New BWC Release Policy for Milwaukee Police Department Meets Resistance
The Milwaukee Fire and Police Commission (FPC) passed a resolution that took effect on May 1st requiring the department to release BWC video within 15 days of an officer-involved shooting or other critical incident. It also requires the department to provide the family of the people killed by police the opportunity to view the video within 48 hours of the incident. The Milwaukee Police Association (MPA) filed a lawsuit against the FPC claiming such a release timeline would interfere with the integrity of the investigation. The courts are scheduled to hear the case on May 12th. It will be interesting to see how the court rules. Many police departments, larger and smaller than MPD, release their video sooner that the 15 day timeline of the resolution. Regardless of this ruling, there needs to be a clearly defined timeline for release for every department in the country. Many are set by state statute or a local ordinance. Failure to have it clearly defined is counter to the one of the stated premises of BWCs: transparency.