Again, I Say Plan B
Well, . . . now police officers have good reason for wearing operating body cameras for reasons other than capturing incidents when Black men are shot after threatening the lives of police officers while reaching for invisible guns:
Two men were arrested and held for eight hours on April 12, 2018, for walking into a Starbucks and waiting, for an associate. They were released with no charges filed. Oh, and they has asked to use the restroom before they were arrested.
By all accounts police officers who responded to the call of the store manager and made the arrests were cordial and respectful.
But being held for eight hours? And why were they even arrested? The real estate agent they were there to meet arrived during the arrest and explained to the arresting officers that the two gentlemen were waiting for him. So, with evidence that they had a legitimate reason for being in the Starbucks, why continue the arrest?
And where were the two men held during their eight hour detention? Or were they interrogated for eight hours? Did no one care that they may have had plans for the day?
But lets focus on these polite officers who made the arrests.
What were they doing for the eight hours that the two suspects were being held? After determining the two men had a legitimate purpose for being in the Starbucks, how much more time did they need for interrogation?
Ok, arrests were made, so the least a responsible officer would do is check for any outstanding warrants or entries into the Law Enforcement data base. With that five minutes accounted for, we still have over seven hours and fifty five minutes.
We have to assume that during the pat-down prior to the arrest, officers determined there were no illegal drugs or tools or implements found that could be used as weapons. So, no time used here.
We have no information on the interrogation or why it was necessary, or if there was an interrogation.
Were the men placed in holding cells with other arrests of the day while the arresting officers drank coffee and had donuts and considered the pros and cons of charging the two men, for eight hours?
Were the two men offered food or drink? And if they were, would they have felt comfortable that the sustenance offered were not tampered with, possibly drugged?
Perhaps sometime during the eight hour detention their rights were read to them. They have said that their rights were not read to them when they were handcuffed and marched out of Starbucks.
Perhaps it was a slow crime day in Philadelphia, PA on April 12 when the men were arrested? The arresting officers carefully and leisurely processed the case. Having made the well-publicized arrests their day was now free. As many as eight officers were on the Nellie-pad for this case and had their time automatically accounted for the day.
Senior and supervising officials have to accept the accounting of time during this whole process. But how do they explain why two citizens who have broken no law were detained for eight hours, in America in 2018, Not 1984? They have to accept that there was legitimate reason for every minute the two gentlemen were detained. Plan B would provide the cover police departments need. With every minute of the pay-day accounted for and subject to review by superiors, we could find and eliminate the red-tape that backlogs systems and make us all less efficient and effective.
This is just another reason for Plan B. Plan B allows supervising officers to observe their charges whenever desired and as often as necessary to ensure proper policing is provided, with courtesy and respect. With every moment of paid duty being recorded aside from bath room use, Plan B provides a tool for determining when additional training is needed, and helps astute superiors to recognize when coaching or counseling would be better tools for modifying performance and perceptions. As example, a review of body camera footage would have revealed that the two men arrested did not have their rights read to them before they were marched out of Starbucks, a good opportunity to remind officers of arresting protocol.
Plan B allows superiors to determine the best tool for officer improvement be it training, coaching, counseling or even mentoring.
Yes. Body cameras can be used for policing the police. But body cameras are far more valuable if used by police departments to improve police operations throughout their departments.
Luke 12:2-3 (KJV) 2 For there is nothing covered, that shall not be revealed; neither hid, that shall not be known. 3 Therefore whatsoever ye have spoken in darkness shall be heard in the light; and that which ye have spoken in the ear in closets shall be proclaimed upon the housetops.