I was reading about Lane Lesko (the male that left Lake Umbagog) who was shot in Peterborough on Route 136.
It is always a tragedy when a young person dies. I am sorry for his family's loss. I do not mean to minimize the tragedy, but I am troubled by a line in the WMUR story that says the man's mother was "told that none of the officers involved were wearing body cameras and that the patrol cars with cameras were not in position to videotape the scene." Mother of man killed by New Hampshire police wants answers
There is no reason to ever have police cruisers and officers involved in any stop or detention without video. It is cheap, easy to use and protects all involved from false allegations. In 2016 you should expect that everything you are doing in public is being recorded. There are cameras in convenience stores, fast food restaurants, super markets, banks, stores and in virtually all cell phones. My 5 year old expects that he is being videoed in every restaurant and points out the cameras and images.
Why do the NH State Police resist using video? Are they hiding something? It is time for NH State Police to add video equipment.
The fleet of NH State cruisers appears to be relatively new. The cruisers seem to get replaced regularly. These new cruisers also appear to have special police features for high speed pursuits, special handling and enhanced frames. They need to be mandated to record and video stops, detentions and arrests. There are no reasons against and many reasons to demand video recordings.
Simply put, there is no reason to allow NH State Police to stop, detain and arrest without any video records being created. It is time to demand proof and force that evidence be preserved. The mother of Lane Lesko wants answers and so should every citizen in NH.
I practice in a very rural, poor section of Northern NH. I am proud to say that there are many towns in my area that use cruiser cameras and body cameras. The argument that it is too costly is wrong. These northern towns (Littleton, Haverhill, Berlin, Lancaster, Lebanon) are not as well-funded as the NH State police, yet they can afford video. In my experience, videos help reduce arguments about what was said, done or not done. The videos show the facts, reduce court time and result in pleas or cases being dropped. The videos help the honest officers and out the undesirable. The videos help the innocent go free and convict the guilty.
It is time for video to be mandated.