforcementinforce enforcement in the cyber arena. and i hope we'll be able to pin down a hearing date to begin to get that bill through a hearing, ready in time so that when we address cyber on the floor, we've alleviated criticism our bill didn't get a hearing. i also look forward to what i hope will be a lively hearing on what i consider to be a pretty egregious separation of powers violation by the administration. and so we're looking to schedule at least those two other hearings. they're good topics and i hope we can make this an active subcommittee. may be the most important subcommittee of the judiciary committee. >> thank you very much, and
we'll do both hearings. would you like to make a comment? >> yeah, thank you very much. i want to thank you for holding this hearing. i appreciate senator scott, his strong interest in the subject. and i fully support senator scott's request for a committee to look into this matter. recent interactions between police and the public have increased the consideration of body cameras to record an officer's work. so it's a good idea to explore the experience of state and local governments that they have that have employed body cameras. certainly the potential exists for body cameras to enhance public trust of police. and they may provide evidence to show the publicm[ñx how well law enforcement handles very trying situations. they must also show whether police training is working well. and it's possible their existence might cause police
officers to change how they perform certain aspects of their job. body cameras themselves are relatively inexpensive. but costs associated with their use seem to be considerable. many practical questions regarding their use need to be thought through. these include determining when cameras would and would not be operating how privacy of people's homes and crime victims would be maintained. how footage is to be retained and a chain of custody preserved. the justice department has also funded some pilot programs and research to determine the best practices of police body cameras.
mandate actions that would cost local and state governments large sums of money and not reflect the accumulated wisdom that derides from existing state and local practice thank you once again for holding this hearing and i look forward to the testimony witnesses which i'm going to have to read because i have another assignment i have to go to. i appreciate that having the courtesy of what i've just said. >> thank you mr. chairman. would you like to say anything? >> thank you, mr. chairman. i'd like to express my gratitude to senator grassley as chairman of the full committee. but to you as chairman of the subcommittee for starting the conversation here. on a topic that i know is very near and dear to senator scott's heart. we all recognize they're not a
panacea and won't solve all the problems but may be a piece of the answer. and one building block where we can begin to rebuild the public's confidence in law enforcement, which is absolutely critical to maintaining security and safety in our communities. but it's also important. i know you agree because you're a co-sponsor of this bill that would create a commission to study our criminal justice system writ large. once we get through doing the things we can do things like passing the corrections act that senator whitehouse and i are the chief cosponsors of to help act on the lessons of prison reform played out in our states. i hope we can continue this conversation in a way that lets us revisit what works and correct and eliminate what doesn't work.
with a goal toward maintaining and rebuilding the public's trust. which is absolutely critical in our communities. i want to commend senator scott for his leadership in this effort and thank him for being here today. >> senator? >> very quickly, i just have a classified briefing at 4:00. i'm going to stay here until -- maybe i'll get to my questions, maybe i won't. discuss this very briefly with senator scott. so many questions here i assume that we will get to. and thank you for calling this hearing about what activities, what practices should be on camera and which ones shouldn't. how we develop the best protocols, how we use the experience of communities and states and studies. to figure out when is the camera on and when is it off. and so i'm looking forward to hearing from senator scott, and
i thank you for calling this hearing. >> thanks, senator frank. senator scott, i do appreciate your leadership on this. you've been very hands on when it comes to trying to deal with this issue. >> thank you sir. >> thank you mr. chairman and ranking member. thank you all for participating in the hearing today. i want to thank senator grassley for agreeing to hold this hearing today. very important issue. very timely response of you, mr. chairman, as well as senator grassley. i'd say if a picture is worth a thousand words then a video is worth a thousand pictures and unfold lives. certainly time for a national conversation about body cameras and policies affecting communities in distress. whether we are talking about ferguson baltimore, ohio new york city, oklahoma, or my hometown north charleston, south carolina, one thing is certain,
long-term solutions are very important. they're critical. in addition to body cameras, i'll continue to work on things like my opportunity agenda that i believe will breathe new hope, new opportunities into distressed communities. things that have impacted my life having grown up in a single-parent household in poverty in north charleston. i'll tell you the foundation for changing some of the outcomes starts with education, long-term education will provide a path, an avenue out. think about work skills for those adult learners. apprenticeship programs where you can earn and learn at the same time as well as apprentice -- entrepreneurship programs. i'm here today because i believe building trust between law enforcement and the community truly is body worn cameras worn by officers. i say one piece because there is no silver bullet. there is no panacea. but rather, many pieces to this
puzzle. we're here today to listen and to learn from experts on how these cameras can be helpful and at the same time for us to understand the concerns like data retention, disclosure issues. including foya, costs and training. when do you use the cameras? i look forward to the discussion as well as the hard work ahead. the good news is according to at least one study, public complaints falls by 90%. use of force use of force drops by as much as 60%. that's moving in the right direction. tasking the federal government to test body cameras should not be confused with federalizing local policing. which i would object to. nor is it an attempt to mandate the use of body cameras.
it's an attempt to keep law enforcement officers and our communities safer. let me close with the heart felt desires of mrs. judy scott whose son was killed in north charleston, walter scott. she was not looking for revenge. as a matter of fact, on the first day she said i forgive the officer. she did not speak about the need for justice in her initial comments. she allowed the system to work that out. what she simply said to me was this -- i want to make sure i really want to make sure that mothers do not have to bury their sons. thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you very much, senator scott. thank you. our second panel. come forward, please.
do you want to ask? okay. he can take my turn if he needs to. >> thank you, all, could you please stand and raise your right hand? . do you solemnly swear the testimony is the truth, nothing but the truth so help you god? our panel consists of mr. peter wear who is the district attorney for the state of colorado from golden, colorado. lindsey miller, senior research associate police executive research forum washington, d.c.
president and ceo of the conference on civil rights and human rights washington, d.c. and jarrod brudler south carolina sheriff's association from columbia, south carolina. welcome to you all, and we'll start with ms. miller and just move across the panel. >> good afternoon, and thank you, chairman graham and members of the committee for the opportunity to speak about the issue of body worn cameras. i'm lindsey miller with the police executive research forum which is an independent, nonprofit research organization that focuses on critical issues and policing. our work on body cameras began in 2013. when we partnered with the office of community oriented policing services to research the use of body cameras and police agencies. last september, released a publication that examines the benefits of body cameras and
considerations for implementation. the report also provides a set of 33 comprehensive policy recommendations that reflect promising practices and lessons learned. so today i'm just going to touch briefly on a few of our key findings and recommendations and my submitted written testimony provides additional details on these topics. first and foremost, the decision to implement a body camera program should not be entered into lightly. and develop careful written policies to govern their use. we also found that when implementing a camera program and developing policies, it is critical that agencies engage with community organizations line officers and unions, local policy makers and elected officials, prosecutors and other stake holders. making it a collaborative process can help strengthen the legitimacy of a program and make implementation run more smoothly.
