Cameras And Law Enforcement Raise Questions

Cops wearing cameras is a growing trend in law enforcement, but is it helping or hurting? INSIDE EDITION followed one police officer to see how they work.

A suspected gang member was in handcuffs after allegedly flipping off a cop on patrol.

His mother was heard telling him, “Shut up!”

“I didn't do anything,” replied the suspected gang member.

“You called him a pig,” replied his mom.
The officers found a sawed-off shotgun in the trunk of his mother's car. Police say the suspect will have a hard time complaining about how they treated him because the whole bust is caught on the “cop cam.”

All the officers in Rialto, California actually wear cameras. They videotape every traffic stop, every chase, and every arrest.

Sergeant Chris Hice showed INSIDE EDITION how the high-tech digital cameras work. They can be mounted on the shoulder or even on a pair of sunglasses.

“If I didn't have it, I would have a lot more explaining to do. It's actually blue toothing to my phone exactly what I’m looking at all the time,” said Sergeant Hice.
Sergeant Hice took INSIDE EDITION on patrol in the suburb of Los Angeles.

One of his biggest problems is drivers who run stop signs. He said, “What I normally do is the blatant people that don't stop, that don't attempt to stop.” The sergeant pulled over a driver and gave him a warning.

Back on patrol, Sergeant Hice saw that young man who allegedly gave him the finger and called him a pig.

After frisking him, Sergeant Hice found a knife. The suspect's mother told him her son had more than just a knife.

She said, “I have a shotgun in my car that he put in my car. It is in the trunk.”

Sergeant Hice said the mother gave them permission to search her car where they find a sawed off, 12 gauge shotgun that was fully loaded. Her son wasn’t very happy about that. He was taken off to the station for questioning.

Sergeant Hice said he's glad the camera is rolling because incidents like these can be misinterpreted.
He said, “Later on, if mom decides to say she never told me that, after I write it on my report, it's on video, it happened, it's real.”

That's exactly why Rialto has armed their officers with cameras.

Police Chief Tony Farrar said complaints about his officers have plunged from 24 one year, to just three complaints.

He said, “When you know you're being watched whether you are an officer or a citizen, you would just tend to behave a little bit better.”

Obviously the suspect who allegedly gave the finger didn't get the message.