Baltimore Co. Police Withhold Body Cam Footage in Shootings

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After fast-tracking a $12.5 million program to equip its police officers with body cameras, the Baltimore County Police Department has declined to release footage from three recent police shootings, says the Baltimore Sun. County police have shot six people in four separate incidents since January, killing two of them. Body cameras captured all of the shootings, but police have made the videos public in only one case, saying they are still investigating the other shootings or that county prosecutors have told them the footage is evidence in upcoming trials.

The department first deployed body cameras last July, and currently about 550 of the county’s 1,900 officers have them. In Baltimore City, three police shootings have been captured on body cameras since the department began using the devices last May. City police have released footage in all the incidents, though in one case they allowed only members of the news media to see it. The ACLU of Maryland called Baltimore County’s withholding of footage concerning. “Despite lip service being paid to transparency and accountability, both in their policies and in their actions, what we are seeing is the opposite,” said David Rocah, an attorney with the organization.

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