Denver police union files lawsuit over body camera program

From The Denver Post: The Denver police union has filed a lawsuit against the police department over its new body camera program.

In a news release issued Wednesday morning, the Denver Police Protective Association said it was not opposed to officers wearing body cameras. But it said the policy that was put in place in September is ill-conceived and should have been a part of the collective bargaining process.

“An ill-conceived body camera program breeds distrust amongst community members and the officers expected to operate this important policing tool,” the union said. “Unfortunately, an ill-conceived body camera program is exactly what we face in the City of Denver.”

The body camera program was illegally adopted, the release said, because the union is supposed to be involved in negotiations over matters of personal safety and health equipment for officers.

The news release did not offer specific examples of flaws in the policy.

Police Deputy Chief Matt Murray said the department could not comment on specifics of the lawsuit, but it will move forward with its plans to begin fielding the cameras.

“What we’re going to say is we understand the PPA has a position and they have every right to litigate that position through the courts and that’s the choice they are making,” Murray said.

The department also involved officers as well as the general public in testing cameras and developing the policy, Murray said.

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