The Chicago Sun-Times reports on recent studies that underscore the benefits of pairing video cameras with police work. In New York City, a judge ruled to impose an experiment where police officers in districts with the highest recorded stop-and-frisk encounters would be required to wear cameras for a year. The ACLU of Illinois is investigating how stop-and-frisk practices are used by Chicago police. The Sun-Times spoke with National ACLU senior policy analyst Jay Stanley who thinks that while using the cameras is a “a win/win for both the public and the police,” he also emphasized the need for carefully crafted guidelines to assure the video data is collected and maintained in ways that do not violate privacy while also holding police officers accountable if they fail to use the cameras:
Consequently, Stanley argues that strong rules regarding the retention, use, and disclosure of videos from police-worn cameras must be established and enforced. For example, videos should be retained for no more than 30 to 60 days, unless flagged. Of course, if the video contains evidence of a crime it should be retained just as any other evidence would be. Flagging would also occur for any incident involving force or that produces a citizen complaint. With the appropriate privacy protections in place, very little of police-recorded video would ever be retained or viewed.