New report says many DC officers fail to properly use body cameras

A new report shows that more than a third of DC officers are not using body cameras properly.

WASHINGTON (WUSA9) - When you get stopped by a police officer, chances are you are looking for their body camera. Every officer in the District has one, but a new report says the cameras have not been used properly.

In the Office of Police Complaints annual report, about a third of cases investigated involved at least one officer who did not turn their body-worn camera on at a scene.

According to the report, this was the case in 13 percent of investigated complaints. The category with the most violations was failure to notify a person when they are being recorded. Other issues involved officers turning a camera off too early or on too late.

Last year, the District finished distributing 2,800 body cameras by the end of December. According to the District, it was the largest deployment in the country.

The director of the OPC acknowledged that part of the non-compliance with cameras is "unintentional and could be attributed to the time it takes to adapt to any new technology," according to our editorial partners at the Washington Post.

A spokesperson, Dustin Sternback, for the police department calls the report misleading, citing that the largest category for improper use was failure to notify people that they are being recorded.

Sternback noted that police rules require notification only when practical, which is not in many encounters that happen in an instant, according to the Washington Post. 

© 2018 WUSA-TV


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