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Is a body cam my best legal protection as a CCW Person?

Discussion in 'Legal' started by KNightshaus, Oct 24, 2022.

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  1. ilbob

    ilbob Member

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    you best defense is to pay attention to what is going on around yourself and avoid having to shoot someone else.

    personally, I do not think a body cam is a good idea. and it is kind of a creepy idea to walk around with a camera taking video of yourself all day.
     
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  2. GEM

    GEM Moderator Emeritus

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    Think of this, women see you with the camera. You are a stalking, pervert. Never look at a pretty woman again, creep-o! Walk by the school where little kids are playing and you are filming them. Folks have been busted for this one and rightly so!

    What are the local laws for filming? When do you turn on the camera? Cops get out of their cars have might have some warning or automatic systems to activate. What about you!
     
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  3. bearcreek

    bearcreek Member

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    Yup. IMO, the OP is more likely to get in trouble with the law, a concerned parent, spouse, boyfriend etc, than he is to successfully use his camera footage to get himself exonerated in the event of a defensive shooting. I know, as a father, I'd be extremely suspicious of a dude (I'm going with the assumption that the OP is male) who was wearing a camera like that.
     
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  4. davethedog

    davethedog Member

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    That situation might be likened to a truckdriver with a dash cam saying aloud,"The next SOB that cuts me off is going to get mashed like a potato", and then having an accident where he really runs over a car. Not good.
     
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  5. Atavar

    Atavar Member

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    The one party vs two party thing only applies to audio recordings. Audio recording comes under wiretap laws.
    You can record video without audio in a public place with impunity. Note that a business, cafe or bar require the owners permission to record in the building.
    https://k4z5v7a7.rocketcdn.me/wp-content/uploads/2021/11/Recording-Map-Full-Size-2021vg.jpg.webp
     
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  6. Buzznrose

    Buzznrose Member

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    I’ll limit my reply to the primary question in the title…

    I think a good attorney is my best protection in a SD/HD shooting.

    I use USCCA. There are others. Do your homework.
     
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  7. hdwhit

    hdwhit Member

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    A body cam shows only what is pointed at. It does not show anything outside the frame.

    Say your body cam (which is pointed forward and to the right) shows you drawing your gun and firing, but because your assailant was to the left and thus outside the frame, then your body cam appears to show you as the aggressor.

    As a forensic engineer with 30+ years experience, I will caution you that the body cam is not necessarily going to see what your eyes are seeing and they can be interpreted differently.
     
  8. jmorris

    jmorris Member

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    And if we had a dollar for every “selfie” taken in any highschool in the country, we would have to pay a lot more in taxes this year…the number of average civilians caught in the back ground without their permission must be astronomical. That said, they are “in public”.
     
  9. JDeere

    JDeere Member

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    It seems body cams and dash cams are being marketed well and inspiring folks to become paranoid. There seems to be something special with those that have dash cams:). They seem to enjoy posting their videos and saying "Look what this idiot did". Well who's the idiot? Carry on...
     
  10. dogtown tom

    dogtown tom Member

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    No its not. It shows what it shows. It does not show the mindset of an "aggressor".

    Then you should know that video doesn't show emotions, mindset, panic or any other cognitive response.
     
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  11. Archibald Stanton

    Archibald Stanton Member

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    videos capture data: nothing more, nothing less. It is up to people to interpret that data and that is where the potential benefit or danger comes in. It could help you or hurt you but don't think your salvation or downfall is whether or not you have a video recording. Your salvation or downfall will come at the hands of people forming an opinion, rightly or wrongly about what they see. If there is no video, then there is less data to interpret about an incident. Could be good, could be bad. Do you want less data about the incident you potentially caused or more? I assume you want more but just remember, even if the video proves you are innocent in reality, it will not necessarily prove you innocent in a court. People will decide if you are innocent in a court. You are not trusting a video at the end of the day, you are trusting people to interpret the video in a way that helps you.
     
