LISTEN: DC Mayor, Council Disagree Over Privacy of Police Body Cam Footage


Steve Burns
WASHINGTON (WMAL) – As the DC Council gets set to go on a two-month vacation starting later this week, one dispute remains unsettled: their disagreement with Mayor Muriel Bowser over police body camera footage.

“I think the Mayor and the Council agree that body cameras are a high priority for the District of Columbia,” said Judiciary Committee Chairman Kenyan McDuffie. “I think what the Council did is a win for every resident and visitor and a win for every officer in the police department.”

The Council included an amendment in their latest budget act requiring the Mayor allocate $1.5 million to fund public requests for footage, or the program won’t move forward. The Mayor has previously supported a blanket exemption for footage from Freedom of Information Act requests.

“The entire purpose of the body-worn camera program is to enhance transparency and to build police-community relations,” McDuffie said. “You undermine that purpose when you don’t allow access through FOIA.”

The Mayor has not committed one way or another to providing the funds.

“I’m hopeful the Mayor will find the necessary funding to make sure that the program in FY 2016, October 1 of this year, will be rolled out, and we’ll have 1,200 additional cameras for MPD,” McDuffie said. He said that will make it one of the most robust body camera programs in the nation.

Copyright 2015 by All Rights Reserved (PHOTO: CNN)

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