while body cameras can be a useful tool, they aren't a cure all. we need to remember they aren't a substitute for good policies good training and good community policing programs. so when it comes to the benefits of body cameras, we found that cameras have been useful for several things. strengthening police accountability and agency transparency, improving the behavior of people on both sides of the camera. as senator scott said, reducing and resolving officer use of force incidents and complaints against officers. identifying and correcting problems in the agency at the individual level and throughout the entire agency. strengthening officer performance and improving evidence documentation for investigations and prosecutions. we also looked at some of the considerations that agencies must take into account when implementing cameras. these include privacy considerations, especially when it comes to filming victims and witnesses. the impact that cameras have on
relationships between memberpolice and members of the community. managing the expectations that body cameras create, especially among courts oversight bodies and members of the public. and finally, how to manage the significant ongoing financial costs of a body worn camera program. turning to our actual policy recommendations, i want to cover a couple. one of the most important questions that an agency will answer is when to require officers to turn their cameras on and off. our report recommended that with limited exceptions they should be required to activate their cameras when responding to all calls for service and all law enforcement related encounters and activities that occur while the officer is on duty. we also recommend that officers should be required to obtain consent prior to recording interviews with crime victims. and they should have limited discretion to keep their cameras off during conversations with witnesses and members of the community who wish to provide information of a crime about a crime but who don't want to speak on camera. and this addresses some of the
significant privacy concerns that come with videotaping crime victims and witnesses. one of the biggest issues that is emerging that's facing police agencies is when to release the video footage to the public and the media. there really are no easy answers. our report generally recommended a fairly broad disclosure policy to promote agency transparency and accountability. agencies must balance the need of transparency with the real concerns that come with releasing footage to the public. we also want to make sure videos of people in their most vulnerable don't end up on youtube. these are just a couple of our recommendations that cover training and evaluation. we also provide useful strategies for house police leaders can engage officers, policy makers and the public. body cameras can provide real benefits, both for police and the community. however, it is critical that agencies slow down think about all of these issues and take an
incremental approach to camera deployment. police agencies must remember that the ultimate purpose is to help officers protect and serve the people within their communities. so i thank you, again for the opportunity to speak today and i welcome any questions you might have. >> chairman graham distinguished members of the committee, i am the executive director of the south carolina sheriff's association. it is an honor to appear before you today. i'd like to begin by applauding the subcommittee for taking the time to study the positive and negatives of body worn cameras before enacting legislation. embracing new technology for the purposes of increasing transparency officer accountability, and officer safety can produce tremendous benefits but can also generate serious, unintended consequences. for more than five years now law enforcement agencies throughout south carolina have been experimenting with the use of body worn cameras.
to date, approximately 15% have implemented a body worn camera program. these agencies found this technology provides a significant benefit to the department and individual officers. not only do these cameras provide valuable training opportunities, but they also help to resolve officer-involved conflicts conflicts. these agencies have experienced significant reductions in complaints on officers. simply put, everyone including the officer and the person interacting with the officer tends to behave better when they know they are being filmed. in the end, the body worn cameras produced a more accountable and professional police force for these agencies. the primary issue preventing laurlt agencies from fully embracing the use of body-worn cameras is the exorbitant cost. i'm sure every sheriff and police chief would love to have an agency more accountable and professional, they must weigh the cost of the technology against the potential benefits. unfortunately, the cost is often too much for an agency to absorb.
this technology is extremely unique in that the initial phase of the camera of implementing the cameras is arguably the cheapest phase of implementation. the greatest can be found in the storage or the retention of data. at a time when many agencies in south carolina are struggling to find sufficient funds to protect the officers and the public, a legislative mandate to implement body worn cameras seems like a nightmare to many. thankfully, pending legislation in south carolina will create a statewide trust that will fund the initial and ongoing costs associated with body-worn cameras. this this provision has resulted in the support of our legislation. another issue preventing law enforcement agencies from fully embracing this technology is the protection of privacy. while transparency and openness are welcome concepts for some, those notions are not always conducive to producing successful police work. often times, our best tips come from criminal informants, witnesses or victims who wish to remain anonymous.
there's a great fear in the law enforcement community that the proliferation will further divide our communities and have a chilling effect on the exchange of information between our officers and the communities they serve. in my humble opinion, these cameras are not intended to be the source of embarrassment or humiliation. data from these cameras should be used as evidence to enhance our pursuit of justice, not to humiliate or entertain our neighbors. when this data is viewed as evidence, rather than as a public document, it ensures that a single moment of indiscretion does not provide a lifetime of embarrassment. also ensures that one's guilt or innocence is determined in a court of law, not a court of public opinion. as the use of body worn cameras increases, it is important for community leaders to manage the expectations of the public. it should be understood that every police action will not be caught on camera. critical incidents can happen in a blink of an eye. there will be times when it's
not possible or feasible to have body worn camera footage. data should simply assist in the overall quest for justice. in conclusion, i would like to answer the question that brought us here today. yes, when used properly technology and more specifically body worn cameras can increase protection for law enforcement officers and the public. we should be careful not to put too much trust in this technology. they can aid in transparency but they will not mend community relations alone. neither -- neither will they address the root causes that have led to tragic incidents. technology will never accomplish what can be gained when people sit down talk, listen and attempt to understand a different perspective. often said public safety is a core function of government. while i certainly believe that is true, there are far too many law enforcement agencies in this country barely making ends meet.
in desperate need for diversity training, use of force training. advance training, not just basing training is critical in our efforts to provide public safety. if we want to increase protection for law enforcement officers and the public, then we need to provide our law enforcement agencies with the fund necessary to attract, recruit and retain the best and brighters officers. to ensure they serve and protect our communities we quality, fairness and justice. with that, i thank you the opportunity to speak and will gladly take any questions. >> good afternoon, chairman graham ranking member whitehouse and members of the subcommittee. my name is peter wier from the first judicial district in colorado. that's located in golden, colorado, just west of denver.
also am privileged to be speaking on behalf of the national district attorney's association. and we appreciate very much the opportunity to lend our voice to this important topic. i'd like to suggest that any discussion of body worn cameras is also a discussion of the foundation of our criminal justice system. its trust in fairness of the system. trust in the men and women who work in the system. and ultimately, trust that justice will be done. when we talk of data that is generated by body worn cameras, we need to keep in mind that data is actually evidence. talking about the generation of evidence evidence. there are many, many uses for the recordings generated by body worn cameras.
