Leaders get heated discussing police body cameras - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Leaders get heated discussing police body cameras

(Source: WMC Action News 5) (Source: WMC Action News 5)

A police camera demonstration quickly turned into a war of words between Shelby County leaders.

There are many unanswered questions when it comes to the price of protection, your child's education, and what takes priority.

"The funding source is being pitted against education and body cameras," Shelby County Commissioner David Reaves said.

"The greater cost is the lives of our men and women. The cost of the trust of our community, I think that's a more expensive cost," Shelby County Commissioner Reginald Milton said.

The commissioners could not come to an agreement about when Shelby County should roll out body cameras and who will pay for their implementation.

"I want to find out what best practices are," Shelby County Commissioner Heidi Shafer said. "There are areas that have been doing this for a year or two, and I'd like to see how it's impacting the communities."

"L.A.--I think just last week--decided to pull back from body cameras because of all of these issues that we are grappling with now," District Attorney Amy Weirich said. "Other cities are dealing with it and D.A.'s offices are realizing the strain it puts on resources."

With no date in sight for body cam rollouts, Weirich is, however, moving forward. She used a powerpoint presentation to show how video will be accessed, analyzed, and redacted to protect citizen privacy.

Memphis police presented numbers on in-car video over the last 6 months from 150 squad cars--totaling more than 12,000 hours of video.

Currently there are only three body cameras in use.

The D.A. said the stages of hiring more video analysts is underway.

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