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Chicago Police Department Begins Body Camera Pilot Program

Posted on in General Negligence

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Section 1983 of the U.S. Civil Code is often referenced in media reports regarding police misconduct.  This federal law permits private citizens to sue local and state entities for the deprivation of constitutional rights.

Part of the Code states: “...any citizen of the United States or other person within the jurisdiction thereof to the deprivation of any rights, privileges, or immunities secured by the Constitution and laws, shall be liable to the party injured in an action at law, suit in equity, or other proper proceeding for redress…”

New technology introduced to police departments nationwide may begin video recording interactions between officers and civilians, generating important evidence. The video cameras allow for the recordings to be uploaded to localized servers. Law enforcement agencies in both New York and Los Angeles are now testing the use of the technology, and Chicago is considering whether to outfit police officers with body cameras.

In a video posted by the Chicago Tribune, Steve Lovell, VieVu president, demonstrates the use of its video camera designed, he says, to improve officer efficiency and documentation. VieVu’s wearable technology is focused for use primarily by government and law enforcement. The compact cameras are battery-powered, recording both audio and video. While most are worn at the chest area, others can be shoulder-mounted or attached to glasses.

Chicago Police Superintendent. Garry McCarthy said in an interview with ABC 7 Chicago that the cameras are beneficial to officers. He reported that Chicago police have begun the beginning stages of a pilot program for the body cameras, but faces questions about who is responsible for turning the camera on and off, who retains the data, and who has access to it. Before implementing full departmental use, rules of engagement will have to be put into place.

If you require legal counsel regarding police misconduct in Illinois, contact an experienced Chicago general negligence attorney today. Call the law office of Hurley McKenna & Mertz, P.C. at 312-553-4900 for a free consultation regarding your case.

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