and as it goes to the issue of trust, accountability and transparency are critical functions of that. however, you cannot lose sight of the fact that there are many, many considerations to take into account when we start dealing with the collection retention, distribution and processing of evidence, which is what is generated by the body worn cameras. clearly from a prosecutor's perspective, this evidence can be very, very important. when you present a case to a jury, certainly they would benefit from being able to see the place and the circumstances immediately after the commission of a crime. jurors would benefit from being able to evaluate credibility and demeanor of the witnesses that are recorded contemporaneously with the crime.
and when we start talking about officer-involved shootings body cameras can play a role in determining whether or not the officer acted within the scope of his authority or whether that officer may have violated his oath and acted outside justifiable, legal grounds. clearly, the prosecution community supports the use of body-worn cameras and appropriate circumstances with appropriate safeguards and appropriate procedures involved in the use of the body-worn cameras. as has been mentioned already, there are some areas of concern that are shared by prosecutors. and i need to stress it's critically important as we go down this path that the prosecution community be part of the dialogue in creating policies and procedures not just at the federal level but the state and local level to be able to engage with local law enforcement to identify the issues that may be very unique to each jurisdiction.
in this discussion, one size does not fit all. we're talking about judicial districts, law enforcement agencies, sheriff departments, various sizes. and what may work in one local may not work in other locals. the question that is critical for prosecutors is exactly what is being recorded? what is the extent of the recording. and perhaps another way to put it, when should you not record? be easy to say just record anything any time the officer is on the street, the camera is on. but is this the process we want? certainly results in extraordinary costs associated with this. the cost of not necessarily the camera itself, but the cost of appropriate storage, archiving and cataloging so that evidence can be used in an appropriate manner.
prosecutors are also concerned with respect to the storage and retrieval of that evidence. we have obligations to present this evidence to defense attorneys. we must be able to know which portion of a recording pertains to a specific case and be able to district that to the defense bar. that leads us to the question of, what's our broader responsibility to the public? many states have open records laws or critical justice records acts that mandate that much of this information must be disclosed. where is the right line between collecting this important evidence and what, in fact we will be distributing to the public at large and it has been testified to these cameras are not a panacea because they show different perspectives. we are very optimistic of the possibility of body worn cameras, and used appropriately, it can be an important tool for law enforcement and prosecutors. thank you, mr. chairman.
>> good afternoon chairman graham ranking member whitehouse and members of the subcommittee. i'm wade henderson, president and ceo of the leadership conference on civil and human rights. a coalition of more than 200 national organizations charged with the promotion and protection of the rights of all persons in the united states. i'm also the joseph l.rowl jr. professor at the school of law at the university of the district of columbia. thank you for bringing us together today. over the last year, we've seen a growing movement to address policing practices that have a disproportionate impact on low-income communities, communities of color and african-americans in particular. these practices like discriminatory profiling and explicit and implicit racial
bias and law enforcement have framed the national debate around police reform and prompted a national conversation on the use of technology, specifically body worn cameras as one possible means to enhance accountability and transparency and policing. americans across the nation have been transfixed by a series of video clips recorded by concerned citizens that capture tragic encounters between the police and the people they serve. not since the brutal images of the bloody sunday marchers being savagely beaten in selma, alabama, were broadcast across the nation 50 years ago have we seen video make such a profound impact on our nation's public discourse. prior to these broadcasts, the voting rights act did not exist. those images inspired the nation to write and pass the voting rights act five months later.
today's citizen recorded videos have inspired the nation once again. when one hears eric garner's cry he can't breathe or sees walter scott shot from behind, it's hard not to be moved. chairman graham you spoke for millions and certainly for me. when you described the video of walter scott's killing in north charleston as, quote, horrific and difficult to watch. there is a temptation to create a false between these citizen recorded videos and body worn cameras operated by law enforcement. i urge the committee not to give into this temptation because body worn cameras won't be operated by concerned citizens and won't be recording officers. they will instead be directed at members of the community. that's why last friday, the leadership conference joined with a broad coalition of civil rights, privacy and media rights organizations to release shared
rights for use of cameras by law enforcement. these principles which i'd like to introduce into the record today recognize that cameras are just a tool. not a substitute for broader reforms of policing practices. they point out that quote, without carefully crafted policy safeguards in place, there is a real risk that these new devices could become instruments of injustice rather than tools for accountability, unquote. that's why it's so important. and when cameras are deployed, it's with a set of clear and narrowly defined purposes and that policies governing theirs you are developed in concert with public stake holders. these cameras should be tools of accountability for police encounters. not a face or body scanner for everyone who walks by on the street.
if those technologies are used together with body cameras, it will actually intensify, start disparities in surveillance and more heavily policed communities of color. early experiences suggest without strong rules, officers won't necessarily record when they should. for that reason, it's vitally important that departments impose stringent discipline on officers who fail to record encounters that are supposed to be on camera. finally, our principles call for a prohibition on officers viewing footage until after their reports are filed. footage can be misleading or incomplete. that's why other sources of evidence including the officer's own independent recollection of an incident must be preserved allowing officers to preview footage provides an opportunity to conform reports to what the video appears to
show rather than what the officer recollects. moreover, there is a risk that the officers report at the video may seem to confirm each other independently when they really aren't independent at all. the leadership conference urges federal, state and local governments as well as individual police departments to consider our principles as they develop and implement policies and programs. without the appropriate safeguards, we are at risk of compounding the very problems in policing that we are seeking to fix. thank you for your consideration. i look forward to your questions. >> thank you we'll accept your principles without objection to make it part of the record. senator franken, would you like to go first? >> well, thank you. i -- this is just -- i feel like we're in the infancy of this technology. and as now ranking member on
privacy technology and the subcommittee, i can see you know mr. anderson raise facial recognition and the use of that possibility. we know that technology is here. and this raises so many issues. one of the issues i talked about with senator scott before this hearing a little while ago. and is in these studies ms. miller, is there any indication of the benefits in terms of cost. in terms of money? in other words, i would imagine that reducing by 80% 90%, the negative sort of interactions
that there may be an actual financial benefit from that. >> you know, that's what we heard from the police executives we worked with. they said this drop in complaints, the drop of lawsuits has really helped them on the back end save money. there hasn't been a lot of -- haven't been a lot of studies cost benefit analysis yet into the technology. my organization is actually starting one now. so we're going to be working on that over the next year to kind of look at that, to see what are the cost savings in terms of lawsuits and investigations. and, you know, do those help outweigh some of these significant costs. an ekecdotally we hear they're with it 100% even though the costs are very steep. >> so there's benefits but also costs. dollar benefits versus other benefits? >> sure, yep. the dollar benefits may not equal the cost the dollar costs.
