A dozen Chicago police cars will be outfitted with video cameras in a pilot program that officials acknowledgedwas spurred by a July traffic stop involving state Sen. James Meeks, reports the Chicago Tribune. Meeks, who is also a minister, suggested he was a victim of racial profiling, alleging that the officer inappropriately threatened him and pointed a gun at him. An internal investigation cleared the officer of major wrongdoing, reprimanding him only for using foul language.
Police Superintendent Philip Cline called racial profiling “unacceptable” and said measures such as the cameras would help make certain it doesn’t happen. “Cameras mounted on squad cars will enhance accountability for officers and citizens during traffic stops, which can be unpredictable and dangerous,” he said. “Recording stops makes everybody safer and accurately documents what takes place.” The department initially will mount cameras inside 12 of its 1,800 police cars at a cost of about $5,000 per car. Officials hope to expand the program to the entire fleet.