And police officers are now at a disadvantage, because someone can tape the last part of an encounter and not tape the first part of the encounter.
Then how about you pass some federal legislation to make it fully legal to record police in public? You know how many people are told to stop recording and arrested for refusing to do so? Cops aren't at a 'disadvantage'. They don't want cameras, because they know right now it is their word over the word of criminals, suspected criminals, random people on the street, or dead guys. Guess who they think are going to be believed. They are just happy to have no recordings in case they screw up.
"I would like to see us say, 'If you want federal funding in your community, you've got to have body cams on your officers. And I think that would go a long way towards solving some of these problems, and it would be a great legacy over this tragedy that's occurred in Ferguson, regardless of what the facts say at the end as to whether or not anyone is criminally culpable."
First, this is just another example of how the federal government takes our tax money, and then 'requires' things that are completely outside the scope of their constitutional authority to get said money back (in some form). The federal government has absolutely no power to require a local municipality to buy a camera and require their cops to wear them. Stick to your constitutional duties, because you guys are simply spreading out into areas you have no business being in.
Second, he is another jerk that believes in the old saying, "Never let a good crisis go to waste". Are you for gun control? Just have your legislation tucked away ready to go after the next school shooting, regardless of weather or not your pre-written legislation would have done any good in the latest crisis. Would a camera have done anything to prevent this shooting? Or determine who was at fault? Who knows, pass the legislation while the people are pissed!
Third, I actually think cameras are a good idea, but let states and municipalities determine if they are necessary. There are plenty of towns in this country that simply have no need for cameras because the odds of them really being needed are so small that it would be a poor use of resources. There are something like half a million cops in this country, and even at $1,000 apiece (camera, storage, support, etc.), you are looking at a price tag of half a billion dollars, from a federal budget that already bleeds red like crazy.