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Cleveland Police in Riot Gear Won't Wear Body Cameras During RNC

May 31, 2016  | 

Many Cleveland police officers will not be wearing body cameras if protests turn violent during the Republican National Convention in July, officials said.

Police officials have told officers that a host of logistical issues, including an inability to attach the cameras to police riot gear, means officers will not be able to wear the devices, reports the Plain Dealer.

The department says officers will use other methods to record police interactions with protesters and the public during the convention. But Cleveland Police Patrolmen's Association President Steve Loomis and the executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Ohio expressed concern that the officers who will be thrust in the most volatile situations will not be wearing a device that is a deterrent for both violence against police and officer misconduct.

The city plans to bring in thousands of officers from police departments to help provide security. Whether those officers wear body cameras will be up to their department, Cleveland police spokeswoman Sgt. Jennifer Ciaccia said.

Cleveland's police force will wear "softer" uniforms at the beginning of the RNC, rather than adopting a military-style approach that might inflame tensions. Tampa police took a similar approach during the 2012 RNC.

The officers in softer uniforms will wear their body cameras, which cost the city $2.4 million in 2015, and will be required to follow the department's recording policy, Ciaccia said in an emailed statement to cleveland.com.

Should protesters clash with police, officers will dress in riot gear and administer crowd control tactics. They will not wear body cameras, but Ciaccia stressed that police officers will use other methods of recording.


Comments (4)

Displaying 1 - 4 of 4

Ordinary Joe @ 6/1/2016 5:56 AM

Wear helmet cams. They are battle tested.

kevcopAz @ 6/1/2016 7:58 AM

I agree helmet cameras work. "softer uniforms"?? This is another reason why some "leaders" of the police are ignorant of how crowds "think". The fact that police, who are out numbered, look like they are ready, well equipped and able to stop any problems is a very important visual intimidation factor that PREVENTS the crowd from over acting. Fear is a motivator at times. If the cops look "soft" and unprepared then the feeling that they can be challenged and or overcome by rioters increases. If a cop dressed in riot gear causes someone in a crowd to riot, then don't you think that they had the intent to riot anyway? Dumb, all Cleveland PD and others like them are doing is bowing to political correctness and hiding the fact that cops are there to prevent, stop if it starts and to end violence. We don't instigate it we stop it. You are placing the "soft" cops in danger unnecessarily. Whom ever made this "soft" decision is "soft in the head and asking for trouble.

OK then @ 6/1/2016 8:54 AM

Helmet cams would give the "demilitarization of the police" crowd more to cry about. I also find it odd that the populace is more concerned about the actions of the police during a potential riot than the rioters.

John retired IA PD @ 6/1/2016 9:52 PM

I can not figure out when crowds resort to mob violence and riot, burn, destroy, and loot, and the police stand by and let it happen, the police are praised for showing great restraint. But if the police make an arrest, they are inciting the demonstrators. These rioters should be arrested, charged with the crimes they committee, and prosecuted to the full extent of the law. What does happen to the hand full of those who are arrested in these situations?

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