MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Changes are in the works when it comes to body worn cameras at the Minneapolis Police Department.
Both the mayor and the police chief are behind the new, stricter policy aimed at increasing accountability and transparency.
Press Conference On New Body Camera Policy
This comes after the department announced the overhaul of the body-worn camera policy in July of last year following the shooting death of Justine Damond, requiring all Minneapolis police officers to activate their body-worn cameras on any call they respond to, any call they initiate and at any traffic stop.
On July 15, 2017, now former officer Mohamed Noor fatally shot Damond in south Minneapolis after she called 911 to report a possible sexual assault outside her home. Both Noor and his partner were wearing body cameras at the time of the shooting, but neither of them were turned on.
The new policy will require officers to turn on their cameras at least two city blocks away from a scene and immediately if the call is happening closer.
Officers will also be required to notify a supervisor if their body worn camera doesn’t work or is having other issues. Officers will also be disciplined if they don’t comply with the new policy.
“Any body camera policy worth its salt must have consequences,” Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey said at a news conference Wednesday. “This one does.”
In a written press release, city officials said these measures will prevent body camera case numbers from being put in the wrong category. It will also reportedly make it easier for the footage to be logged properly within the department.
“Last month we found out that 30 percent of videos were not properly categorized, or were missing case numbers,” Frey said.
Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arradondo said the policy will also offer clarity for officers, and improve community relations.
“It will move our department forward in terms of building that trust and accountability we must have with our communities moving forward,” he said.
We reached out to the president of the Minneapolis Police Federation, Lt. Bob Kroll, about the new policy, but did not hear back.