Report: APD scores high in some body cam policies, but others need work | KOB 4

Report: APD scores high in some body cam policies, but others need work

Colton Shone
November 14, 2017 06:24 PM

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – Police body cameras are supposed to be helpful tools to hold officers accountable. Video is often used as objective evidence to show what happened in an exchange.


But a recently released scorecard says some of the Albuquerque Police Department’s policies need some work. 

We've seen the video from APD body cameras in many headlining cases in which they key evidence, such as the shooting death of homeless camper James Boyd in the Foothills.

Video could have even backed up the testimony of then-APD officer Jeremy Dear in the shooting of suspect Mary Hawkes. He claimed she had a gun, but he said his camera malfunctioned and didn't record the exchange. 

That case led to clearer APD policies on when cameras should be on and consequentially resulted in a high score by the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights.

The other area in which APD received high marks? The fact that body cam policy can be easily accessed.

Then there were some areas of APD policy cited as needing to be improved:

  • Video tampering prevention. 
  • Video not being available to those filing police complaints.
  • The absence of limits on using biotechnology (i.e., facial recognition).
  • The ability for officers to view video before filing a report.

The authors of the study say viewing the video before writing a report can influence an incorrect write-up. They cite an incident in Marion County, Florida, in which officers say they took down a suspect who was resisting arrest.

Body cam video backs up the compelling story. However, a nearby surveillance camera shows the suspect surrendered willingly.

The organization says other areas APD can improve on is figuring out policies dealing with privacy concerns and how long to keep video.


Colton Shone

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