this is -- some of the issues that are being raised are when the officer turn it on? when does he turn it off? all of us can in our minds see 60 minutes stories of a miscarriage of justice because of editing of footage. that's not very hard to do. so then the question is, what kind of protocols are put in place to guarantee that doesn't happen? and i imagine that's been thought through. does anybody have any response to that in terms of how do we avoid the "60 minutes" story or the 2020 story or the date line story that we all have in our
head three years from now or 20 years from now someone in prison for 20 years for something they didn't do because of a misuse of this? >> senator franken, it's a terrific question. let me thank the subcommittee for convening this hearing. you have, by doing so put the issue squarely on the public table. and we appreciate that. to avoid the problem you've identified let's begin with the need to develop these policies in public. there should be transparency and involvement of various sector. obviously the law enforcement professionals, certainly those who are professional advocates in this area. but clearly, the public at large, scientists and others and guidelines have to be developed with an eye toward the subsequent use of this information in various cases. secondly, these cameras offer
protection to good officers and to the public they serve. officers who are, in fact, inclined to do what they should be doing that is the vast majority of officers currently on the beat. we lift them and salute the work they are committed to do. unfortunately, not every officer follows proper protocols. the existence of these cameras we hope will have a pro-- to not inclined to follow present protocols. third, it will require law enforcement to, in fact, revisit the protocols they currently have. so they can ensure the officers receive appropriate training on the use and appropriate involvement of these cameras. all of these steps, we feel, can contribute to a wise investment. this should be not be undertaken lightly. the expense is obviously
considerable. but when you balance the impact on the public they serve, the money saved in litigation costs that result from unfortunate incidents of bad policing of the balance of the cost will probably work out in favor of the purchase of cameras. >> well, thank you, and i know that all of you have same kind of questions i wanted to be asked. i just want to -- talked about storage, archiving, retrieveing and disclosure, essentially as all policies and before storage i guess, is what do you shoot? and when? those are all, and mr. henderson, you talked about a carefully crafted policy. i think those are all things we need to be keeping in mind as we
go through this technology and this new world. >> well, thank you for your thoughtful testimony. and perhaps one of the most refreshing things i've heard is that how unsimple this is. this is a little bit more complicated than i think meets the eye. some of the suggestion is all you need to do is put cameras on officers and you are good to go. that clearly doesn't appear to be the case. i have a particular question about victims. there is something called the federal crimes victims rights act. one of the rights guaranteed is the right to be reasonably protected from the accused. one of the others is the right to be treated with fairness and respect for victims' dignity and privacy. i'd be interested. maybe we can go down the line
and i'd like to get your comment on how we might be able to make sure we protect the victims of crime. >> thank you for the question. our report, we recommend that officers be required to obtain a consent prior to filming conversations with crime victims. that puts the -- it gives the crime victim the dignity and the privacy to be able to determine whether he or she wants to be filmed. and then on the back end, of course, there's the issue of public disclosure which is another privacy issue when it comes to victims and we recommend agencies really consider the privacy. as i said in my testimony, you don't want to see people at the most vulnerable show up on youtube. careful reviewing, making sure the footage isn't disclosed if it's evidentiary. if it contains interviews with victims and then careful re redactions. >> in south carolina, we're currently working through state legislation to implement body worn cameras.
one of the moves we've done there is to basically make body worn camera footage exempt or not even subject to the freedom of information act considered not a public document. in doing that we make sure that the individual victims of those crimes, they're not their identity is not shared. their incident is not shared. those types of things can only be achieved through the discovery process in court. and that's one of the biggest concerns there, as well making sure people were not victimized for long-term periods based on that. >> mr. weir? >> thank you. this is something very important in this discussion. the victims certainly have the right to be protected and they have the privacy rights associated with that. any policies that have to be crafted have to be done
thoughtfully and in some detail. there may be circumstances, frankly, when recording of a victim would be appropriate thinking of the domestic violence victim that is recanting. but there are also circumstances where it'll be absolutely inappropriate, victim of a sex assault or child victim subject to abuse. i think the clarity becomes critical at that point. because what you're left with in a courtroom setting is video for a number of purposes. and then it is remarkable in its absence when perhaps the most important individual in a proceeding is not on video and being able to explain that to a jury and perhaps having an appropriate jury instructions to explain that to a jury would be very, very important. >> mr. henderson? >> senator, we agree completely that there has to be clear
operational policy for recording retention and access to film. we certainly believe there are clear incidents where the rights of privacy of the individual would preclude a release, a casual release of this information. however, in incidents involving the police use of force, there should be access to that information as quickly as possible. it should be shared broadly with the public. and those policies that govern the retention and access to information should be strictly enforced. so that when officers fail to record incidents that should be recorded, there should be consequences for that. now, obviously there has to be adequate training, there has to be reinforcement, and there has to be a sense that these officers are, in fact, being helped as much by the existence of these cameras as the public they serve and when those
things work in conjunction with one another, we think they produce positive results. >> mr. henderson if i could follow up. as i was telling senator scott, as we were talking about the officer being responsible for turning the camera off and on and being trained to turn it on at the right time i could see how that itself will be controversial. because what did the officer record? what did the officer choose not to record? and so, as we said earlier, this is not perhaps quite as simple as. >> you're right, senator, but, again, if the department provides clear operational guidelines for the recording, retention and access to that film then the officer is not left having to decide for him or herself what incidents require a recording and what don't. he'll have that clear, bright line that we hope will encourage
him or her to do the right thing. that's why it's important to be developed with public review, disclosed openly that the transparency and debate in the public sphere serves the interest of the officer as well as the public. >> thank you mr. chairman. >> thank you. i appreciate all the witnesses. i will echo what my friend senator cornyn said. the unsimpleness is perhaps the most significant thing that we have heard. as the sheriff probably knows better than the rest of the panel, police officers see people at their worst. they see people at times of real emotional agony. with horrific physical injuries and a video record of a great deal of that would be hugely intrusive to those individuals
hugely in demand by our 24/7 news media if it bleeds it leads culture. and i think you can expect some intense conflict over this availability. you can go into people's homes if you're a police officer. does that person have a right to not have what's in their home seen? if they're a sports hero or something like that. i think this is really important to solve the problem of police use of force. but we want to make sure we don't open a whole new array of problems. you say there are 46 different sheriffs in your home state? >> yes, sir. >> in rhode island, we've got 39 cities and towns most have their own police departments. how many of your sheriffs have what you consider a
