A year after the rollout of body cameras for all Baton Rouge police officers, the department has adopted a new policy for the faster release of officer-involved shooting footage and corresponding dashcam footage—aimed at increasing transparency and accountability with the public.
On Monday, Baton Rouge police announced their Public Release of Critical Incident Recordings policy, which creates a protocol for the review of any recordings from critical incidents involving an officer and requires a decision from the police chief within 12 days about its public release, reports the Advocate.
"Once the chief decides that the release will not interfere with the integrity of the investigation and/or prosecution, the Baton Rouge Police Department shall release the critical incident video evidence as soon as possible," a spokesman for the department wrote in the news release.
The new policy breaks from the agency's adopted practice of withholding all such video until the completion of the investigation and any possible prosecution—a process that has often taken more than a year to conclude.
"Transparency is essential in policing today," Baton Rouge Police Chief Murphy Paul wrote in a news release. "The public's expectations of law enforcement have evolved, and it is our duty to respond to their concerns."