Mayor to detail body camera recommendations at Wednesday public forum - Baltimore


Feb. 17, 2015 2:13 pm

Mayor to detail body camera recommendations at Wednesday public forum

Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake wants police-worn body cameras in Baltimore by year's end.

Police in Baltimore may be wearing something like this soon.

(Photo courtesy of American Civil Liberties Union of Washington)

Body cameras are set to come back into focus in Baltimore this week.

Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake wants to introduce some form of body camera program for Baltimore police officers by the end of this year. To that end, she plans to release recommendations on Wednesday that addresses issues such as “cost, privacy, storage and scope,” according to a news release from the Mayor’s office.

She’ll detail the plans at a public forum, which will be held at Empowerment Temple, 4217 Primrose Ave., starting at 6 p.m.

The recommendations were made by a working group on body camera legislation that the mayor convened following her November veto of a City Council bill that would have required every Baltimore city police officer to wear a camera.

Rawlings-Blake said the two-page bill, which was sponsored by City Councilman Warren Branch, was too vague.

On the same day as she vetoed the bill, President Barack Obama urged all police departments to implement a body camera program that would record police officers’ interactions with the public. The president’s call came amid protests in the wake of non-indictments of police-involved deaths in Ferguson, Mo., and New York City.

Locally, pressure to implement a body camera program ratcheted up after a Baltimore Sun investigation revealed that the city was spending millions of dollars to settle police brutality suits, and back-to-back police beatings in a single week.

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