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  12. rust collector

    rust collector Moderator Staff Member

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    Once upon a time we thought that "Better living through chemistry" made sense and that machines would save us so much time we would only need a three day work week. Fritz Lang and others warned us that all these modern conveniences may be turned against us. If we think we know all the ramifications of these modern devices, it is another example of not knowing what we do not know.

    Put me in the "Be careful what you wish for" camp. Anything can be subverted to serve another master. In this era, video is just another data stream that may be edited, taken out of context and used to distort in ways we could never dream of a few years ago. It did not take long for attorneys to realize that videos of will signing could sometimes give contestants evidence that could be used to thwart the intention of testators.

    Add to this concern the fact that the laws we have do not keep up with technological change. A LEO may hold your smartphone up to your thumb to unlock it, but if a PIN is required to activate it, a warrant must be obtained for access. You have the right to remain silent but that right does not extend to our modern conveniences. Siri, call my lawyer.
     
  13. mljdeckard

    mljdeckard Member

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    Let's take a situation where a DA who is looking to make a name for himself will flip and twist every aspect of a defensive enounter and use it against you, and.....give them even more to work with.

    Nope. You are the defendant. The burden of proof falls on THEM to prove you did something wrong. Generally speaking, giving them more to work with is going to be good for them, and bad for you.

    I actually recently did a college paper on why police body cams should be standardized and made mandatory, but the situation is not the same. They are public servants, and their use of public funds and application of laws should be given full transparency. Private citizens have no such burden.
     
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  14. valnar

    valnar Member

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    I have cameras outside AND inside my house. Generally speaking, the inside ones are off when I am at home. All cameras get turned on when I leave.

    If I ever had a perp enter my house when I'm home, I believe NOT having footage would be to my benefit. At that point, it's already an advantage to the home owner since the bad guy broke the law simply by entering.
     
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  15. Kleanbore

    Kleanbore Moderator Staff Member

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    Well, yeah, but if you have shot someone, that alone would be pretty strong evidence. You then present evidence to support a legal defense of self defense, but eyewitness and earwitness testimony may contradict it.

    If you did everything right, hi-res video could be your salvation, If you did not, it could be your downfall.

    Body cam? Not for me. One more thing to carry, explain, and use.
     
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  16. mljdeckard

    mljdeckard Member

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    Ultimately I just think that people using it against you would have more experience and inclination to pick it apart and exploit it than those defending you. Maybe this will change over time, but I just see it as being a net negative.
     
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  17. wayneinFL

    wayneinFL Member

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    Some good points have been made about the issue. Sure, both the prosecution and defense can use the evidence for their own purposes.

    I noticed when I was working in New Orleans a few years back some companies had employees wearing body cameras. Towing companies and retail clerks. They're commonly attacked.

    I wouldn't throw this one completely out the door. If you're using a body camera every time you step out of your house, might not be a good idea. It's more likely to catch you doing something wrong. It might be good to have for a few hours a day if your occupation is higher risk.
     
  18. dogtown tom

    dogtown tom Member

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    o_O
    Maybe, just maybe, don't do "something wrong". If the camera is "more likely to catch you doing something wrong" maybe you should reevaluate how you are living your life.

    All this fear of documenting ones misdeeds and criminal acts puzzles me.
    -If you act lawfully you should have no fear of anything a body cam or any other camera happens to record.
    -If you fear that you will inadvertently commit a crime while armed.......JUST STOP CARRYING A FIREARM RIGHT NOW.
    -If you fear a body camera will record you intentionally violating the law you are correct and probably realize a body cam wasn't a good idea.
    -If you fear that body camera recordings will somehow be twisted and used against you in court by some evil, anti gun prosecutor....buy more tin foil.

    I'm a school teacher. All of our campuses have interior cameras in the hallways, cafeterias, gymnasiums and every special education classroom has at least one. Its been almost twenty years and has worked well. So well in fact that when funds are available, they add more cameras.

