Mpls. police say most officers activate body cameras correctly

A Minneapolis police officer shows body cameras
A Minneapolis police officer shows how a camera is worn at a press conference in 2017.
Maria Alejandra Cardona | MPR News 2017

Minneapolis police start the recording of their body-worn cameras about nine out of 10 times they're supposed to, according to the latest figures presented to the City Council Wednesday.

The cameras were rolled out in 2016 and initially got poor compliance — sometimes activated barely half the times they were supposed to be turned on. Two officers failed to record the police shooting death of Justine Ruszczyk in 2017.

Chris Granger, quality assurance commander with the police department, told the council that's changing.

"I think the cameras help, and I think the officers see this, as well, they help more than they could ever hurt. They provide context for interactions which reduces, you know, the kind of claims people can make," Granger said.

"Of course there will always be occasional human error, but I'm confident that with time and continued improvements, we can eliminate some serious and repeated violations to almost zero," said Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey in an interview after the meeting.

Frey said that he would continue to press for more video and that he has communicated the importance of the issue to police. Frey also said the city will resort to discipline, including potential termination when officers don't follow the policy.

The department also begins a mandatory training program to address about 70 officers who showed the poorest performance for body camera activation.

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