Ever since President Obama promised $263 million dollars in federal funding for equipping more police with body cameras, major cities across the nation have started testing body cameras on their police forces. Seattle is taking things a step further, however, and is posting some of the body camera videos to an official YouTube channel for anyone to watch.
Seattle Police have launched a YouTube channel that will let the public view video of officers’ on-the-job interactions captured on cameras pinned to their uniforms, as part of a pilot program to increase transparency, an official said on Thursday. The videos uploaded to the YouTube page, SPD BodyWornVideo, will blur the faces of civilians to protect their privacy, a police official said. The videos also will be scrubbed of sound. “The goal here is to balance transparency with protecting the privacy of citizens, who might be scooped up, swept up, onto the video just by being in the vicinity,” police spokesman Drew Fowler said. Seattle Police began testing body-worn cameras late last year amid nationwide protests over police treatment of minorities following the killings of unarmed black men in Ferguson, Missouri, and New York City.