BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Baltimore police body camera footage from a critical incident could be released to the public within a week of the incident taking place under a new policy announced Wednesday by Police Commissioner Michael Harrison.
Under the policy, BPD’s public integrity bureau will provide access to audio and video recordings to the Baltimore City State’s Attorney’s Office, the U.S. Attorney’s Office and the Baltimore City Office of Civil Rights within 24 hours of a critical incident involving police.READ MORE: Baltimore Exhibit Focuses On Maryland's Ties To The Civil Rights Movement
Those agencies will then provide their recommendations on whether the footage should be released publicly.
Within five days of the incident, the public integrity bureau will make a written recommendation to the commissioner, who will then have 48 hours to determine if the recordings should be made public.
If the commissioner decides to release the footage, it will be made public following family notification and after the involved member has made a statement.
In a news release, Harrison said the policy is similar to one in place when he led the New Orleans Police Department.READ MORE: Maryland Family Has Triple Crown Dreams
“This new policy speaks to BPD’s commitment to transparency, accountability and building public trust,” he said.
BPD could redact or blur portions of the video prior to its release to protect the identity of confidential sources, witnesses and minors.
The policy is effective immediately.
The Baltimore City FOP tweeted in response to the new policy.MORE NEWS: The Cost Of Riding Baltimore's Buses And Subway Trains Will Soon Increase
“Transparency is obviously selective in the BPD!” the Baltimore City FOP tweeted Wednesday night.