Public meeting for MPD body cameras comes with skeptics

- In a few months, Minneapolis police will join the dozens of law enforcement agencies across the state that wear body cameras, but before the program launches, they want the public to weigh-in.

On Tuesday, the Minneapolis Urban League held a public meeting, but not everyone is happy with how the $6.4 million program is shaping up. The Minneapolis Police Department is calling the pilot a success, and plans on rolling out body cameras for all officers starting in May.

Even after a year and a half of testing, meetings and policy drafting, at the first of five public meetings, some said the current draft of the body camera policy doesn't hold police accountable.

"Record at all times. Period. Turn it off and then I have a problem. Something can happen when they turn it off,” south Minneapolis resident Kenneth Brown said. “You never know when someone is going to react negatively because you have a blue shirt on."

In the current policy, officers aren't required to have the cameras on at all times. They also aren't required to tell people when they are recording. Many also said the body cameras don't alleviate a cultural problem within the department.

Deputy Chief Medera Arradondo says this won’t replace a need for officer and community engagement.

"It's not a cure-all, but it's a tool that is getting a lot of traction around the country and if it's helpful for us, we certainly want to explore it,” Arradondo said.

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