PNS Daily News - December 11, 2019 

U.S. House to vote on two articles of impeachment; $1.4 trillion in planned oil & gas development said to put the world in a "a bright red level" of climate crisis; anti-protest legislation moving forward in Ohio; "forest farming" moving forward in Appalachia; and someone is putting cowboy hats on pigeons in Nevada.

2020Talks - December 11, 2019 

18 years ago today, China joined the WTO. Now, China's in a trade war with the U.S. Also, House Democrats and the Trump administration made a deal to move forward with the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Trade Agreement.

Chicago Police Body Camera Program a Mixed Bag, Say Civil Rights Groups

A new study ranks how 25 U.S. police departments are using their body-worn camera programs. Credit: DodgertonSkillhause/
A new study ranks how 25 U.S. police departments are using their body-worn camera programs. Credit: DodgertonSkillhause/
November 12, 2015

CHICAGO - The Chicago Police Department shouldn't let cops review the footage from their body cameras before they write their incident reports.

That's one of the findings in a new report released this week by a coalition of civil rights groups, called The Leadership Conference.

The report, by the D.C. consulting firm Upturn, scores 25 municipal police departments, including Chicago, on how transparent and fair their policies are and whether they respect people's privacy.

Harlan Yu, principal at Upturn is co-author of the report.

"In order for cameras to live up to their promise, departments must have carefully crafted policies in place to guide the use of these cameras and the footage that they produce," says Yu.

The report notes Chicago PD is doing the right thing by making its body camera policy publicly available online. But improvements could be made by limiting the use of facial-recognition software and by allowing people who file police-misconduct reports to view the footage themselves.

Yu says the policy of letting police officers review their own body-camera footage before they write a report gives them an unfair advantage. He says criminal defendants don't get to check the tape prior to giving a statement.

"Pre-report viewing creates an uneven playing field," says Yu. "And in the worst case, an office could conform his or her report to match only what was shown in the video, rather than report an independent account of what he or she saw."

The Department of Justice awarded the Chicago Police Department a $1 million grant earlier this year for body-camera equipment and training.

Brandon Campbell, Public News Service - IL