Police Body-Cams Should Be Universal—This One Captures a Cop's Heroism

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Jul 29 2016

Police Body-Cams Should Be Universal—This One Captures a Cop’s Heroism

 July 29th, 2016

A Texas cop is being praised for saving the life of a toddler who was choking. The harrowing incident, in which Officer Patrick Ray of Rowlett, Texas saved two-year-old Bexley Norvell, was captured on the body-cam he was wearing.

On July 26, 2015 Bexley’s mother, Tammy Norvell, had been playing with her daughter in the swimming pool when she noticed something was wrong. “She went completely limp,” she told ABC News. “It was more than falling asleep. She just collapsed. I looked in her eyes and she was so distant. We had no clue she had swallowed anything.”

Officer Ray responded to the 911 call. According to Norvell, soon he was “grabbing her from me and is trying to pry her mouth open with two hands. He did the finger sweep into her esophagus and a penny dropped down into it. That’s when we heard the most beautiful sound of her squeaking and coughing and crying.”

Footage of the incident shows that it took 27 seconds for officer Ray to perform his lifesaving task. Almost a year later, Bexley invited Officer Ray to a tea party (above).

At a time when videos of police shootings have caused enormous tension between law enforcement and communities, this incident represents a happier reason why police use of body-cams should be widely and strictly adhered to.

Some troubling instances have raised questions about police allegedly trying to avoid being recorded—for example, Louisiana police officers claimed that their cams were “dislodged” during the crucial moments of the shooting of Alton Sterling, a black man who was shot dead by police while lying down, in Baton Rouge.

While body-cams are crucial to protect citizens from police misconduct, they can also showcase incidents of police heroism. Sadly, police unions have often fought against body-cam programs.