Minneapolis police ordered to leave on bodycams during incidents

Originally published at: Minneapolis police ordered to leave on bodycams during incidents | Boing Boing


Why is this order even required? The whole purpose of bodycams is to thoroughly document police activity and events during incidents. Surely this was in the documentation and rationale for having them in the first place.


Minneapolis police ordered to leave on bodycams during incidents

100% feel safer, really…


Have they also been ordered to start their cars before driving them?


If they are serious about this they would make all evidence from a stop obtained without a body cam inadmissible (this gives an outside party the enforcement mechanism) and make it an offense that results in automatic termination. Simply having the policy without a clear enforcement structure out of their control is the same as not requiring it at all. The temptation to skip the process when it is inconvenient is too high otherwise.


Later: Minneapolis police ordered to stop disobeying order to leave on bodycams during incidents


Minneapolis Police Union redefines the definition of an “incident”.


“Or what?” Is the question I needed answering before I cared about this pronouncement.


They should just always be recording. There can be a switch that says “ignore this” for when they go to the bathroom or beat their wives, to make editing easier. But it should be archived and accessible when a higher level of scrutiny is needed.


As soon as designers got the first request for a way to turn them off, they should have gone back to this point. Police used privacy issues to undermine the reasons for having bodycams at all. They continue to manipulate them by making the footage disappear or taking months/years to review and release what was recorded.


No switches. Implant those cameras in their f***ing foreheads, always on. If they beat their spouses that’s a bad sign.


Oh Jesus Christ. We’re now at the point where we’re recognizing that body cams aren’t sufficient to stop cops from being abusive and violating people’s rights, yet a highly-scrutinized and reform-needing police department is just now getting to the “gosh, maybe we should require the cops to keep the cameras on during incidents (which is the whole damn reason for the cameras in the first place)” stage. Talk about a day late and a dollar short. I despair. I absolutely fucking despair.


Since there’s no point in ordering police to actually obey the law or policy, how about a law specifically applying the same rule of evidence that applies to destruction of evidence to cutting off cameras: the officer’s testimony of anything in that time is inadmissible because he had the option of material evidence and instead chose to tell stories?

Sure, juries are still likely to be biased in favor of the police (see instances where a group of cops kill a helpless victim) but that’s a separate problem. One thing at a time, stone, etc.


I’ve been watching a lot of Beau of the 5th Column youtube videos lately; and the start of this one is particularly apposite to this bullshit. “We write the report.” :cold_sweat:


Qualified Immunity is largely bullshit, but if there’s no footage, the court shouldn’t even begin to entertain such notions.


This would be amazing, and would’ve saved me a few very unjust encounters. Or, not saved me from the encounters, but saved me from the follow-up fucking-over that put the proverbial cherry on top.

EXCELLENT point! That detail should be written right into the design spec contract. They cannot be turned off by user.
Do you remember the story from a few years ago where the guy got arrested for not providing his ID during some kind of pub crawl event. He was so pissed, he asked to see the camera footage to prove he’d offered his ID after a bit, but the department claimed it wasn’t available. Then he dug up the original contract, and found the footage was required to be archived, found the footage, got his case overturned and got a $20K settlement or something?


They lie so often, if I were the designer I would put a very large “off button” on the device. However, it wouldn’t stop the recording. Instead, it would log whenever it was pressed. In cases where they’d claim not to have footage, investigators could jump right to the “off button pressed” events first - to save time.





I can understand the cops don’t want to have recordings of them taking a piss or various other potentially embarrassing activities. Instead they should have all activities recorded and those ‘embarrassing activities’ hidden so they can only be viewed by the officer providing permission to view or a court request unlocking those digital files surrounding the time frame under review. It should be easy to write code for this kind of privacy function.

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