Tooth successfully pulled

Well, the City of Portland and its rogue police union reportedly have reached a deal that will have the police wearing body cameras. It's way past time for that to happen.

The sticking point up to now has been a disagreement over whether the cops will be allowed to see the footage from the cameras before deciding what they're going to say in their written reports. Apparently, under the deal, they won't be permitted to "pre-review" if the case involves "deadly force" or serious bodiy injury. KGW describes it this way:

Wheeler subsequently told KGW that the footage review rules would vary depending on the severity of the incident in question.

"What it allows is for specific cases where deadly force is used or serious bodily injury results, the officers may give a statement, but they can't review the video until after they have written their formal statement," he said. "And in cases where there's no injury or there's lesser injury, they can still give an initial statement — and that's consistent with national DOJ practices — but they can then later on update their report based on having viewed the footage."

There are plenty more details that I'd like to know before applauding the deal. Like when the cops get to turn the cameras off. If it were up to me, there would be no "off" switch. You turn it on when you clock in, and you turn it off at the end of your shift. But I seriously doubt that anything like that will be the rule or the practice.

Oh well. We've entered the 20th Century, at least.


  1. Always thought the objection came from criminal defense attorneys.

  2. Well, credit where credit is due, I’m pleasantly surprised that the city held firm and got that result. The rest of the police internal affairs process is still set up to allow cops to lie and collaborate on their lies with impunity, but at least where the cameras aren’t “accidentally” turned off, they will risk something when they do.


  3. I'm not impressed to me this is a bit like the Buddhist Koan tale "If a tree falls in the forest and there is no one there to hear it does it make a sound?"


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