sophisticated i.t. department? >> a handful. obviously, a lot of them have to comply with requirements. so they've got some i.t. advanced u.t. stuff there. those things. >> we have police departments that have been hit by crypto locker and shutdown. i think police departments are very often targeted by hackers. so the question of the hack ability of all of this when you consider what the rupert murdoch folks did over in england hacking into telephones, how easy would it be to pay somebody to hack into these and get some of that very very personal footage out. i don't know how i -- i appreciate your desire, mr. henderson, that there be a clear, bright line but at this point i don't see a clear, bright line. if you're a police officer who has to make an on/off decision
when you turn it on do you know when you're going to be using force in advance? probably not. does that mean any encounter you should sort of turn it on just in case, then maybe it erase it after? this is really complicated. what are the best policies out there right now? are there a couple that we could look at where you think people have really got this right in the public records law, in terms of something that a patrol officer who already has 5,000 other things to remember can implement it in a sensible way and in a way that is protective of the myriad of privacy rights that surround this. miss miller? >> well i think that -- >> thank you for your organization's great work. >> thank you. i appreciate that. when we did our research we looked at a lot of different policies and spoke to a lot of agencies from across the country because i think this technology is so new that i couldn't even
really point to one policy that was a model at this point. i think that for one thing, every state law is different when it comes to disclosure and evidence so they're all going to be a little different. but what we did was we gathered all of those policies. we spoke with all of the people who have experience in this, law enforcement officials and civil rights groups and unions and different folks. we kind of came up with what we found were at that phase some of the best practices and best policies. so when it comes to turning the cameras on and off, the policy we saw the most and that we thought was probably the best was to do it during all calls for service. so when you get a call on the radio, when an officer gets a call on the radio and goes to that call, they turn it on from the minute they get that call and it goes until the end of that incident. then also during all -- >> an officer comes to somebody's house responding to a call. the person who made the call says i don't want you to come in with your camera on.
this is my house. i don't know what you're going to do with all that footage. what's the officer's choice then? >> it depends on the jurisdiction. we would recommend that the officer continue recording unless this is a victim who is saying that they don't want their face on the camera. but at that point we say continue recording because most of the agencies we worked with said as long as the officer has a legal right to be in the home which he would as responding to a call for service, then that's when they should be recording, because if you don't want some incident to occur they be and not have the footage of that incident so there is an accountability piece as well as the privacy piece. >> that's kind of the back side of the supreme court decisions we're dealing with now with police surveillance where the supreme court has taken a look at things that police always have done but said now with their hyperenabled by technology, it is actually a new question. so my time is up but this is a really interesting hearing. i appreciate the chairman holding it. >> thank you.
senator klobuchar? you all decide among yourselves. >> thank you, chairman graham. senator klobuchar and senator scott for calling this hearing. this is an important time and important issue. the american public is searching for answers on how to effectively heal the divisions we've seen play out between law enforcement and the communities they serve. last week was national police week and we honored 273 officers killed in the line of duty a stark reminder that policing is a dangerous profession and it is our duty as elected officials to provide state and local police with the support and equipment the training resources they need to come home to their loved ones and families at the end of each day on the job. in recent week and months we have also seen disturbing footage taken from a number of scenes in new york and missouri and ohio south carolina and in maryland, and in each of these
instances the actions taken by law enforcement and the ensuing public response has highlighted the deep divisions that still exist in many places between law enforcement and the communities they protect. it is also our duty as elected officials to try and help bridge those divides and i welcome today's hearing as an opportunity to learn and work constructively on what is the best way forward in finding common ground. like many of my colleagues i believe body wearing cameras have tremendous potential if implemented correctly and thoughtfully to increase accountability, to settle conflicting witness accounts to contribute to officer safety and to transparency and to heal some of these deep divides. but there are very important concerns that you as witnesses have raised so far today. and i think meeting those concerns will be absolutely essential to ensuring that cameras become properly deployed tools of accountability rather than means of furthering division. so i have a couple of simple questions and i would appreciate your answering them in turn if
you wouldn't mind, to just continue this conversation. when designing and implementing rules for the use of body-worn cameras, who should be at the table. and how can communities ensure that the rules around use of cameras and access to video foot animal are properly followed once in place. >> thank you for the question. the first part we recommend that police agencies engage with pretty much any stake holder that's going to be affected by the camera. so community organizations. line officers. unions. prosecutors. local policymakers. courts. all of these people need to be included at the table when it comes to policy development and engaged and their voices heard. when it comes to the second part of your question and kind of the accountability portion we recommend that agencies share their policies online on their websites with the public. that they share their retention schedules for data with the public. and we recommend that they
regularly collect statistical information about the usage of cameras and make that public as well so that the public can see how the cameras are being used. what's being released. things like that. those are kind of our two recommendations. >> thank you. >> again in south carolina we are looking at implementing statewide legislation to have body-worn cameras. the legislature has kind of sent that task over to the law enforcement training council which is made up of various law enforcement agency heads from across the state. i know that they have already had plans to include many of the groups miss miller has mentioned, as well as our criminal defense attorneys, their associations those types of folks, to make sure everybody has input on the implementation and development of those policies. i echo miss miller's comments on the accountability, that that's probably the best way to go about doing that. >> thank you. thank you, senator and thank
you for the question. i think it is critical once again to keep in mind that we're not just looking at the front end of this process. the accountability and transparency associated with video recording is very very important. but the back end of this is what are we going to do with it. this in fact is evidence that is being collected. and how that evidence is stored managed, and appropriately disclosed to defense counsel, and perhaps disclosed to the public, but perhaps under some circumstances not disclosed to the public to respect privacy interests. all those are very important considerations. many of these decisions i believe can be -- should be addressed at the local level. something that the community itself needs to be engaged in. when we start talking about building and developing trust between law enforcement and the community, this is something that should happen well before we are rolling out body cameras.
