For Immediate Release
Contact: Kenneth Yarbrough – Chief Information Officer (617) 635-3131 Fax (617) 635-3067 Page (617) 461-5548
Contact: Kenneth Yarbrough – Chief Information Officer (617) 635-3131 Fax (617) 635-3067 Page (617) 461-5548 / Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/charles.c.yancey For Immediate Release
Boston City Hall (April 9, 2015) – Boston City Councillor Charles C. Yancey, in response to yet another killing of an unarmed African American person, is urging his colleagues and the Mayor of Boston to consider his legislation mandating use of body cameras by Boston Police.
Yancey last February introduced an ordinance that would mandate use of body cameras by Boston police officers interacting with the public. The proposal provides the Boston Police Department with guidelines for use, access, storage, handling, management, retention, and retrieval of recorded media captured by body cameras.
Yancey noted that the unarmed victim, Walter Scott, was shot to death by North Charleston, S.C., patrolman Michael Slager, who was captured on a video camera planting evidence to corroborate his fabricated story. Scott’s killing, Yancey said, may have gone uncontested and the truth behind it concealed forever had it not been for an onlooker’s recording, which contradicted Slager’s account of what preceded the shooting, and which showed him deceptively planting evidence.
Yancey said he’s grateful that the bystander came forward with his video recording, but noted it’s not the responsibility of onlookers to expose police misconduct. “Police body cameras should be recording all police interactions with the public,” he said. Yancey’s ordinance, which was drafted with assistance from the Boston Police Camera Action Team, outlines scenarios in which officers may or may not use body cameras, and it outlines disciplinary measures for improper use of body cameras and evidentiary exclusion and presumption for unrecorded encounters.
Yancey praised Charlotte, NC, for implementing body camera legislation and for protecting its citizens from police misconduct. The Charlotte City Council voted earlier this year to spend $7 million to equip Charlotte’s patrol officers with a lipstick-sized body camera by October 2015.
Yancey noted that several scientific studies have confirmed that human beings are far less likely to break the law or engage in antisocial behaviors if they are aware that a video camera is recording their actions. “Incidents of police misconduct will diminish significantly if police are equipped with video cameras,” he said. ### One City Hall Square • Boston • Massachusetts • 02201 (617) 635-3131 W