The Mobile City Council is scheduled to vote Tuesday on a change to the police department’s policy on video footage from body-worn cameras and dashcams.
Mayor Sandy Stimpson announced there would be changes after a deadly officer-involved shooting last week. He ordered an immediate ban on pre-dawn search warrants except for cases where needed to protect human life. He also requested a review of the police department’s policy, procedures and training by U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Alabama Kenyen Brown.
According to the ordinance draft, the policy change will set forth a disclosure process for videos.
Stimpson said the city wants to be as transparent as possible.
“[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.
A written statement identifying the reasons for non-disclosure will be required from the police department if any video release requests are denied.
There are several reasons why the department would not be able to release video. Evidence in a grand jury investigation may not be released to the public, and police do not have to release video during an active criminal investigation.
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