Monday, April 11, 2016

Public mum on police body cams

Posted By on Mon, Apr 11, 2016 at 8:31 AM

click to enlarge CSPD cops are starting to deploy body cameras. What does the public think of the policies for use? Impossible to say. No one has commented. - FILE PHOTO
  • File photo
  • CSPD cops are starting to deploy body cameras. What does the public think of the policies for use? Impossible to say. No one has commented.
An invitation to comment on the Colorado Springs Police Department's body camera policy has drawn a whopping ZERO comments so far, and the public comment period closes on Friday, April 15.

Given the controversy surrounding the use of body cams and allegations against the CSPD for excessive use of force, this seems surprising.

In any event, if you're interested, go to this link.
 
Here's a sampling of the policy, which deals with what will be released. The short answer is, probably not much, if anything, based on the CSPD's record of shielding information from the public regarding officer actions. We've written about this many times, so we won't belabor the point here.

We want to let you know how we plan on making decisions about whether a video is going to be released if someone requests it:

We will follow two state laws: The Colorado Open Records Act (CORA) and the Colorado Criminal Justice Records Act
There is really a balancing test we have to go through for the requests. Some of the factors we consider in this are:

The privacy interests of the people who may be impacted by the disclosure
CSPD’s interest in keeping information confidential
CSPD’s interest in the integrity of ongoing investigations
The public purpose to be served in allowing disclosure of the record
If after using the balancing test, CSPD decides to release a video, there are still portions we may choose to redact by blurring out faces and/or eliminating audio.

Under state law, we cannot release the name or identifying information of a sexual assault victim, records involving juveniles, records involving at-risk adults, records involving mental health holds.

There are some situations when we are going to release the video without doing the balancing test:

If a court orders us to release it
If it is evidence in a criminal case, will be released to the prosecution
If requested for a police investigation, will be released to another police agency

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