by Michael Lowrey
Charlotte has a lot of police cameras — over 500 in fact — mounted across the city. And as the UPoR reported over the weekend, how and when they will deployed in the future is a bit unclear. This worries the ACLU:
The N.C. chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union is worried that decisions about how to use the cameras will be made solely behind the walls of the police department, without public oversight or input.
“Operating 500 cameras and monitoring 500 cameras is not something that’s going to be inexpensive. And we don’t know exactly how beneficial those cameras are in regards to crime prevention, and whether the benefit is equal to the cost, both financially but also in regards to the loss of privacy,” said Chris Brook, the group’s legal director.
Certainly some valid concerns there. Doubt Charlotte City Council gets involved though. Real oversight like that takes a fair amount of effort, especially when staff aren’t forthcoming or are trying to spin the process. And it certainly includes a willingness to ask tough questions. That, sadly, is just not how Charlotte works.