"What people don't get," says [Pat Hogan], standing on Otisco Street, "is that most of the people here are hardworking people holding down two low-income jobs to support their families." He dismisses those who marched on City Hall to oppose the cameras as outside agitators. "The people here don't have time to attend meetings, they're working and taking care of their kids. You want to talk about their rights, what about their right to have their grandchildren visit? I have older people tell me they can't have their grandchildren visit them at home, because it isn't safe."It's not often that I find myself nodding in agreement when I listen to Onondaga County District Attorney Bill Fitzpatrick. But Fitzpatrick, speaking on the radio one morning as I drove to work, made a simple point. "Would it be legal," he asked, "if we put two police officers on each street corner, and asked them to write down everything they saw?" How different would that be, asked the DA, from placing cameras on those same street corners? Not very different, it would seem.Here's the question for the mayor and the chief: If you want the public to trust you with footage of what we are doing on Geddes Street, how about you open up a bit, too, and make the internal workings of the SPD more transparent? Public cooperation, as you've said, is the key to successful law enforcement. When the public has a beef with police behavior, that complaint should be handled publicly as well. You can't tell us it's OK to smile for the camera and then hide when it's your turn before the lens.
sanity fair By ED GriffiN-NolaN In Focus
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