'Camera on Every Corner': Protection or Invasion?

Growing camera networks help solve crimes. But are they also being misused?

ByABC News
July 27, 2007, 1:00 PM

CHICAGO, July 29, 2007 — -- Fourteen-year-old Roberto Duran loved computers and soccer, but his dreams ended in a roar of gunfire on a quiet Chicago block earlier this summer.

"A lot of people loved my son," said Roberto's father, Salvador Duran. "My life is torn up."

Roberto's alleged killers, who had mistaken him for a rival gang member, were eventually arrested thanks to police surveillance cameras that captured the getaway. They are among 2,000 law enforcement cameras, mounted on poles and buildings across the city, that offer authorities a bird's-eye view of drug deals, violent and property crime and potential terrorism.

"We see a reduction in crime in the areas around the cameras," said Chicago Police Commander Jonathan Lewin. "The last three years are the first three-year period in over 40 years that we've had less than 500 homicides a year, and we think the cameras played a role in that."