Cincinnati Cops Want Extra Pay for Wearing Body Cameras

Union argues wearing them 'will change several aspects of their job'
By Linda Hervieux,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 18, 2016 9:07 AM CDT
Cincinnati Cops Want Extra Pay for Wearing Body Cameras
In this Jan. 15, 2014 file photo a Los Angeles Police officer wears an on-body camera during a demonstration in Los Angeles.   (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes, File)

Cincinnati cops are fighting a move by city officials to outfit them with body cameras—unless their salaries change, that is. The Cincinnati Enquirer reports that some city cops began wearing cameras last week, and the police union reacted by saying it and the city need to sit down at the bargaining table; the union argues the cameras shouldn't be worn until that happens and sent the city a "cease and desist" letter to that effect. A union lawyer argued in the letter written last week that a body-camera mandate "will change several aspects of their job and regularly assigned duties." But City Manager Harry Black on Monday said he has the right to order cops to wear them and said their presence protects cops "from frivolous and fraudulent claims."

Cameras are a flashpoint in the city, which WLWT reports has seen three fatal shootings this year involving police and where a white cop last year shot an unarmed black motorist after a traffic stop. University of Cincinnati Police Officer Raymond Tensing said he had no choice but to open fire after Sam DuBose, 43, tried to run him over and dragged him with his car. A body cam video of the incident revealed that story to be a lie, prosecutors said. But lawyers for Tensing insist it backs up the officer’s version. He'll stand trial in October. The push to outfit all of the city's cops with cameras has been a year-long effort. Some 700 cameras have been purchased as part of a seven-year contract. In Denver, the police union also has qualms with how the body camera program has taken shape, the Denver Post reports. (More Cincinnati stories.)

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