Seattle Shelves Officer Camera Use After Union Objects


After complaints from a union, Seattle police have shelved palm-sized cameras used by officers to record events after complaints, reports the Seattle Times. Police officials have been researching wearable recording devices as a possible addition to officers’ gear. The department tested the 3 ½-ounce audio- and video-recording devices during an August protest by the bicycle activist group Critical Mass.

Rich O’Neill, union president, said the cameras are a negotiable issue because they mean “a change in work conditions.” Officers must go through training to use the cameras and be prepared for potential litigation. O’Neill said the department has promised to put the cameras “back in the box” until the issue is ironed out with the union. “If the officers have the cameras going all the time there could be a chilling effect on citizens and juvenile talking to the police,” he said. “If they think the cops are videotaping all of their conversations they might not want to have their names or faces used.”


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