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Cameras would help police and the public [Letter]

I've been watching recent events regarding the integrity of police and their tactics of force.

Let me start by saying that I am a Republican and a Christian. I am also the daughter of a police officer. My father was an MP in the U.S. Army, a D.C. police officer and achieved U.S. Marshall status before leaving the field of law enforcement. I am very close to my father and have the utmost respect for him.

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I've written several letters to the Times since 2008 regarding a criminal case that I was a witness for here in Carroll in 2007. I had the unfortunate experience of learning some unpleasant truths about police officers.

I learned that some officers will be biased against you based on who you do or don't know. I learned that if a guilty person is affiliated with another officer, witnesses against the guilty party run the risk of being rudely questioned and picked apart. I learned that some officers will insult you when there are no witnesses present and then lie about it.

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My experience made me question everything I was raised with; I was raised to always respect an officer's authority, to be cooperative and even when in doubt, to give an officer the benefit of that doubt.

Today, I've made my own personal peace with my experience, and although I still respect those in law enforcement, I look upon them differently and I am distrustful of police officers, which brings me to the most important thing that l learned: never, ever be questioned by a police officer, even over the telephone, without a witness. Unfortunately, you just can't trust some of them to be unbiased and honest.

I commend President Barack Obama's proposal for officers to wear Go-Pro cameras as I feel it will keep officers honest and not only protect the public but the officer as well.

Holly Mittelstedt

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