Local News

Concerns remain over who has access to video recorded by Raleigh police body cameras

Posted December 19, 2017 10:18 p.m. EST
Updated July 13, 2018 9:55 a.m. EDT

— Raleigh police hope to deploy 600 body cameras to their officers in the coming years and took some time Tuesday night to talk about how they will be used.

There have been 18 months of meetings and feedback opportunities surrounding the implementation of body cameras in Raleigh, but Tuesday night’s meeting showed there are still some concerns.

Raleigh Police Chief Cassandra Deck-Brown said some of the public feedback they have received ended up in a proposed policy for police body-worn cameras, spelling out when officers can and cannot use them on the job.

Still, for some residents, concerns remain over the public’s ability to view videos recorded by police.

Policy states only those who are recorded, or their representatives, can see the body camera footage, but even they could be denied if safety might be jeopardized or disclosure could interfere with justice.

Susanna Birdsong, with the ACLU, says officers have much easier access to the videos.

“There is not a similar denial of disclosure to the officers who, themselves, are subjects of the recordings,” she said.

Officers will also be able to review videos before filing their reports.

“It is important to get the officer’s impartial view without body camera footage,” Birdsong said.

Deck-Brown said it was her call to give officers that level of access.

“Any person whose image or voice is in the recording has the opportunity for disclosure. The officer is no different and, after careful review, I have decided to allow the officers to review the video prior to making the statement,” she said.

Another public information meeting on the body camera policy is scheduled for Thursday. The City Council will take a look at the policy on Jan. 2.