All Police to Wear Cameras; Footage Viewable by Public


Guess you can say the pilot program begun in 2014 to test the effectiveness of 75 Metropolitan Police Officers to activate body cameras when on active duty was a resounding success. Last week, Mayor Muriel Bowser announced that by next summer all of the some 3,000 D.C. patrol officers will be outfitted with the body cameras to record their community interactions.
More than 500,000 videos recorded over 100,000 hours of actions by D.C.’s finest over the past two years, according to reports. “This 21st-century policing tool helps the public in terms of transparency and accountability … allowing greater insights into how police do their work,” Ward 5 Council member Kenyan R. McDuffie told the Washington Post. “But it’s not a panacea.”
McDuffie has led the efforts to secure broader public viewing of the videos through a variety of processes, including Freedom of Information Act requests. Subjects of police videos can review specific footage at local police stations, free of charge, with a maximum 48-hour wait. District police can watch body-camera footage before writing police reports. But footage taken in private homes or dealing with highly sensitive crimes like rape will not be open to public review.

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