Earlier this week, a black teenager was killed by a white policeman at a gas station. That policeman was issued a body camera to wear that night. He wasn't wearing it when the incident occurred. The officer remains unnamed.
The police were responding to reports of a theft when they saw 18-year-old Antonio Martin and another person. The officer saw Martin “produced a pistol with his arm straight out, pointing it at the officer.” The officer responded by firing three shots at Martin, killing him. The person with martin fled.
After watching surveillance footage released by the gas station, the police and the two teens appear to engage in a conversation for about a minute before Martin raised his gun at the officer. The body camera could have provided a clearer picture of what happened that night.
The incident occurred in Berkeley, Missouri.
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Mayor Theodore Hoskins said he was not concerned that the officer hadn't turned his body camera on, as the police department has not received full body camera training yet.
"In the future and when we get well trained, there will be a severe penalty for an officer who does not turn [their body camera] on," Hoskins said.
The call for the police to wear body cameras has spread to police departments across the country as a way to increase transparency with their community.
The reform change can bring results, however, it is hard to measure what good the camera can bring if it is turned off.