Thousands have signed an online petition calling for the province’s solicitor general to make body cameras mandatory for all Mounties in B.C.
As of 12:30 p.m. Saturday, 18,180 people, and counting, had signed the change.org petition.
The petition was launched last week, in the wake of widespread anti-racism and police brutality protests across Canada and the US, including Vancouver. The protests began following the death of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police officers.
The goal of the petition is to “have the Solicitor General of B.C. (and other provinces) change the requirements around body cameras to protect those most at risk of police mistreatment.”
“Currently, events in the U.S.A. are demonstrating why body cameras are so important,” reads the petition.
“While police are supposed to be protectors, they are also human, and are not always able to separate their beliefs from their actions. This can lead to the death of minority members at the hands of those that have promised to protect us.”
The push for RCMP body cameras has further intensified following a video that circulated on social media earlier this week, showing an RCMP officer in Nunavut using the driver door of a moving police pickup truck to knock over an apparently intoxicated man.
Nunavut RCMP have since said they will consider using body-worn cameras.
While the RCMP conducted a feasibility study on using body cameras, it ultimately decided to postpone a force-wide implementation of the system “until such a time as available technology can meet its specific operational concerns,” according to a press release from December 2016.
“The potential implementation of (body-worn cameras) would require that the RCMP purchase thousands of units to be distributed in over 750 detachments,” reads the 2016 release.
“The RCMP needs to have confidence in the product and ensure that the choice of technology justifies the investment of tax payer’s money.”