Understanding MPD’s body camera policies and procedures

(WMC Action News 5)
Updated: Sep. 26, 2018 at 6:37 PM CDT
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MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - Memphis Police Department’s policy outlines procedures, restrictions and violations when it comes to body cameras and squad car videos.

However, there’s not so much detail when it comes to outlining discipline.

Twelve pages outline the dos and don'ts of Memphis police in-car video and body worn cameras.

According to policy at the beginning of each shift, all officers are issued a body-worn camera specific to that officer.

It's their responsibility to make sure the camera is working by doing a test video.

Policy requires all officers during their shifts to activate their body-worn cameras when responding to all calls before getting to the scene.

The body camera of Memphis police officer Jamarcus Jeames was deactivated when he shot 25-year-old Martavious Banks last week.

Two other officers are the scene that night also deactivated their cameras.

As the TBI investigates why, Lieutenant Karen Rudolph told WMC there are several reasons why it could have occurred – a malfunction within the camera, an officer never turning on the camera, or the camera being knocked off.

MPD policy states during critical incidents where an officer may be involved in or witness an event that requires the collection of digital evidence officers shall not stop recording until directed to by the officer's supervisor.

When it comes to violating these policies, disciplinary actions are vague.

These documents state any officer who violates the policies and procedures shall be subject to corrective disciplinary action pursuant to applicable department rules.

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