Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Council Okays Cameras for Police Cars

Pittsburgh Council gave final approval today to police reform legislation sponsored by Councilman Ricky Burgess. The bills are a result of the January beating by 3 plain clothes police officers of 18 year old Jordan Miles of Homewood, a senior at the time at the Creative and Performing Arts (CAPA) High School. The officers said Miles failed to obey an order to stop while he was walking in his neighborhood and he resisted arrest. Miles says the officers did not identify themselves as police and he was frightened. The 3 officers remain on leave pending investigation by the Justice Department and the city Office of Municipal Investigations.

One bill passed today requires that all new marked police vehicles have video and audio recording equipment. Marked vehicles already in the fleet would have the equipment installed within 5 years.this morning to three measures designed to improve police performance in the wake of the Jordan Miles controversy. The Police Bureau would have to develop a policy on the use and storage of the information recorded by the cameras and microphones.

Another measure passed by Council requires the police chief to alert the Office of Municipal Investigations when an officer uses force and it appears that officer violated department policy. The chief would be authorized to place the officer on paid administrative leave pending an OMI investigation.

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