MPD to add 18 body cameras by July 4 - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

MPD to add 18 body cameras by July 4

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

Memphis Police Department plans to add 18 body cameras for patrol officers by July 4.

MPD said that means 21 officers will be equipped with body cameras. All of those officers will be stationed at the Crump precinct.

In May, MPD got permission to hire more part-time video paralegals to review body camera footage. Today, the D.A.'s office announced it hired two video paralegals.

Memphis has 1,600 body cameras, but has not yet rolled those cameras out- citing concerns over problems with reviewing, storing, and utilizing the recorded footage.

The attorney for Darrius Stewart's father said body cameras will protect citizens in a way they've never been protected before.

"These bodies cameras answer questions that when somebody is gone they can't answer," attorney Murray Wells said. "In this [Darrius Stewart's] case, we would now know Darrius' version of what happened, and it would be very important."

Wells said the cameras would also serve to protect officers doing their jobs correctly.

"It would protect the police equally from false claims against people who say they were abused," Wells said.

Body cameras were rolling when deputies shot and killed Jonathan Bratcher. That video has been handed over to Tennessee Bureau of Investigation for further review.

Bratcher was shot and killed after he opened fire at deputies in January 2016.

Memphis Police Department did not say when it plans to roll out the remaining 1,579 body cameras.

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