Denver police release draft body camera policy for public comment

From The Denver Post:

Denver police on Tuesday released their draft body camera policy for public comment as the department works to finalize how they will use the devices when they are introduced throughout the force.

“Officers are expected to follow departmental policy and procedure, utilizing ethical and legal discretion as well as good judgment when activating and deactivating the (body worn cameras),” the policy says.

Police hope the body cameras will bolster evidence, mitigate potential confrontations, prevent and resolve complaints against officers and provide a basis for training and performance feedback.

Police conducted a six-month trial run of the cameras last year with officers in District 6, which covers LoDo, the central business district and some uptown neighborhoods, as part of an effort to help fine-tune the policy.

Denver’s independent monitor, Nicholas Mitchell, criticized the trial, finding only about one of every four use-of-force incidents involving officers was recorded.

Cases where officers punched people, used pepper spray or Tasers, or struck people with batons were not recorded because officers failed to turn on cameras, technical malfunctions occurred or because the cameras were not distributed to enough people, Mitchell’s report said.

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