Denver Monitor Says Cameras Missed 1/4 Of Police Force-Use Incidents


During a six-month trial for body cameras in the Denver Police Department, only one out of every four use-of-force incidents involving officers was recorded, the Denver Post reports. Cases where officers punched people, used pepper spray or Tasers, or struck people with batons were not recorded because officers failed to turn on cameras, technical malfunctions occurred or because the cameras were not distributed to enough people, said independent monitor Nick Mitchell.

The Denver Police Department disputed Mitchell’s numbers, saying their preliminary reports indicate a much higher percentage of use-of-force cases were captured on video. Mitchell praises the police department for taking steps to outfit its patrol and traffic officers with the cameras. The cameras already have proved effective in resolving citizen complaints and handling internal investigations, Mitchell wrote. However, he found gaps in the program and offered nine recommendations to improve it, including additional training and more widespread use among the ranks.

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