Council Passes Bill Amending Police Body Camera Procedures

The County Council last week passed a bill to amend the police department’s internal affairs and procedures regarding body-worn cameras by officers.

“I introduced this bill after it came to light that two MCPD officers abused a five-year-old child who wandered off school grounds in my district,” said Council President Tom Hucker (D-District 5) in a press release. “The horrific incident was not reported quickly to the Chief of Police, and once it was, the incident was neither reported to the County Executive, the County Council, or the State’s Attorney.”

Once the incident, which occurred in January 2020 at East Silver Spring Elementary School, became public knowledge, the council issued a statement that said, in part, “We are outraged by the conduct that we observed. The full Council offers its deepest apologies to the Grant family. This incident is absolutely unacceptable: No child, not to mention a five-year-old child, should ever be treated this way by the people tasked with keeping our communities safe. This incident also reflects the need for increased police training on interactions with young children and de-escalating situations.”

Bill 18-21, Police – Internal Affairs Procedures and Reporting Requirements will, according to the release:

  • Require the random internal review of certain body-worn camera recordings
  • Require review by the Internal Affairs Division of certain body-worn camera recordings
  • Require the internal reporting of certain investigations to the Chief of Police
  • Require the reporting of certain investigations, investigative files, and body-worn camera recordings to the County Executive, the County Council, and the State’s Attorney
  • Require maintenance of a log of each time a body-worn camera recording is accessed or redacted, and
  • Generally, amend the law governing policing, body-worn camera recordings, and police internal affairs.

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