Rialto, CA– Rialto, California, has become the poster child for those who believe body cameras will make a difference after a CNN report in 2013 raved about how the department had seen a 60% reduction in use of force instances and an 88% reduction in officer complaints since implementing the devices.
It seems to be impossible to even have a conversation about the police accountability without “Rialto” being mentioned at least once.
In a video uploaded to YouTube, Rialto police are seen repeatedly tasering a man on the ground, and viciously beating him with an asp, as the woman filming the attack pleads with them to stop. The man does not appear to be violent or threatening in any way as the officer’s bark orders at him- while pumping his body full of electricity.
The woman behind the camera explained to the Free Thought Project that the man being assaulted had honked his horn at the officers because they were blocking a driveway. This allegedly angered the officers to the point we see here.
These officers are supposed to be wearing body cameras, but would we have heard about this incident had there not been a citizen with her camera there filming?
City officials very rarely hold officers accountable for their actions, and the police know this, so will the “threat” of being caught misbehaving on body cameras dissipate? It hasn’t seemed to slow the Albuquerque Police Department down.
If body cameras are so useful, and so helpful to transparency and accountability, we challenge the Rialto PD to release the full footage of this incident right away or discipline these officers. The contact information to request they do so can be found here.
Check out another option for forcing accountability, and the bonus is, it won’t come out of the tax payers pockets.