Minneapolis police to change body camera rules


Minneapolis officials plan to announce changes to the police department’s policy on body cameras following this month’s killing of Australian woman Justine Damond, who was shot by a police officer after she called 911.
Mayor Betsy Hodges and acting police chief Medaria Arradondo were to announce the changes at a news conference.
Damond, a 40-year-old spiritual teacher and bride-to-be, was shot by officer Mohamed Noor after she called 911 to report hearing a possible sexual assault behind her home.
Noor’s partner, officer Matthew Harrity, told investigators he was startled by a loud noise right before Damond approached their police SUV. Noor, who was in the passenger seat, shot Damond through the driver’s side window.
Neither officer had a body camera running at the time and there was no dashcam video, either.
Hodges has said officers should turn their body cameras on whenever they respond to a call.
In a blog posting last week, she said she expected the police department “to make any and all changes needed to our policy so that we can be sure we will have body cam footage when we need it.”
Former police chief Janee Harteau, who resigned at the mayor’s request last week, also said the cameras should have been on.
The police department had been reviewing its body camera policy before Damond was killed.
The current policy requires officers to turn on their cameras in more than a dozen situations, including for a traffic stop, search of a person or building, any contact involving criminal activity and before the use of force.
In the last instance, the policy says if officers cannot turn cameras on before using force they should do so afterward, as soon as it was safe. AAP

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