Burlington Police commissioners question access to body camera footage

Published: Aug. 24, 2022 at 1:15 AM EDT
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BURLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) - Access to body camera footage of use-of-force incidents was a point of contention during Tuesday night’s Burlington Police Commission meeting.

In its latest monthly report, the department detailed 15 use-of-force incidents involving eight white men, five white females, and five Black men. Per current protocol, if the commission requests body camera video of any incident, it’s only available for three days at a time. Commissioners argued that’s not long enough to properly review the footage.

”Well, we wouldn’t need 30 days, but we would need more than three days. Could it be 30 days?“ asked Commissioner, Melo Grant.

”I’m not going to assign 30 days,” said Deputy Chief LaBrecque. “That’s way too long for those videos to be out there.”

“Alright. I think that might be an issue we take up with the mayor,” said Burlington Police Commissioner Stephanie Seguino.

Acting Chief John Murad’s report also shows the number of gunfire and incidents in the city to date is more than three times higher than the five-year average. Murad calls the data “shocking” and says he’s been meeting with federal and state partners to address the current problem, including the FBI, public safety commissioner and even Governor Phil Scott.

He says some plans are in the works and he hopes to announce those next week. Meanwhile, the department has hired three new officers who are currently training at the Vermont Police Academy.

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