Should police be required to wear cameras?

Spikes on the chart are due to three large payouts: In 2007 Minneapolis paid Officer Duy Ngo $4.5 million after he was shot and seriously wounded by another officer a few years earlier; in 2011, the mother of Dominic Felder received $2.1 million after a jury found the city liable in a wrongful death lawsuit; in 2013, the family of David Smith was paid $3,075,000. Smith died after being subdued by officers in 2010. Since 2006, the city has prevailed in 98 officer conduct lawsuits, losing two. (MPR Graphic/Brandt Williams)

“In a bid to reduce instances of officer misconduct and help the Minneapolis Police Department defeat frivolous brutality complaints and lawsuits, city officials are considering whether to issue wearable cameras to police officers,” writes MPR News reporter Brandt Williams.

The city has paid more than $20 million to resolve misconduct lawsuits and claims during the last decade. With that in mind, several Minneapolis City Council members announced Thursday that are ready to fund a $25,000 pilot project that would pay for compact cameras that 25 officers could clip on a pair of sunglasses or a lapel.

Police Chief Janee Harteau was not notified about the announcement, but police spokeswoman Cyndi Barrington said the department is not yet ready to go forward with a trial.

However, last month Harteau told members of the council’s budget committee that she has talked with chiefs in other departments that use body cameras.

“If we do this — and I almost want to say when we do this instead of if we do this — we want to be successful,” Harteau said.

Today’s Question: Should police be required to wear cameras?