FULLERTON (AP) — As Fullerton police Officer Manuel Ramos approached a homeless man at a bus stop in July, he clicked on an audio recorder normally used to exonerate officers accused of misconduct.
Prosecutors say the recorder captured something entirely different: the officer murdering a defenseless man suffering from schizophrenia.
Police agencies across the country are increasingly using audio and video devices to collect evidence, and they played a crucial role in prosecutors bringing murder charges this week against Ramos and an involuntary manslaughter count against a colleague.
About 700 other police departments have gone a step further than audio recorders, equipping officers with tiny body cameras.
The Los Angeles Police Department is spending $20 million to install video and audio systems in its squad cars, and officers will be wirelessly miked.
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