Toronto Star: The use of body cameras by the police it should be mandatory so that they can justify the use of police brutality and extrajudicial executions?
The use of body cameras by the police has to be a pilot project! Or Rather it should be mandatory so they can justify their vile actions and arbitrary killings? Again with the so called Body Camera Pilot Project the police force with the help of the media is trying to convince the public, that police brutality and murders of vulnerable people at the hands of the police could be justifiable. The question is; why the body cameras will be worn for only 100 police officers well selected by their superiors to behave with the public as Angels, when the Toronto police force is made up of more than 7,000 police officers? Why the body cameras are not applicable in especial for the police officers who have caused physical injuries in innocent people and detainees, or have committed heinous crimes! The Pilot Project of body-worn cameras is a complete farce created by the police, because the public knows very well that the lives of children, youths, mothers, seniors, and detainees, are at risk in anyplace of this city, because of the police brutality and extrajudicial executions.
Six questions about the cameras Toronto police will wear
One hundred officers will wear body cameras while on duty starting May 18. How will the pilot project work?
Andrew Francis Wallace / Toronto Star Order this photo
Cnst. Ben Seto models a body-worn video camera. Toronto police have launched a pilot project on wearing cameras. A hundred officers will test three different types of equipment.
By: thestar.com Published on Fri May 15 2015
Toronto police have unveiled a pilot project on cameras worn by police. One hundred officers will test out three types of equipment across the city starting May 18.
The test phase was initiated last September after a review by retired Supreme Court justice Frank Iacobucci of how police react to people in mental crisis.
Here’s what you need to know about the cameras, and how the project will work:
Who will wear the pilot cameras?
The officers participating are all members of four police divisions: the Anti-Violence Intervention Strategy Rapid Response Teams, 43 Division Community Response Unit, 55 Division Primary Response Unit, and the Traffic Services Motor Squad.
Police said the officers were trained in human rights and privacy issues, and undertook classroom lessons and participated in mock trials.
When will the cameras be activated?
Police said that while the cameras will technically be “on” as soon as an officer is on the job, they must be activated to begin recording. Activation will occur “as soon as reasonably possible.”
This could be, for example, prior to arriving at a call or when investigative contact begins. (“Investigative contact” describes contact between a police officer and a citizen that the officer initiates for the purpose of an investigation.)
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Police directives do not force officers to activate their cameras if they are having an informal conversation with someone.
Police said the cameras will be activated during the following circumstances: calls for service (general calls to respond to a scene or deal with a situation), investigative detention, apprehension under the Mental Health Act, arrests, interactions with people in crisis, crimes in progress, investigations, dealings with active criminals, and cases of public disorder.
Does an officer have to tell me if I’m being filmed?
This depends on whether the interaction occurs in private or public.
In public, officers can record without your explicit consent. Toronto Police Service said, however, that “officers have been trained to let the person know they are being recorded.”
In private locations, such as homes or businesses, police must get your explicit permission before entering with a camera that is activated. This requirement can be waved if police are carrying out a search warrant, or “under exigent circumstances.”
The officer will have to turn off the camera if the owner of a private home, who granted initial permission to film inside the dwelling, later asks for it to be turned off.
Where will the videos be stored, and for how long?
At the end of every shift, officers will upload their footage to a server operated by the Toronto Police Service. A video will only be accessible to the officer who shot it, and his or her supervisor.
Police say the videos will be kept on file for at least a year. This could be prolonged if a video is being used as evidence in a legal case, or an ongoing investigation.
Can I ask to see the footage?
Police say the footage cannot be accessed, reviewed, edited or deleted “at the time of the recording.”
People can request to see or delete a video later, however, through the Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act.
Will the cameras become permanent across the Toronto police force?
The pilot project is expected to last a year. The results will be evaluated at the end, and recommendations will be made to the chief of police.
Police are also asking for community feedback through an anonymous online survey.
People can also request more information about how the cameras work by e-mailing BWC.FAQ@torontopolice.on.ca .