Do Body Cams really make a difference in police mentality? Oh, and are police officers ignorant when it comes to laws which require citizens to ID themselves?

We're all for body cameras on police officers because we feel they'll "behave" if they know they're being monitored at all times. However, is this really the case? Will body cameras really "protect" citizens and put an end to racism? Or will they give the police further validation to continue what they're doing, leaving it up to lengthy court hearings and expensive lawyers to figure out?

Here's why I ask: Charlena Cook was arrested in January in the City of Barstow after getting into an altercation with an employee at her daughter’s school. She was said to have “actively resisted arrest.” You can tell from the body cam footage that she was not resisting.

In the video, you can see Charlena Cook - who was pregnant at the time - being handcuffed and brought to the ground -- pushed on her stomach by police -- after refusing to show identification.

You can hear her saying in the video, wait a minute, let me call my boyfriend to make sure that I legally have to identify myself.

She was charged with resisting arrest, although a judge dismissed the charge as well as other charges the officers gave her.

The police maintain, even after the judge made this ruling, that they were in the right. 

Legally speaking, she did not have to show the police identification. Shouldn't the police know this? And they were being recorded, so what gives?

Well the ACLU was on this case, as well as another one, of two brothers who were arrested for refusing to identify themselves to police officers, also in the City of Barstow.

In that incident, which occurred in January 2014, a customer at a taco restaurant accused the two men and others in the restaurant of stealing from him.

When officers arrived, they asked the brothers, Jesse and Robert Katz, for identification, and they refused. They were each charged with obstructing a police officer.

The agreement in that case calls for the City of Barstow to distribute to officers a "training bulletin" advising them that, with the exception of drivers questioned during traffic stops, citizens are not required to identify themselves. 

And the ACLU was able to get the Katz brothers $30,000 in compensation.

If citizens know they do not have to show ID, why don't cops? Did they skip that in basic training? Seems like police departments could avoid a lot of lawsuits if police simply followed the laws.

Funny how citizens are told that, "ignorance of the law is no excuse," yet those who are charged with enforcing the law are allowed to do whatever they want, arrest people, which essentially ruins lives, and then declare ignorance of the law.

The ignorant should not be in charge.

So what's your take on seeing our tax dollars at work? Are police just "acting dumb," trying to get away with whatever they can? Even in the age of body cams? Sound off below.

The views and opinions expressed herein are those of the authors alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of Ora Media, LLC its affiliates, or its employees.

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