Minneapolis Police Department unveils new policies regarding officer body camera footage review

Minneapolis’s Mayor and Police Chief announced new policies Sunday that will tighten the police department’s rules about body camera footage review by officers.

According to a release from the city of Minneapolis, the new policies were “driven by” Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arradondo and signed by the mayor.

In an announcement Sunday, the city said the new rules will prevent Minneapolis officers involved in “critical incidents” from reviewing the body camera footage before completing their police report for the incident.

The new policies are designed to “better capture officers’ perceptions and factors believed to exist at the time an officer acted,” according to the release.

“In instances when an officer faces charges and a potential conviction, a clear understanding of what the officer perceived is an essential factor,” said Mayor Jacob Frey. “Requiring officers who may become suspects to complete a police report before reviewing body cam footage will help ensure that investigators, attorneys, and jurors receive a transparent account of how an officer remembers the incident – one that hasn’t been influenced by other evidence.”

The chief said the new rules put officers and civilians under the same set of rules during investigations into critical incidents.

“The new standards align expectations for officers involved in critical incidents with the rules for civilian subjects, who are not allowed to watch body camera footage for an incident in which they may be a potential suspect in Minneapolis and in most police departments in the country,” said Arradondo. “The policies also restrict consultation with certain representatives immediately following a critical incident and clarify time requirements for reporting.”

In addition to the body camera rules, the new policies give supervisors direction regarding communications at the scene of incidents, including clarifying time requirements.

The policies will go into effect June 30.