Looking at camera policies after fatal, officer-involved shooting in Minneapolis

KIMT looks into Rochester Police Department’s body camera policies.

Posted: Jun. 26, 2018 7:22 AM

ROCHESTER, Minn. – Footage on body cameras worn by Minneapolis police officers involved in a fatal shooting are expected to be a major part of an investigation conducted by the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension.

The BCA is investigating what exactly happened on Saturday when Minneapolis police officers shot and killed Thurman Belvins, who they said was armed.

"It's our belief that body camera will reveal what happened, that the officers were subjected to a threat, there were numerous commands to drop the firearm. The suspect did not comply with these commands,” Lt. Bob Kroll, President of Minneapolis Police Federation, said.

In Minneapolis, officers are supposed to turn on body cameras about two blocks out from a scene.

According to Rochester Police Department’s Mobile Video Recorder Policy, last updated in November 2016, officers should only press record for investigatory and enforcement cases. So, cameras don’t need to be on for something like a medical call.

The policy also requires officers to check the recorders before each shift to make sure they work properly.

RPD Captain Casey Moilanen said they have good compliance when it comes to officers and cameras.

Mike Jenkins lives in Rochester and says he likes to see policies like these in place, saying they help the entire community.

“It helps the police stick to integrity,” he said. “They're held to a higher standard and the higher the standard the better off we are as a public.”

While body cameras were rolling on Minneapolis police officers, the squad car camera did not capture the incident.

In Rochester, Capt. Moilanen said RPD squad car cameras are always recording but not always saving. 30 seconds before the moment recording starts can be captured and saved.

Capt. Moilanen said squad car cameras automatically start recording when a car’s lights go on or if the vehicle is involved in an accident. Recording can also start by being turned on manually.

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