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Los Angeles will be the first major American city to introduce cameras as a part of a policeman's uniform. This measure is viewed as a key to increase law enforcement's credibility after the sweeping protests against the use of unnecessary force by the police.
MOSCOW, December 17 (Sputnik) — All 7,000 officers of Los Angeles police are to be outfitted with body cameras by 2016, the city's Mayor Eric Garcetti announced, following mass unrest across the United States caused by several killings of unarmed African-Americans by the police.
"Out on the street, things aren't always clear cut. These cameras will help law enforcement and the public alike find the truth," the Mayor said in a statement released on Tuesday, adding that Los Angeles will be the first major city to implement the measures.
The fatal shooting of an unarmed black teenager by a white police officer in Ferguson, Missouri, brought national attention to the need for body cameras for officers, the press release stated.
"Our community, and in particular communities of color, have asked for transparency in all levels of government, and that includes policing efforts," the statement said, quoting Curren Price, a member of the Los Angeles City Council. According to the official, the cameras will increase police department credibility in the eyes of a community that in recent months has increasingly brought attention to the use of unnecessary force.
The Los Angeles Police Department has been moving toward the use of body cameras for almost a year, with $1.5 million already raised to purchase the first round of 800 cameras. The funding for the rest will be provided by Mayor Garcetti in the budget for the financial year 2015-2016.
On August 9, Michael Brown, an unarmed, black, 18-year-old, was fatally shot by white police officer Darren Wilson in Ferguson, Missouri, who suspected the teenager of conducting an armed robbery nearby. In November, a grand jury chose to not indict Wilson for the shooting. Following a nationwide wave of demonstrations and unrest related to Brown's death and several other cases of similar police killings in the United States, President Barack Obama called for an increase in the number of police body-worn cameras.
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