Police body cameras, while widely touted as a means to address LEO conduct concerns, are also raising questions about personal privacy.
“I think that’s what happened is a kind of recognition that citizens are increasingly using iPhones and whatnot to record encounters with the police and police chiefs are thinking, ‘How do we best document what our officers are doing?’ ” said Chuck Wexler, of the Police Executive Research Forum.
The problem is that it’s not as simple as plunking down a few hundred dollars for a camera and pinning it to an officer’s chest, he said.
“The use of a body camera raises a lot of legitimate questions,” he said. When do cameras get turned on, who gets recorded and what’s done with the video once it’s made, for example. If a person wants to tell a patrol officer that they suspect their neighbor is dealing drugs, do they get recorded? And if an officer witnesses someone partially dressed while responding to a call, how do the videos get redacted in preparation for public release?