BRPD announces new video release policy
BATON ROUGE - Footage captured by Baton Rouge Police officers' cameras could be released to the public sooner under a new policy announced Monday.
BRPD Chief Murphy Paul said in a news release that the department's new "Critical Incident Video Release Policy" requires the chief to make a decision regarding the release of body and in-car camera footage within 12 days of an incident.
BRPD will reportedly release video evidence after the chief determines that it will not interfere with the integrity of the investigation or the prosecution. The time between the actual incident and the video release date is meant to protect witnesses, as well as the prosecution, according to the news release.
"Public interest in use of force incidents involving law enforcement officers is at an all-time high," Paul said in the news release. "This is partly due to activism and protests when public perception is that an excessive level of force was used by law enforcement. It is also a result of the instantaneous exchange of information through various social media networks. As a result, the law enforcement community must respond to the rapidly changing media landscape that drives communication and public perception in the 21st century."
The department says officers recognize that video evidence provides an incomplete, but essential view of critical incidents involving them. Authorities also hope the videos will provide the public with a better understanding of police work, and that withholding these videos creates distrust between law enforcement and the community.
"Transparency is essential in policing today. The public's expectations of law enforcement have evolved, and it is our duty to respond to their concerns," Paul said. "Our new policy demonstrates that the Baton Rouge Police Department is a law enforcement agency committed to accountability and constant improvement."