The Mobile City Council delayed a vote on changing the police department’s video footage policy due to the need for more discussion on Tuesday.
After hearing from concerned citizens over the past several months, Mayor Sandy Stimpson announced the possible change. In some instances, he said the city needs to be transparent and provide video from body-worn cameras and dashcams.
“[I]t shall be the policy of the City of Mobile that any such recordings made by or in the custody of the Mobile Police Department shall be disclosed in response to any properly made request unless contrary to other applicable law,” the ordinance says in part.
Following a deadly officer-involved shooting last week, Stimpson ordered an immediate ban on pre-dawn search warrants except for cases where needed to protect human life. He also requested a police department policy review and a deeper look at procedures and training. U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Alabama Kenyen Brown led the review.
Several citizens voiced support for a change ahead of the scheduled vote Tuesday. Timothy Hollis said he believes the city should set an example for the rest of the country.
“Envision a city that stands as a trailblazer, not just in this state but in the nation, setting the standard for what justice should look like,” Hollis said. “This is not an idle dream, it is an achievable reality, and Mobile has the opportunity to be at the forefront of this change.”
When the issue was brought up for a vote, council members approved a motion to move the vote to December 12.
“There was a committee meeting scheduled for this afternoon dealing with this,” said council president CJ Small. “We’re going to postpone it until next Tuesday at 1 o’clock p.m. because of other important matters of topic that need to be discussed, and they’re going to last longer than normal.”
The date change for the vote was approved unanimously, except Councilman Cory Penn, absent Tuesday.
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