(Seattle) – While many members of the Community Police Commission generally agree that body cameras can be a useful tool in enhancing police accountability, the CPC unanimously believes it is premature to implement a police body camera program in Seattle until and unless state public disclosure laws are modified to address complex privacy and safety concerns. We do not believe there has yet been sufficient public engagement in these issues to inform the necessary legislative modifications, which implicate important and competing values of public transparency, safety, and officer and civilian privacy. Specifically, our concerns include that the dignity and privacy of witnesses, victims and suspects will be invaded; that individuals who are recorded providing information to officers may be viewed as “snitches” and endangered; that willingness to provide information to the police may be chilled in some communities by concern about being caught “snitching;” and that willingness to ask for police assistance through 911 or otherwise may be chilled in communities with undocumented immigrants. All of these concerns are potentially resolved by changes in public disclosure law, but it is important to understand that at present, almost all video captured by police cameras will be subject to public disclosure without redaction.
The CPC therefore reiterates its request that the City of Seattle push pause and approach this topic after further deliberation and community dialogue, and only implement a camera program after state public disclosure law has been modified. The CPC offers to lead the effort to coordinate City advocacy in the legislature on this point in the 2016 legislative session
Please plan to attend the next EastPAC meeting!
We will expand existing and develop new actionable plans, on how to respond to the increase in shootings and shots fired calls. Your attendance is important; As the weather cools, we expect to see a downturn in incidents, but if we we lose our focus, we will be back to square one in the spring.
Additionally, we will have a SeaStat update, identifying trends in our community, how we compare to the rest of Seattle and how the police department is responding to those trends and our concerns. We will hear about some recent positive developments related to the increase in gun violence.
When: September 24th, 2015, 6:30 PM to 8:00 PM
Where: Seattle University, Chardin Hall, room 142, 1020 East Jefferson
Special Offer on Cameras!
Working with our friends at Costco, we have secured a fantastic $100.00 discount on an a security camera system. It features 8 outdoor rated, Day/Night cameras, 2TB HD DVR with remote viewing capabilities. The after discount price is $399!
If you are interested but not able to attend the meeting please contact us for more information.
At the Take Back the Neighborhood march we heard calls for cameras to be used to make the Central Area safer. In recent weeks, support for cameras, has been voiced by Mayor Ed Murray, Chief O’Toole, the African American Community Advisory Council, Mothers for Police Accountability as well as members of the City Neighborhood Council, District and Community Councils.