Burlington Police comply with 2021 body camera release policy
BURLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) - The Burlington Police are now routinely releasing some officer body cam video as part of an agreement reached two years ago.
The agreement calls for BPD to release body cam videos showing use-of-force incidents that result in serious bodily injury or death to any person; incidents involving the use of tools such as pepper spray, tasers, or guns; and any incidents that will address “public concern.” Police have 30 days to post them on YouTube. Additional material can still be available through public records requests.
Although the policy was approved in 2021, officials say they only recently hired the redaction specialist required to implement it. That person is tasked with editing the video to blur things like witnesses, crime victims, juveniles, and occasionally personal spaces like bedrooms and bathrooms.
Burlington Police Acting Chief Jon Murad says he hopes the policy will be effective for everyone. “Transparency is a key component of police legitimacy. The more we know about each other, the more we know about what each other does -- and why each of us does what we do -- the more we are able to understand one another. With understanding comes collaboration, comes trust, and comes legitimacy,” he said.
The first video released Wednesday is from an incident on January 11. It shows officers with guns drawn making an arrest on North Avenue. Police say the driver was speeding through residential areas and the license plate on the car was issued to a different vehicle. The police say viewer discretion is advised.
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