A Minnesota bill that would limit public access to video footage from police body cameras cleared its first legislative hurdle Friday, advancing the debate over how to responsibly deploy devices that can provide a revealing look into law enforcement.
State legislators are pushing to make it much harder to release police officer body camera videos, undermining their promise as a tool people can use to hold law enforcement accountable. Lawmakers in at least 15 states have introduced bills to exempt video recordings of police encounters with citizens from state public records laws, or to limit what can be made public.
Minnesota lawmakers are struggling to regulate new technology allowing police to wear body cameras and record everyday contacts with the public. The use of body cams is growing rapidly on police forces across the country, including Minnesota. It’s raising questions about when, and how, they can be used.
Despite body cameras’ growing use by police and concerns about how to handle sensitive footage, a top House lawmaker said Wednesday he plans to hold off on passing any restrictions this year. Rep. Tony Cornish, chairman of the House’s public safety committee, told The Associated Press he may instead push for a study and perhaps tackle the issue again in 2016.
A debate over police body cameras is stirring a call to action by a group that previously shut down Minnesota freeways while protesting law enforcement tactics. The Senate Judiciary Committee was considering the body camera legislation Thursday.
Minnesota lawmakers are being advised to think beyond police officer body cameras as they consider how to manage loads of data being scooped up by newer law enforcement tools. Government data policy expert Don Gemberling told the House Civil Law Committee on Tuesday that fast-evolving technology makes it important that any rewrite of access laws isn’t too narrowly focused.
The rush to outfit police officers with body cameras after last summer’s unrest in Ferguson, Missouri, threatens to saddle local governments with steep costs for managing the volumes of footage they must keep for months or even years, according to contracts, invoices and company data reviewed by The Associated Press.
St. Paul may be the next city in the state to put body cameras on police officers. The city council is considering a resolution asking the police department to include a pilot program in its next budget request.
As Minnesota’s debate over police body-camera footage revs up, Gov. Mark Dayton says the data captured “needs to be confined and carefully limited.”
Body cameras are quickly becoming part of the uniform for several police forces across the country and in Minnesota. But there is some concern about what should happen to all the video.
Minnesota lawmakers are wading into a debate over access to footage caught on police body cameras. A law enforcement-backed proposal to put strict limits on who sees body camera videos was introduced Thursday in the House. A Senate version isn’t far behind.
The Minneapolis Police Department, the largest in Minnesota, has become the latest to equip its officers with body cameras in what officials say is an effort to improve transparency and hold police accountable. Thirty-six officers will test two camera models over the next several months, with plans to roll them out department-wide by late 2015.
Starting Friday, several Minneapolis police officers will start wearing body cameras to record their interactions with the public.
The Minneapolis Police Department is the latest Minnesota law enforcement agency to begin equipping officers with body cameras. As part of a pilot program being launched Friday, 36 officers will wear the cameras for six to nine months to test their effectiveness.
Thirty-six police officers in Minneapolis will start wearing body cameras next week as part of a pilot program to test out their effectiveness. Mayor Betsy Hodges and Police Chief Janee Harteau announced the pilot Thursday.
A panel of Minneapolis officials has approved a $170,000 pilot program to place body cameras on 36 police officers. A Minneapolis City Council committee authorized the pilot Monday.
The Burnsville Police Department was the first law enforcement agency in the state to use body cameras when it started equipping officers with the technology last summer.