San Bernardino County Supervisors Call for Police Body Cams - NBC Southern California

Coverage of a beating involving San Bernardino County deputies at the end of a high desert pursuit

San Bernardino County Supervisors Call for Police Body Cams

Francis Jared Pusok, 30, claims he is afraid of law enforcement because "they beat me every time" in other encounters

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    Sheriff’s deputies in San Bernardino are expected to participate in a body camera program backed by county supervisors. Gordon Tokumatsu reports for the NBC4 News at 5 p.m. on Wednesday, April 15, 2015. (Published Wednesday, April 15, 2015)

    San Bernardino County Sheriff John McMahon said human behavior can change when body cameras are involved.

    It's one of the reasons his department has been experimenting with the devices, since as far back as 2009.

    "We all act better when we know we're being watched," McMahon said.

    But, he added, "we need to act the right way regardless of whether or not somebody's watching."

    Man Beaten by Deputies Explains Why He Fled

    [LA] Man Beaten by Deputies Explains Why He Fled
    A man who was beaten by sheriff’s deputies during his arrest following a pursuit explains why he ran from them. Gadi Schwartz reports for the NBC4 News at 11 p.m. on Monday, April 13, 2015.
    (Published Tuesday, April 14, 2015)

    McMahon spoke about cameras after his deputies were caught on a NBC4 News helicopter camera beating a man after a horseback pursuit on Thursday.

    The outcry over Francis Pusok's beating has exposed the sheriff's department to negative national publicity and potential lawsuits.

    "I do believe it will benefit and protect our deputy sheriffs and it will help to disprove any complaints that we may get," McMahon said.

    Sheriff's officials said a deputy-involved shooting in San Bernardino County on Wednesday was not recorded on cameras.

    The project McMahon announced this week is a pilot program and the most a deputy might carry would be an audio recorder.

    Once the body-cam program is implemented, he said, deputies responding to a scene like the one on Wednesday may likely be recording pictures and sound.

    Picture of Man Beaten by Deputies Emerges

    [LA] Picture of Man Beaten by Deputies Emerges
    Francis Pusok, 30, was being held in jail, booked on a handful of charges, a day after he was beaten by deputies after a chase on horseback. Patrick Healy reports for the NBC4 News at 5 p.m. on Friday, April 10, 2015.
    (Published Friday, April 10, 2015)

    The department has the backing of county supervisors and McMahon said a secure "cloud" system will be used to make sure all recordings are kept confidential.

    "We wanted to make sure it complies with all state and federal laws," he said.

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