the community has got to be engaged and those relationships have got to be formed by all partners. but we can't lose sight of the fact that at the end of the day, the collection of this data fundamentally is for evidentiary purposes, and how can we best preserve that evidence. >> thank you, mr. weir. >> senator thank you for the question. i agree with the remarks of my colleagues. all affected stakeholders should be invited to the table, and there should be a public debate on these issues. that includes elected officials. that includes members of law enforcement. that certainly includes legal advisors, people who may serve with prosecutors defense bar should somebody invited to come. civic organizations, as well as recognized non-governmental organizations that have roles to play in evaluating the implementation of this. human rights groups like amnesty international, or human rights first, might be included in the
debate. now having said that, again body-worn cameras are only one tool. so they cannot accomplish systemic reform. and so if, for example we do not have a policy addressing a ban on racial profiling for example, and that continues to be a factor in law enforcement in a particular community, it will defeat the purpose of the body-worn camera if that purpose is to help reiterate law enforcement and the community together and their approach to law enforcement. >> i really appreciate all your answers. again, i'm grateful to the chairman for calling this. as the co-chair of the senate law enforcement caucus and someone that worked closely with law enforcement in my previous role, it is my hope that some of the different organizations you represent will work together to help develop some model guidelines and some model policies. it should be locally driven but not every community to going to
have the resources time and effort. i think body-worn cameras are misperceived as an easy solution to very complex and deep-seeded problems. they can be a constructive tool but we need to do hard work first to make sure the parameters and challenges are understood and i'm grateful for your testimony today. >> mr. chairman, before we turn to senator klobuchar can i ask unanimous consent that the statement of our remarking member, senator leahy, be added to the record of this proceeding. >> without objection. >> thank you very much, mr. chairman and senator whitehouse. this is an issue very near and dear to my heart. i used to be a prosecutor and minnesota was one of the first states in the country that videotaped interrogations, both in squad cars, and custody, anything that was in custody. and when i was -- it came about because of defense efforts actually to prevent -- to prevent any kinds of questions about bad activities but also to protect civil rights. but i made the argument and our
police pretty much agreed that it also protected them, it made for a better process. it allowed people to see videotape of someone when they were being questioned so the jurors could judge for themselves what they thought. we had a few cases where we had people that would say things that were somewhat incriminating on the videotape. the jurors were able to see. and mostly it made sure miranda rights were read and that the process was fair. and so i guess i'd start with that. i think it's come now in more jurisdictions obviously and our police have grown to accept it. and they did accept it actually, pretty quickly when it started there. of course, there is other issues with regard to body cameras and privacy that we've pointed out that are different than just interrogating one person. but i want to start with the -- with this concept of the interrogations. i guess i'll start with you mr. weir and mr. broder.
i understand not every jurisdiction has this mandatory recording of interrogations and how would you compare body cameras to other types of interrogations? what are some of the issues that you don't have with the interrogations that you have with the body cameras? >> thank you, senator, for the question. as you know there are other recording devices that are more widespread right now such as dashboard cameras used by law enforcement in stops. those have been proven to be very effective law enforcement tools for many of the reasons that you articulated. oftentimes it shows the officer acting in absolute conformity with the best practices that you would expect from police and sheriff's officers and state troopers. it is also great evidence of what actually happens on scene. >> it's also a good training thing, actually, i think for officers and they're able to watch each other and see what's good and what's bad and make sure it's really -- it is a very good way i think for people to
learn when they are able to watch each other. but continue on. >> i would certainly agree with that, senator. i would also agree that we are all about trying to improve our process. and from a law enforcement and prosecutor perspective, our goal is to pursue the truth. our goal is to achieve justice and we don't hide from the facts. and if in fact the video recording helps establish those facts, then it is a tool that should be used. with respect to the taping and videotaping of interactions and conversations with witnesses and defendants, that is a good practice. in my jurisdiction we do that as often as we possibly can. however, it is not mandated and i would be very reluctant to advocate mandating that given
once again the pursuit of truth, the pursuit of justice there may be legitimate evidence that results from the conversations between law enforcement and an individual that could be lost. that subverts our pursuit of truth and justice. so i think under the right circumstances it should be encouraged and it is used extensively. but i would certainly not be in favor of any kind of a mandate. >> i think in our state it was a supreme court decision called the scales decision. but i will tell you, our police have grown, for the most part, to like it. and we have not had issues about being able to get convictions or anything like that because of this practice. sometimes they have to explain why they pursued a certain number of questions or why they did it a certain way, that is true. but i think overall, we've found it to be beneficial. >> thank you for the question. i would echo mr. weir's comments that it's best practice and probably advisable to go ahead and try to get those interrogations on film when
possible but it is not mandated in south carolina. to kind of transition to a different point that you were making, something that was a great fear of ours when we were trying to support this legislation, we, too, have dashcam dashcameras in our car and we've seen a tremendous problem where somebody's foot can go off the scene of the video, then the case is being dismissed because you don't see everything that's happened on video. what we don't want to happen is for that to be taking place with body cameras. we don't want to get to the point where body camera footage is the end all/be all of evidence. >> i understand this 37 we used to call it the csi effect with juries because we would have a case, mr. henderson knows what i'm talking about where there would be no possibility of dna but a defense lawyer would say well, there's no dna. and people are used to seeing this on tv so your point's well-taken. although i think you'd have to explain to juries why something went bad that is not necessary to have that for a case.
