Mayor Frey, Police Chief Arradondo make tighter rules on officer body camera review and reporting

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Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey and Police Chief Medaria Arradondo announced on Sunday the first of what will be a series of new public safety policy reforms.

According to the release, the new policies, driven by Arradondo and approved by Frey, should effectively tighten rules for officer body camera review and reporting by preventing Minneapolis officers involved in critical incidents — including the use of deadly force — from reviewing body camera footage before completing an initial police report for the critical incident. 

Frey told 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS this will lead to better transparency and will actually help the officer focus on what he or she has just witnessed and what they did during the critical incident.

"That's an important step to get that true recollection and memory of the officer for a judge, a jury, for the attorney's," said Frey. "Again, understanding the officer's present state without the influence, or external influence, like the body-worn camera footage."

Arradondo said the new policies will help give officers' initial accounts the same weight as civilians, who do not have access to body camera footage.

“The new standards align expectations for officers involved in critical incidents with the rules for civilian subjects, who are not allowed to watch body camera footage for an incident in which they may be a potential suspect in Minneapolis and in most police departments in the country,” Arradondo said. “The policies also restrict consultation with certain representatives immediately following a critical incident and clarify time requirements for reporting.”

Minneapolis Police Officers' Federation President Bob Kroll issued a statement that criticized the move by the mayor for being unilateral and without any discussions with the union.

"The city is violating our process agreement in regards to policy change," Kroll said. "It is sad that they do not allow for Federation feedback which always used to be done.  The Federation will be reviewing our options with our legal staff."

The policies also provide clearer direction to supervisors regarding immediate on-scene communications, remove past barriers on such communications, and clarify time requirements for reporting.

The full text for the new policies in police body cameras and any critical incident will take effect Tuesday, June 30.