Police oversight commission questions APD on lapel cameras

Posted at: 06/12/2014 10:17 PM
By: Erica Zucco, KOB Eyewitness News 4

Since the James Boyd shooting caught on lapel camera sparked outrage in Albuquerque, critics have demanded the police department enforce its policy that officers record every call.

“We feel like every encounter should be taped,” ACLU-NM Executive Director Peter Simonson said in April.

“If we don't have that documentation then we don't have that evidence,” Barry Porter of the New Mexico Criminal Defense Lawyers Association said in April.

In their findings letter released April 10, 2014, the Department of Justice wrote “we reviewed numerous reports where officers and supervisors on the scene failed to turn on their lapel cameras or belt tapes.”

Thursday Police Oversight Commissioners asked Deputy Chief William Roseman what the Albuquerque Police Department’s discipline policy is for officers who don’t turn on their cameras, and asked if they plan to strengthen it.

Roseman said the department is waiting until the city’s agreement with the DOJ is drawn up.

“It'd be premature for us to put something out and then if they came out and said nope, we want you to do it this way…so at this time, everything's in a holding pattern,” Roseman said.

But he says the department is open to discipline changes; they just want to wait. He says he also wants a policy change that would separate officers whose equipment fails and those who intentionally don’t turn on their cameras.