In the wake of numerous police shootings of unarmed African American men, there has been a massive increase in public demand for law enforcement officers to wear body cameras when interacting with civilians. Despite the outcry, the Colorado legislature has not passed much legislation regarding the issue, but Congress has pledged $75 million dollars in grants to help fund cameras nationwide. As of this past summer, according to the Colorado Peace Officers Standards and Training Study, 30 out of 47 law enforcement agencies across the states were either using body cameras, or have either a policy regarding body cameras in place or were drafting a policy. That number has likely increased.
This past July, Denver asked its City Council for over $6million dollars to help fund body cameras for its officers. However, according to a lawsuit filed by the Denver Police Protective Association, a union representing Denver Law Enforcement officers, the policy instituted by the City did not properly consult with its officers prior to adopting the policy. Despite the fact that the City has already entered into a contract for the cameras, and the storage of the data the cameras record, the union argues that the City “fail[ed] to seek input from the 1,310 Denver police officers” who would be wearing them.
This lawsuit comes despite the fact that Denver has paid out $20 million dollars in settlements or jury awards over the past ten years, of which $12 million has been since 2011.
Body cameras can be an invaluable tool in a criminal case or determining if you have a case against law enforcement for excessive force. Body cameras and dash cameras can confirm bad behavior by law enforcement, but also can confirm if an accused really did commit an illegal act. If you are accused of a crime and had law enforcement contact in Colorado, there is a good chance it was caught on tape. Let the award winning criminal justice team atCantafio & Song PLLC help you obtain and evaluate any video imagery so you can best strategize for the road ahead. Contact our expert attorneys to assist you in your defense, call us at 1-(888) 458-0991.