    I know of five teachers or paraprofessionals who lost their jobs because of what the cameras recorded. They violated state law or district policy and the camera documented that fact. I also know of a dozen teachers and paras whose job was saved because of the cameras. Student comes home with a bruise or scratch and parents want to know what happened....the video is reviewed. When our school district first announced that they were installing cameras in classrooms I thought "Oh my gosh, they'll be watching me!". Now, almost twenty years later I think "Thank goodness the camera is watching me!".

    Last August I bought a dashcam for my car. If I speed or drive erratically it records that......so I rarely speed and for the most part avoid running down old ladies in the crosswalk.
     
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  19. Kleanbore

    Kleanbore Moderator Staff Member

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    Could be, if you do something wrong.....
     
  20. westernrover

    westernrover Member

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    Your best legal protection is always doing the right thing.
    The best way to ensure that is moral character, thorough knowledge of the relevant issues, and frequent training in the relevant skills.

    Just assuming that you're a "good guy" would be like figuring that you'd be a good golfer, having never played before. Then, before your first game, you go buy a camera to document your greatness so everyone else can see. What the camera shows might not be what you were expecting. This isn't a reason to hope all the cameras are off. It's a reason to make some resolutions and gain some convictions about your sportsmanship, to study and learn everything you can about the rules, and to get training and practice the needed skills so you are prepared before the big tournament.

    For me, there is nothing appealing about golf, but it is an apt analogy because it would be foolish to think you would be good at it without any effort. Personal protection isn't a fun game or a hobby. It is a responsibility for which a man is compelled to prepare himself or suffer being a negligent fool.

    To prepare yourself to act with moral integrity, you've got to be convinced there is an objective moral law. "Every way of a man [is] right in his own eyes: but the LORD pondereth the hearts." Proverbs 21:2 " There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof [are] the ways of death. " Proverbs 14:12 Consider three examples from the history of David, the king, when it might have seemed that he had the right to use lethal force, but he did not. First, when he was in the cave and could have killed Saul who was pursuing his life (1 Samuel 24). We have another example when David would have killed Nabal for his foolish transgression but relented for the cause Abigail beseeched him (1 Samuel 25). Then we see again, when David and Abishai had an opportunity to kill Saul who had pursued them to Ziph, but did not (1 Samuel 26). Can you be sure that you would act righteously as David did in these three examples if you simply had knowledge of the rules? What more could it take? What more did David have?
     
  21. N555

    N555 Member

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    Put a lawyer on retainer too.
     
  22. Kleanbore

    Kleanbore Moderator Staff Member

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    I'm not at all sure how one would use a body camera in civilian self defense. A sworn officer has the duty to pursue suspects, stop, them, and if necessary, take them into custody. The camera would be turned on at the outset. The camera imagery is wanted to demonstrate that the officer's actions were lawful.

    The moment a civilian starts pursuing someone, any hope of a successful legal defense of self defense is out the door. The lawful defender may find it necessary to use force, deadly or otherwise, to prevent harm from an attacker. Think Tueller. Try to imagine adding the act of turning on the camera into the timeline.

    Perhaps the civilian would keep the thing turned on. The idea conjures up all kinds of issues, and one has to wonder when and how an attacker would end up in the field of view in an ambush.
     
  23. heyjoe

    heyjoe Member

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    As far as doing the right thing all day with a body cam on, the average person breaks multiple laws on the average day, some may be felonies, in many cases unwittingly.
     
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  24. Kleanbore

    Kleanbore Moderator Staff Member

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    You have heard that somewhere?
     
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  25. GEM

    GEM Moderator Emeritus

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    Question, don't the police trigger their cameras when they leave the car or have some other triggering protocol. Does the citizen keep it always on? The idea assumes that your shoot will be righteous. Is that true?

    Remember our heated debate over a robbery where the criminal jumped over a counter and was stabbed. There was discussion of every aspect of the timing with folks arguing seconds of decision time with no clear POV surfacing. Did the store cameras help? Might seeing the actual impact and death of your assailant in gruesome fashion in such an ambiguous situation be to your benefit?
     
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