but i think that's a good point. i thought that when i came in, senator whitehouse was asking some questions about just the pilots. we have one going on in duluth minnesota. maybe you want to look at what they're doing in minneapolis with how they're doing. i think those pilot programs are one good way to figure out what's working best and to allow states to develop some of these privacy policies that are going to have to be in place to make this work. i don't know if you wanted to add to that, mr. henderson. >> senator thank you. no. i think pilot studies can be very useful in providing information to be considered by a wider audience before a major investment is made in the purchase of these cameras. having said that i hope that states and localities will not use that delay as a basis of not going forward, particularly now that the department of justice is making available grant funds
to support some states in moving in this area. i think that should be encouraged. we support the administration's approach. >> and that's why i led with this interrogation issue because at first it was something that our officers were concerned about and i think they grew to think it was actually a pretty good policy over time. this one, i will admit, has much more complications in terms of some of the issues that were raised with privacy and what you do with these tapes and that you protect people's privacy, as opposed to just interrogating someone in a squad car or in a room. and so that's why it is more complicated and we have to consider that as we move forward. but i want to thank all of you for being so thoughtful today. thank you. >> senator scott. >> thank you mr. chairman. thank you once again, for holding this hearing. i have met with more than a dozen groups over the last couple of weeks and would love to turn the information over to the committee and submit it for the record. thank you, sir. miss miller, do you know how
many jurisdictions around the country are currently running some type of a pilot program or have adopted the policy of body-worn cameras. >> that's a great question. it's one i get asked a lot and it is one i don't know the answer to. i don't think anyone knows the exact number. the most recent estimate i've heard is 3,400 and 4,000 agencies across the country, but again, that's just an estimate and i don't think it is necessarily current. that's something that i think people are working on trying to figure that out. >> the reason -- i mean the number is not nearly as important as the level of activity around the country. think four or five years from now looking back this will be a foregone conclusion that we find ourselves with the vast majority of officers wearing body-worn cameras. i do think it is important for us to point out the fact that the american laboratory is currently at work looking for best practices and the best policies. we can look around the country
and we'll find the weaving together of the best practices and policies around the country. i do think it is important to perhaps re-emphasize the necessity of local development of the policies. policing as a local effort and not a federal effort. nor should we find ourselves trying to figure out how to federalize local policing. i think it is also important for us -- mr. weir, i'd love to hear your thoutszghts on the mandates. i think we should encourage it but not mandate it. i think miss miller's discussed previously, create a framework for folks to work within. thoughts. >> thank you, senator. i agree and i would fully expect that most of my colleagues and prosecution community would also agree. there certainly is a place to delineate best practices and there certainly is a place to try to articulate the kinds of issues that need to be addressed, and perhaps even
suggest proposed solutions to some of those issues. but fundamentally this really is a local issue and it varies significantly from one locale to another, based upon resources officers' training and the kind of requirements that are needed to effectively prosecute. the resources are a huge issue not just with respect to the money involved with the data storage, but the personnel associated with that as far as being able to accurately document what data you have on hand, and then from a prosecutor's perspective, to be able to draw down that information and be able to identify which portion of recordings go with which case and how is it going to be used. although you are generating significant evidence, you also generate significant work. if you have nine different cameras on in a single incident
that exponentially increases the amount of review that you may have, some of which may be extraordinarily relevant to the issue, but some of it may not. but that still translates into personnel and manpower costs. so i think it is very, very important that it be done on a local basis perhaps with guidance from federal level or state level. and also, as we've been discussing, i think input with respect to involved stakeholders from the community would also be an important component. >> thank you. we've heard a lot about privacy issues, where you use cameras be with where not. i think one of the questions i have has to do with privacy issues in the public spaces, with the number of cameras that are now available called iphone or whatever your samsung -- i don't want to get in trouble with anybody. but whatever your phone voice is and/or your cameras at the
grocery stores or you're walking down the street. if you're in my neighborhood you're on camera because i have them all around my house as well. so the truth is if there is a new conversation and perhaps new considerations that need to be absorbed as it relates to privacy issues and pubin public spaces. not sure if you've thought this through yet mr. henderson. and for sheriff, since you are a man that can arrest me in south carolina, i want to give you as much time as necessary. that was my best joke. >> i'm sorry. i'll be very brief. i think you've identified a new, but very complex challenge that faces 21st century society. i mean after all, our congress has just gone through a debate over the collection of data by the national security agency. what kind of information can be gathered in various forms. there obviously are new sensitivities, heightened sensitives, about privacy in our society. and that should be the case. so i think we have to move with
care oondand thoughtfulness. i think that new policies have to be developed to meet new challenges and how we both access this information, how we retain and store it, who has access to it these are all very relevant questions that should be discussed before an investment is made of substantial cost rather than after. so i'm glad you've identified the issue. and i don't feel that we have given adequate attention to the complexity of the privacy challenges that face the country. >> i know my time is up. mr. chairman thank you very much. >> senator blumenthal. >> thanks mr. chairman. >> mr. bruder, would you looic icyou like to make a comment? >> that exact conversation happened on the judiciary committee and they have the exact same conversations there. ultimately it came down to a matter of what was subject to the freedom of information act and what was not.
again with being it came down to a resource issue and the fact that we've got very small police departments that would ultimately have to create a department to keep this data that's coming in and out and all the requests. the decision was made not to make it a public document but to be able to give a copy of that data to a small amount of people. they obviously could do with it what they wanted to after that. that was our way of narrowing it down so the public still does have input, still does have knowledge and of course the agency head, law enforcement agency head, can still release it if it benefits the public as well. >> thank you very much. thank you, senator scott. senator blumenthal. >> thanks for holding this hearing and thanks to senator scott for the bill that he's introduced and the initiative that he's taken. thanks to all of you for being here today. i'm a strong supporter of body-worn cameras by police.
in fact i supported the full appropriation for existing programs that would fund them. and i think they will make a very substantial contribution to the credibility and effectiveness of law enforcement. at the same time, i respect mr. henderson's point and i think you've all made it in different words that a lot of care and thoughtfulness needs to go into this new policy. a lot of people are pretty simplistic in their view of it. you have a camera, so of course it will record everything. no problem. and there will be no questions. well, in fact there are questions about privacy. there are questions about chain of custody. who has access to the results of these body-worn cameras. where are the results stored. if so, by a third party, the chain of custody issues are multiplied. and what are the standards. existing federal programs do not fund standards and policy
guidelines. and i think there is a role for the federal government to play, as you've just said, mr. weir. in fact not only is there a role, there is a necessity for the federal government to try to set some evidentiary standards and criteria for admissibility here. and i might just say one of the toughest cases i ever had to try involved the use of video in a drug prosecution where the video failed for a short period of time. and the defense was that the critical in effect, exculpatory support for the defendant occurred during that period when the video failed and tried to create reasonable doubt because of that malfunction. so we're not done with this
topicing ingsimply by requiring cameras to be worn by police. there are significant issues to be overcome. i think you've all highlighted them. i might just ask all of you, not just for the number but could you point us in the direction of programs that are working and working well so that perhaps we have models for what should be done by other cities, in fact maybe other states, if you know of any. >> thank you again for the question. we worked with several agencies that i think are doing a lot of things right. and even though their policies may differ and we may not agree with every single policy they have, i think that they are very thoughtful about what they're doing. i think oakland, california was one of the initial adopters of
