Acting Minneapolis Police Chief: Officer Body Cameras 'Must Be On' Starting in 3 Days

March 25, 2019 11:49 AM

Acting Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arradondo announced Wednesday that starting in three days, all officers are expected to have body cameras on for any dispatch call or "self-initiated activity."

"What good is a camera if it is not being used when it is needed the most?" Arradondo said.


Body cameras "add strength to our expectations. Body cameras must be on," he added.

KSTP Investigation: Minneapolis Police Body Cam Video Use Appears Low 

The announcement to the change in policy comes 10 days after the shooting death of Justine Damond, who called 911 to report a potential sexual assault in progress. She approached a squad car near her southwest Minneapolis home on July 15 and was fatally shot by Minneapolis officer Mohamed Noor. 

Timeline of Fatal SW Minneapolis Shooting

Neither Noor nor his partner Matthew Harrity had their body cameras activated at the time of the incident.  

"We need to rebuild and regain our community's trust. That's my charge," Arradondo said, adding he has communicated this to officers.

RELATED: Breakdown of Body Cam Policies of Other Minnesota Police Agencies

Hodges echoed that, saying, "We know body cams are important for public safety and public trust."

"This may not be the last change to our body-worn camera policy," Arradondo added. 

On Wednesday afternoon, an audit of the body camera policy is scheduled to be presented to the full city council. 

RELATED: Police Body Camera Audit to Go Before Minneapolis City Council Committee

The ACLU issued the following statement:

The ACLU of Minnesota supports the swift reforms interim police chief, Medaria (Rondo) Arradondo, announced early this morning. We trust that the implementation of a more robust body camera policy, as well as stricter accountability measures for violating the policy, will lead to greater accountability and transparency. These changes are fundamental to the right of Minneapolis residents to know how police are conducting themselves while on duty.

We need to be forward-thinking if we are to foster a police department that values the lives of residents first and foremost. The shooting of Justine Damond should not have been the impetus for such reforms. Moving forward, we are hoping to see a proactive commitment to best practices in policing, safety, and justice.

We are optimistic about working with Chief Arradondo to continue to address the issues of excessive force, over-policing, and racial profiling that have negatively impacted the relationship between the Minneapolis public and police department. Body cameras will potentially help identify and respond to these areas of concern, but they will not address the underlying causes. The ACLU of Minnesota will continue to work with community partners to push for largescale changes within the police department—including routine trainings on use of force policies, de-escalation trainings, and de-prioritization of low-level arrests.

We look forward to working with Chief Arradondo as the new body camera policy rolls out and on future implementation of reforms that will create a safer community for all who live here.

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Theresa Malloy

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