Congressman Cleaver and Congressman Green Secure $22.5 Million for Body Cameras in Omnibus. In another sign that Black Lives Matter movement is winning the, $1.2 trillion omnibus spending bill includes $22.5 million for police body cameras. The proposals for funding for body cameras soon entered the debate after Ferguson as Reps. Emanuel Cleaver (D-MO) and Al Green (D-TX) pushed for funding. Their effort was followed up on the Senate side by Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC) who was shaken by the shooting death of Walter Scott by Charleston Police Officer Michael Slager in February 2015.
In January, Congressman Cleaver wrote a letter to President Obama urging him to promote funding for body cameras as a result of the continual unrest in Ferguson. The text of Cleaver’s letter can be seen here. The new funding comes after H. Res. 295, passed by the House in June. H. Res. 295 expresses the sense of Congress in support of local law enforcement agencies and supports the the use of body worn cameras.
“From the death of Michael Brown last year in Ferguson, to the tragic murder of Walter Scott in North Charleston, South Carolina, and the death of Freddie Gray in Baltimore this spring, now more than ever, the public has called for reform and accountability,” said Rep. Cleaver in a statement.
“Body cameras will serve to increase transparency. Both the police and the public benefit when the police have the best tools and training to fulfill their mission,” Cleaver added.
Rep. Green says he “understands that although the eye of the camera may not prevent questionable circumstances from occurring, it can provide additional empirical evidence of what occurred and over time act as an additional deterrence.”