Minneapolis finalizes police body camera policy

Under the policy, incidents like traffic stops, vehicle searches and use of force, among others, will be recorded.

by Aaron Job

The Minneapolis Police Department released the final version of its body camera policy Wednesday through a special order from Chief Janee Harteau.

The policy outlines the instances when officers should record using the cameras, and was put into effect immediately.

Under the policy, officers would be required to manually turn on the cameras during situations like traffic stops, vehicle searches or chases, when there is a use of force or “any contact involving criminal activity.”

The policy comes almost a month after Gov. Mark Dayton signed a bill outlining statewide rules on the use of police body cameras — restricting most bodycam video from the public — and just days before July 4, when, according to officials, Minneapolis’ 1st and 4th Precinct will begin using the equipment.

Public requests for bodycam recordings will be considered by the department’s Records Information Unit, in accordance with the Minnesota Government Data Practices Act, according to the policy.

Recordings of arrests, misdemeanors, or the use of force will be kept on file for seven years, while other general recordings and petty misdemeanors will be kept for one year. Recordings of “Significant Events,” — which include felonies, pursuits and acts of terrorism, among others — will be retained indefinitely, according to the policy.