Nationwide body cams for law enforcement
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My name is Nicole Cashell. Two years ago my husband was shot, and killed by a law enforcement officer in my home.
The police were called out to aid, and assist in a domestic situation between my husband, and myself. You never expect to bury your loved one when calling the police for help, you do however expect them to aid in de-escalating a situation so that no one is harmed, and everyone is safe at the end of the day..
After the fact, things didn't add up. I started my own research into the case because I had past investigated experience with investigations, and read several books by renowned retired FBI, and CIA agents.
I obtained reports from local law enforcement, state law enforcement, as well as the District Attorneys office, the hospital, the coroners office, and also tried to collect reports from the 911 center. I received resistance from all departments in collected the data. In one such instance, I had to contact the Attorney Generals office to get the agency to comply with my open records request that was denied 3 times from the Houston County Sheriffs department.
The more I looked into the reports the more I found an injustice in my husbands death. There isn't any reason for a law enforcement officials to lie, document, destroy, or dismiss evidence if their actions are justified.
There were many inconsistencies, and lies within the reports that did not add up to what I, family members, and other witnesses stated happened. After contacting the GBI office to let them know I sent a tip into the FBI's public corruption unit, the DA immediately took the officer before the grand jury (without notifying us) cleared the officer of all wrong doing, and dismissed the testing on the DNA touch evidence.
During my research I also uncovered another case in Houston County. It was written in an article by a reputable, and reliable source that was also doing an investigation into officer involved shootings in Georgia. It was of a 19 year old African American male who was also shot, and killed in Houston County, Georgia
He was in the vicinity of the area where a burglary had taken place, which was also the same neighborhood he lived in. He was walking on a path in the woods behind his neighborhood that he frequently walked when he was approached by the law enforcement officer. The situation escalated, and the officer tazed the young man, and then shot in him in the back of the head killing him instantly.
The officer never called out a warning to the young man that he was going to discharge his weapon, and what evidence they did have on the taser video show the young man compliant, and scared for his life. Again, in this case, the DNA touch evidence was dismissed and never tested.
The family hired a top notch lawyer, had relevant, and indisputable evidence and the police officer still walked Scot-free. Again, no body cams to either prove or disprove the officers actions, only his word against the deceased, and no justice for the young man, or his family.
This type of thing is happening all over the United States. It is an injustice to all of those who have been through, and continue to go through this type of violence from law enforcement officials, and the justice system that protects their officers at all costs.
It is unfair to the families, and the ones they loved who are no longer with us, and who cant defend themselves. We rarely see justice, or get closure from such acts of violence by those who are suppose to serve, and protect the citizens of the cities, and counties in which they serve.
My petition is for ALL law enforcement officials NATIONWIDE who respond to calls to be required to wear a body camera, and have continuous live feed recording of all their interactions with civilians. It is important because any situation can turn deadly within a matter of seconds.
I also urge for strict laws to be set In place for law enforcement officers who are involved in "officer involved shootings". They are not above the law, and the badge does not give them the power to be judge, and jury on the spot. Nor does it give any law enforcement official/officials the right to create their own narrative.
I think the laws are too lenient towards law enforcement, and they continue this behavior because they know they will not face any real consequences from their actions, and that they can continue to get away with it.
It should also be mandatory for all law enforcement officials who take a life to be immediately detained, and treated like any other person who commits the act of homicide. The badge, nor the job should give anyone any special treatment that other citizens would not be privy to themselves.
They know going into law enforcement that it is a dangerous job, and they also know that taking another's life is illegal, and punishable by law.
I myself also had a passion to be in law enforcement to fight, and hunt down criminals of the most dangerous kind. However, life threw me some major curve balls, and I was never able to obtain it. However, if I were an officer of the law I would gladly, and demand that I be able to wear a body camera at all times. Not only to give a clear and concise picture of what occurred, but to also cover myself if there were ever a question as to the justice of my actions.
I would also like to see the courts place a special random prosecutor to trial these cases. I believe it is a conflict of interest to have a local DA trial an officer involved case, when he or she has a vested relationship with local officers, and often relies on their testimonies to bring other criminals to justice.
And further would request for audio to be required during all interactions with civilians to further protect everyone from injustice of any kind.
This is what I plan to achieve through my efforts. This petition is just the beginning, and hopefully proves to be a good starting point to find other like minded individuals, and to also find people, and resources to help further the cause.
These changes would not only keep citizens protected, but also keep law enforcement officials protected as well. It is not my desire to depict all law enforcement officials as corrupt, but to weed out the ones that are.
Families suffer unimaginable amounts of grief, sadness, and heartache from the loss of their loved ones, and experience extreme anxiety from the trauma from which they incur. They also experience a strong hate, anger, and fury for those who take their loved ones life, and those who proceed to further cover up their actions within the justice system.
Let us help stop the snowball effect of what could fuel further acts of violence, and take steps now to secure the safety of all citizens and their interactions with law enforcement.
Thank you again for your time, and I thank you in advance for your support.
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