Updated Minneapolis police bodycam policy 'must have consequences'

Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey and Police Chief Medaria Arradondo announced changes to the Minneapolis Police Department’s body-worn camera policy Wednesday morning, saying the policy needed to have updated consequences meant to ensure officers abide by the rules.

Arradondo first updated the policy last summer after he took over as police chief in the wake of the fatal officer-involved shooting of Justine Damond. Neither Officer Mohamed Noor nor his partner had their body-worn cameras activated during the shooting. The lack of bodycam video was a source of frustration for many in the community. 

“There is no guessing to this here, the guidelines are very clear," Arradondo said at a press conference. “Failure to comply with the policy is something we take seriously."

The new policy changes aim to increase transparency and accountability. Officers will now be required to turn on body cameras at least two blocks away from the call, and will only be able to deactivate the camera when either the officer or the citizen has left the scene. There are also new measures to ensure video is not lost in the system. The changes include a disciplinary matrix for officers who fail to comply with the body camera policy, including a 40-hour suspension without pay. In aggravating cases, officers may even be fired under the new rules.

“This new policy leads less to change and less to interpretation,” Frey said. “Any body camera policy worth its salt must have consequences."