Minneapolis, M.N. — Today, Chief Janee Harteau of the Minneapolis Police Department announced that the officers in the 1st Precinct were now equipped with body cameras and that the 4th Precinct would have the equipment before the end of the month.
Body cameras have been offered up as solutions to both officers and the general community in the wake of growing police shootings in the United States. The 4th Precinct faced immense scrutiny earlier this year following the shooting of Jamar Clark. One of the demands made by the Black Lives Matter was that footage from the officer’s body camera be released to the public. According to the Star Tribune, there was none.
As Alpha News reported back in May, the Minnesota House passed a bipartisan bill that regulated how the police handled body camera data. The bill would allow the police to both classify and dispose of body camera data after a certain time period.
BringMeTheNews reports that after the 1st and 4th Precincts get their equipment, then the 3rd, 2nd, and 5th will get theirs.
BringMeTheNews also reports that body cameras will not be used to monitor police officers, but will be required to be on at any time an officer is acting in accordance with his job. The cameras are not automatic but need to be turned on manually.
Chief Harteau in a letter states that “body cameras are an important tool, one that will help us continue to transform the relationship between police and community for the better. They are not the final step in transparency, but they are a big step toward it.”