Former NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly said he is now open to body cameras on cops after witness video caught an unarmed South Carolina man being gunned down as he fled from a traffic stop.
On ABC’s “This Week” with George Stephanopoulos, Kelly said he expects more police departments to start using cameras in light of the video, which shows a white police officer, Michael Slager, shooting Walter Scott, who is black, in the back as he ran away.
In the video, Slager apparently drops his Taser near the body following the shooting. Slager was charged with murder and was fired from the force.
“It has changed my mind because we have to assume that this officer would not act the way he did if in fact he had a body camera that was recording. You have to use logic in this,” Kelly said. “I think it is a game changer.”
Kelly had raised questions about how body cameras on cops would work, telling CBS in 2013 during the debate on stop-and-frisk that it “opens up more questions than it answers.”
“There are issues with it, there are problems with it but this trumps all of those problems,” he said Sunday.
NYPD Commissioner William Bratton last year launched a pilot program to outfit 60 police officers with cameras following the video of Staten Island man Eric Garner dying after being put in an apparent chokehold by an NYPD officer.
Meanwhile, Kelly on “This Week” said he had spoken with police officers who had seen the video of Scott’s death and were “uniformly sickened by it.”
“Unfortunately, it’s seen as suspicions confirmed in a lot of communities,” Kelly said. “Because that’s what’s been said: not only is it inappropriate use of force, there’s evidence that’s planted.”