(CNN) – Missouri Sen. Claire McCaskill said Tuesday that police officers across the country should be required to wear body cameras in order for their departments to qualify for federal funds.
McCaskill believes that the ubiquity of cameras gives way to incidents in which only part of the story is recorded, seen or understood. So, a body camera on every officer will not only protect citizens against police misconduct, but also protect officers from wrongful accusations.
"Everywhere I go people now have cameras," said McCaskill, a Democrat. "And police officers are now at a disadvantage, because someone can tape the last part of an encounter and not tape the first part of the encounter. And it gives the impression that the police officer has overreacted when they haven't."
McCaskill made the comments at an event in Springfield, Missouri, where she answered questions about the shooting of Michael Brown by Ferguson Police Officer Darren Wilson, CNN affiliate KOLR reported.
In the wake of the shooting and community outrage to the response from Ferguson police, McCaskill has called for congressional hearings to examine a Defense Department program that allows local police departments to acquire military weaponry.
Already, President Barack Obama has called for a review of programs that allow for the transfer of military weapons to the police.
Section 1208 in the National Defense Authorization Act has allowed the Defense Department to grant military hardware to local law enforcement since 1990. A law enforcement support program, the military's Defense Logistics Agency, was established in 1999 to facilitate law enforcement militarization.
McCaskill said Thursday she hopes the Senate will embrace her body camera proposal and that it will eventually become law.
"I would like to see us say, 'If you want federal funding in your community, you've got to have body cams on your officers,'" she said. "And I think that would go a long way towards solving some of these problems, and it would be a great legacy over this tragedy that's occurred in Ferguson, regardless of what the facts say at the end as to whether or not anyone is criminally culpable."
(CNN) - The Defense Department’s inspector general will review the academic investigation of plagiarism allegations against Sen. John Walsh.
The Montana Democrat is accused of not properly attributing certain material in a paper to complete his master's degree at the Army War College.
(CNN) – Sen. Lindsey Graham said the Obama administration's proposed budget "guts our defense" and ignores the need for military preparation for future conflicts.
The South Carolina Republican told CNN's Candy Crowley Sunday that if the United States were to need to take immediate military action in an international conflict, that situation would drain defense resources.
(CNN) – A Catholic priest has gone to court, saying the partial government shutdown is preventing him from providing religious services– even voluntarily– on a U.S. military base.
Father Ray Leonard filed a lawsuit Monday in federal district court in Washington, saying he "wishes to continue practicing his faith and ministering to his faith community free of charge... but has been told that he is subject to arrest if he does so."
Washington (CNN) - Even as furloughed civilian Defense Department workers streamed out of the Pentagon, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel began working half a world away to get all 400,000 furloughed personnel globally back to work.
“Hagel is looking to get as many people back to work as soon as he can,” a senior defense official told CNN on Tuesday.FULL STORY
Washington (CNNMoney) - Defense Department employees are getting a little bit of a reprieve.
Workers now face 11 days of furloughs, cut down from an expected 14 days, Defense Department Secretary Chuck Hagel is expected to announce Tuesday afternoon.FULL STORY
(CNN) – New Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel addressed service members and civilian employees Wednesday, vowing to always be "honest" and "direct" with his staff–and asking the same in return.
"You are not joining my team. I am joining your team," he said. "And I want you to know how proud I am of the opportunity the president of the United States has given me and the Congress of the United States has given me."
Washington (CNN) – Former Nebraska Sen. Chuck Hagel's rocky and inauspicious path to the Pentagon could haunt him if he doesn't watch his step.
"If people feel Hagel makes a mistake in the future, they will come after him even harder than if this ugly process of recent weeks hadn't happened," said Michael O'Hanlon, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution and a co-author of "Bending History: Barack Obama's Foreign Policy."FULL STORY
(CNN) – The U.S. Senate, in a crucial test vote on Tuesday, chose to move the embattled nomination of Chuck Hagel as defense secretary forward, clearing the way for final consideration and likely confirmation later in the day.
(CNN) – Days before the Senate votes on ending the filibuster against Chuck Hagel's nomination for defense secretary, GOP Sen. Lindsey Graham sent a letter to the former senator, demanding access to Hagel's Senate archives and requesting answers to more questions about his record.
"Given the threats we face in the world and the public confidence level needed to be an effective Secretary of Defense, I believe the airing of your views and record is critical to the confirmation process," Graham stated in the letter.