Does the “we/they” police worldview contribute to the use of police brutality? How?
Balko does make the argument that militarization has increased, when in the past, "SWAT
teams and other paramilitary units were used sparingly, only in volatile, high-risk situations
such as bank robberies or hostage situations" (Balko, 2006, p.4). Now SWAT units are employed to serve simple warrants. I read a news report last week in which a SWAT unit served a warrant on a bad check writer.
The War on Drugs, like Prohibition before it, serves as an excuse for government officials to rationalize away Constitutional protections. See Okrant's Last Call for a detailed discussion on how both local governments and the Feds used Prohibition to set the precedent in violating the 3rd and 4th Amendment protections of citizens. The "crimes" involved are victimless crimes to begin with. The sad thing is that significant portions of the population, sometimes even the majority of the nation, is quite happy to send SWAT teams against the perpetrators of these so-called "crimes".
But the problem goes deeper than simple nanny-stating. Silvergate discusses the landslide of "crimes" that have been invented by the federal government over the last 30 years, including "crimes" that are based upon regulations rather than on the Constitutional process of law-making. Silvergate contends that the average American commits three felonies a day...without even knowing about it.
It is understandable that police have an us vs. them mentality when dealing with mala in se criminals. It is further understandable that police would have a degree of seperation with civilians who do not understand the mix of boredom, fear, adrenaline, and sadness that police can experience, and often rely on dishonest reporters for their perceptions of police. But the landslide of "crimes" set down by politicians has exacerbated the position of the mentality to the point where it is the "crime" that drives the mentality, not the actual severity of the crime, and equates the common citizen with the murderer, rapist, or thief.
One way to mitigate privacy issues would be to allow the officer to turn the body camera on or off at discretion, allowing for personal privacy but also to allow witness with sensitives issues the option for privacy. However, there would be a remote toggling function built in, so that when an officer responds to a dispatch the camera would be activated. This could reduce the number of accidental and malicious incidents where the camera is not turned on.
I have done video editing before ( I worked for three years at the public access TV station, and I had to review footage before it was aired), and it takes time to go through video. Maybe not on an hour by hour basis, but at least on a 1 to 4 time ratio. The reviewer would also have to have the duty logs to focus on interactions with the public that may be problematic.
Finally, you would have to set policies on, like you said, how long the footage is kept, how is it to be released to the public, etc etc
There are also budgetary hindrances to the video storage and data collation systems that would be necessary for efficient use of body cameras.