Rep. Emanuel Cleaver (D-Mo.) called for police officers around the nation to wear body cameras in light of the events of the last few months in Ferguson, Mo.

“We oughta pass national legislation that will — will — will create, I think, a positive atmosphere after this thing is over,” he said on MSNBC’s Morning Joe.

{mosads}“And that is that police officers, law enforcement officers, must wear cameras and that, as we did years ago with the COPS program, we would make federal grants available to small communities that couldn’t afford to have these cameras.”

He also said he was working on legislation on the issue.

His comments come days after a grand jury decided not to indict police officer Darren Wilson in the killing of unarmed black teenager Michael Brown in Ferguson.

The case has raised questions about police transparency — as have later allegations of police misconduct. Many said that the police responded to protesters in August using harsh tactics and violating protesters’ civil liberties.

Advocates for police body cameras have said they would provide a better record of police shootings and might act as a deterrent against law enforcement misbehavior. The cameras are already standard issue in many municipalities.

Cleaver also pushed back against the idea that the majority of protesters in Ferguson on Monday night — when some individuals burned buildings down and lit cars on fire in response to the grand jury decision — had been violent.

“And the one thing that I think, and I hope people would understand and that to — to blow up a building, to fire bomb a building, to detonate a community, there’s no intelligence required, no charisma. All you have to do is be stupid,” he said.

“And — and those are the people who did it. Probably 50 people out of that crowd were out doing stupid things.”

Tags Darren Wilson Emanuel Cleaver Ferguson Missouri Ferguson shooting Michael Brown
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