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Mayor Bowser softens stance on keeping DC police body camera footage private – FOX 5 DC

dcogcadmin | April 15, 2015

WASHINGTON – One day after announcing plans to keep all video recorded by D.C. police body cameras private, Mayor Muriel Bowser appears to have softened her stance.

She told FOX 5 on Tuesday the decision is not firm and there needs to be a balance between transparency and privacy — a position the D.C. Police Union is taking as well.

On Monday, a senior official in the Bowser administration told us privacy concerns outweighed the right of the public to request footage from the cameras through the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). Officials also said the burden of blurring out people, images and private information before releasing any video was onerous.

When elected officials, police officers and citizens talk about the value of body cameras, they cite the benefit of complete accountability. In other words, the camera never blinks.

In Tulsa, Okla., recently, a reserve deputy sheriff was wearing a body camera when he chased down a man he intended to shoot with his Taser. Instead, it was a gun in his hand and the man was killed.

On Tuesday, Mayor Bowser said the policy on body cameras is still being formed. [Read More]