Boston Police leaders, community discuss body cameras proposal

“We have guidelines for specific types of calls, however, if time doesn’t allow them to, basically they make sure that the community is safe that they’re safe and then they’ll activate their cameras based on the time of an unfolding event”, says Parsons Police Chief Jason Sharp.

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Additional hearings will likely be held on the issue before the Boston City Council takes a final vote on the proposal.

Testifying at Boston’s first public hearing on the issue, Renee said if that officer had to wear a body camera things would have been different.

These cameras are already being tested in communities like Methuen and Worcester. “We are Boston Strong”. Carl Williams of the ACLU Massachusetts said, “Black people are stopped more than other folks”.

“What we are presenting here today is not the solution, but it is a solution”, Idowu said.

“We are down in every crime stat but shootings”.

In the wake of a series of police involved shootings around the country – from California to Ferguson, Missouri, to Charleston, South Carolina – proponents say police body cameras would not only protect law-abiding citizens, but also exonerate police officers accused of doing something wrong.

“We’re open to the idea of giving it a try”, Evans said. But, the police commissioner says his focus now is on building trust with city residents.

“A device on someone’s lapel is not going to solve the historical relationship between the African-American community and the police”, he said Wednesday night.

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Evans is concerned body cameras could undermine that effort by discouraging people from coming forward with information about crime if they think they’re being recorded. According to Evans, the camera program would cost millions to start and maintain. And those who view police body cameras as some sort of panacea are misguided.

Boston considering body cameras for police officers