body cameras. they've had them since 2009-2010. i've worked with their chief quite a bit. places like daytona beach, florida. greensboro greensboro, north carolina, mesa, arizona, they have avenue all put a lot of thought. re realto, california, which is one one of the studies was done. agencies have done a good job of considering all of these issues and are still engaged in trying to reform their policies and they learn new things. >> thank you for the question. obviously it is very new technology so there's only a few in south carolina that i've done. we probably have 22 agencies out of the 316 in south carolina that have actually implemented body-worn cameras. i can think of a couple of o the top of my head that are doing it very well. the spartanburg county sheriff's office has been doing this for coming up on a year and they
seem to be having great success. charleston police department has taken the route that we've all discussed in bring everybody to the table to formulate their policies. i believe they've been approved by the aclu and a number of other groups. so a lot of other agencies are kind of looking to charleston in their policies as a model that they can follow and implement similar ways in their own communities. >> senator, in collorado, 28% of the law enforcement agencies are using body cameras in one form or another. the greatest success stories i hear fromare coming from the very very small departments. when i say small these are departments with less than ten sworn officers. so i think that helps focus some of these issues and also perhaps reduces some of the complexities associated with this. of that 28% in colorado, there's only one department in excess of 50 officers that have used body
cameras. and that's been on a pilot basis. so i think in colorado, it's still an open question, although the response from the agencies, smaller agencies has been very positive. >> mr. henderson. >> that's a great question. it deserves a thoughtful response. i prefer to submit my answer in writing. >> great. >> i'd like to consult with the task force that helped to produce our civil rights principles. i think they have surveyed some of the programs currently in place and i'd like to get their advice before i respond. >> i would welcome that response and any other written responses after this hearing from any of you on any of these topics. i might just say, with all the questions that may be raised body-worn cameras are going to be a fact of life for better not for worse. better that the images should come from cameras worn by police
than cameras held by bystanders. and we know that the images from those bystander-held cameras are going to be a fact of life, whether we like it or not. better that they should be held or worn by police officers who are sworn to tell the truth and enforce the law and seek justice. so i'm a strong advocate and simply raise these questions because i think they are inevitable and you as professionals, would want them answered. thank you mr. chairman. >> thank you for coming before us today to discuss this issue. mr. henderson, i'm kind of stuck on this one point here that mr. bruder raised. south carolina has deemed data recorded by a body-worn camera not to be a public document, thus the data is not subject to freedom of information act
disclosure. he goes on to say in his testimony, doing so will ensure that a single moment of indiscretion does not provide a lifetime of embarrassment, ensures that one's guilt or innocence is determined in a court of law and not a court of public opinion. in your testimony, you noted the fact that footage from body-worn cameras can be a valuable source of evidence to help protect both officers and the public. public needs access to that information if it's going to protect them, does it not? >> well senator durbin thank you for the question. the answer is, yes, i do think the public needs access to that information. now i would say in every instance where there has been a use of force by the police department in a particular encounter with the public that information should be made available and accessible and relatively quickly in the aftermath of a particular incident. heretofore we have not had adequate data about the use of
force, or, for that matter death in custody. it was not until the senate this year adopted a provision requiring the collection of data of individuals who died in the custody of law enforcement that we're beginning to get that information. so i am concerned about unilateral declarations that exclude access to this information to the general public without having first a clear discussion of what that approach has been taken and whether it conforms with existing exemptions of the freedom of information act. i think in many instances the judgment and understandably done in the desire to protect individuals from permanent embarrassment over incidents that are relatively minor in nature. that is a legitimate concern, but that should not override the public's need or access to information that is involvedparticularly
where by use of force by police officers has taken place. >> you're saying you don't want this to be a fishing expedition. that's the way i read your testimony. how do you respond to this balance, protecting police officers and protecting public while saying the police can hold that information from that body cam and it does not have to be disclosed. mr. henderson suggests that if there is use of force that ought to create the exception. what do you think? >> i agree with mr. henderson's concerns. and that is a fine line that we've been trying to walk in south carolina to allow access that the public can see and have confidence in what the law enforcement agencies have been doing, but also to protect ourselves and protect the victims and other people on the video from excessive or abusive requests. the bill in south carolina still allows the public to get that information, whether that is through the individual who is on the camera can request a copy of that and he can obviously do what he would like to do with that data then.
or the agency head can still release that information if he felt like it was in the best interests of the public to do that. we've seen that time and time again where questionable uses of force have been used and we've gone back and gone ahead and released the video. one of the questions that was brought up earlier was about tampering with the video or doing those types of things. this is a topic that came up when we considered our release of information, not only does foia prohibit us from releasing certain things but there are also certain things in south carolina law that prohibit us from releasing victim identifying characteristics or juveniles and those types of things. for us to do that, we'd have to go back and redact. obviously it is easy to redact a document or piece of paper. we got a black sharpie that we can go out and do those things. but how do you redact a video? furthermore, once you get into
court will the question be raised, okay it's obvious you've redacted to some degree. how do we know what we're watching here in court today is the actual true event of what took place that day? those are all questions that we're still trying to figure out as this new technology moves forward. >> we're all trying to learn. and i think the march of sirnscience challenges us constantly. wasn't that many years ago dna didn't mean anything to anybody. now it has ended up resulting in much better, i think more complete efforts to find the truth and justice. the march of science is going to give us access to information in real time with some degree of certainty that we never had before. thank you very much. thanks, mr. chairman. >> i'll wrap it up here. you all have been very informative. i've learned a lot. number one miss miller, in the dashcam recording history has that worked pretty well as far
as dashcams? >> yeah. i mean i think there's been a lot of success with dashcams. i think it is a good way for us to kind of look to body cameras and see what they can do. i do think there are a lot of differences, so it is hard to -- we always advise agencies you can incorporate things from your dashcam policy but we wouldn't recommend relying on it. >> have to go much further. >> exactly. but i do think they can be instructive. >> has any jurisdiction ever outlawed a dashcam after it came into being for any reason? >> no. i have talked to places that actually there was one agency that i can remember that ended up getting rid of their dashcams because of the expectations that the courts started having. it was kind of the csi effect that was discussed earlier. they found that their officers' credibility was kind of being undermined. just one that i've ever talked to. >> mr. bruder dashcams in south
carolina, are they pretty common? >> they are common. they're mostly required by law but we're still having problem getting funding for that. >> 70%? 80%? >> probably 70% to 80% of patrol vehicles. not all law enforcement vehicles but patrol vehicles that do traffic enforcement. >> how do they store the data or keep the data? >> they have methods that they do that within the local agencies there. they can go back and either download that through a cloud means or they can go in and physically connect to a computer. >> how much more expensive would it be with the body cameras? would it be exponentially more expensive? >> based on the sheer number of hours and amount of video, it is going to be exponentially greater. most of our agencies have been looking at these and trying to get different cost examples. a lot of them have come back with the number of $100 per month per officer to store data. >> $100 per month per officer. >> yes, sir. >> miss miller, what's a
guesstimate as to how much it would cost the nation if every agency, every law enforcement -- the whole package. >> i am terrible at math so i hate to even try. but i've talked to agencies that spend millions per year on -- >> can somebody try to find that answer for us? >> yep. we can definitely look into that. >> do you agree about $100 per month per officer sounds right as far as storage? >> i heard that. i've heard $800 per officer per year. so it depends on the size of the agency, how many videos they're shooting. that sort of thing. >> mr. weir, you talked about look at this as an evidence device. is that correct? >> yes, sir. >> so chain of custody all would be very important. >> absolutely senator. >> have you had a