The Use of Police Dashboard Cameras May Become Standard in New Jersey

The Magnificent Clean Keeper via Wikimedia Creative Commons LicenseThe law is changing all the time, generally becoming more complex with the passage of each new measure. It takes a trained legal mind to sort everything out when fighting for the rights of a client, especially when the police may not necessarily be correct in their accusation.

A New Jersey assemblyman came up with the idea of putting video cameras in new police cars when he was arrested for drunken driving in 2012. A video camera installed in the police cruiser helped prove he was not, in fact, driving under the influence and his name was cleared.

Both chambers of the New Jersey Legislature have adopted the bill for cameras in police cars in overwhelming numbers, leaving it up to Governor Chris Christie to make it law. If he does not veto it by mid-August, it becomes law automatically.

The same measure was adopted earlier in the year, but because the governor did not sign it, it died at the end of the session legislative session. Christie has offered no explanation as to why he did not sign.

The vindicated assemblyman has made it his cause to get the governor’s signature on the bill.

In 2012, the assemblyman was pulled over and accused of drunken driving. He insisted he had not consumed any alcohol and refused to take a blood alcohol test out of fear the officer would manipulate the results.

As a former television consumer affairs reporter, the assemblyman collected evidence in the form of video from the squad car, which showed he was not driving erratically before he was pulled over. He was fortunate — there were only nine cars in the department’s fleet of 50 that had cameras at the time.

All charges against the assemblyman were dropped, while the officer has been charged with 14 offenses, including falsifying a police report and official misconduct. He has pleaded not guilty.

The assemblyman says police will also be protected by the cameras from false accusations of brutality or inappropriate behavior if the camera bill passes.

You have the right to a fair trial, if you’ve been accused of DUI. We can make sure that happens. Call the office of Steven Kellis, so we can make certain your side of the story is given the hearing it deserves.