The latest unfortunate incident in a long line of police-involved shootings — the death of 25-year old Donte Bennett who was shot and killed by officers in the courtyard of Douglass Homes — speaks to the immediate need for mounted cameras to be placed on the uniforms of police officers ("Man shot by police is identified," Sept. 6).
As a member of the House Judiciary Committee in the Maryland General Assembly, it is my constitutional obligation to set forth policy that protects the interest of the citizens of this great state. This is why last week I drafted legislation requiring police officers to have cameras placed on their person. We have witnessed far too many lives lost at the hands of officers sworn to protect and serve the interests of our citizens without having the adequate mechanisms in place to ensure that the incidents in question are within the guidelines of police procedure.
When you look at the success of other states where similar crime fighting programs have been implemented, you'll realize that this legislation is long overdue here in Maryland. Requiring such devices would not only cut down on the number of unwarranted citizen complaints against officers, it would also ensure the safety of citizens fearful of incidents involving the use of unnecessary force by police officers, while at the same time restoring the public trust within our police department.
Frank M. Conaway Jr., Baltimore
The writer, a Democrat, represents Baltimore City's 40th Legislative District in the Maryland House of Delegates.