If We Want to Throw Body Cameras on Every Police Officer, We're Going to Need Better Laws

""Every department has room to improve, even the best in the nation," Harlan Yu, principal at civil rights consulting firm Upturn, told Mic. "And especially the large departments have even further to go."

"There isn't a consensus in the civil rights community that all police should be wearing cameras," Yu said. "Many believe that they're a distraction, that they're expensive, and not a solution to the reform that communities need."

"I don't see any barrier for putting in facial recognition or automatic license plate readers," Elizabeth Joh, a law professor at the University of California whose research focuses on police technology, told Mic. "They're meant to be a tool of surveillance against the police, but can very easily become a tool of surveillance against the public."

Joh said this is where two modern civil rights movements — the post-Ferguson police reformers and the anti-surveillance privacy hawks — could have an unintended friction. The former typically sees body cams as a way to hold police accountable and expose brutality and prejudicial policing, and the latter is generally skeptical of cameras going up everywhere."