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Residents asked to give input on Buffalo Police's use of body cameras


A community meeting is being held later this afternoon to discuss the Buffalo Police’s use of body cameras.

Residents are being asked to make suggestions and learn about the current proposed policy. Police Advisory Board Co-chair Jonathan Manes said there are a number of issues that the body cameras raise.

"When the cameras have to be on and off, because if the camera is not on it's not serving its footage," said Manes. "Another important question is, who gets to see the footage and does the public get to see the footage and what circumstances can the public get access to the footage."

Manes said there’s also a number of questions about how long the footage is stored, how long it’s kept, and preventing the misuse of footage.

The topic has been discussed a lot recently after a man arrested at a Buffalo Bills game last December was cleared of alleged wrongdoing because of an Erie County Sheriff Deputy's body cam video.

Manes said this meeting was planned well in advance of this week’s news about body cameras and the Erie County Sheriff’s office.

"That incident is an illustration of one of the key benefits of having body cams," he said, "which is it provides video documentation of what transpired and it can cooberate complaints against the police. It can also exonerate police officers if complaints have been filed that are not sounded."

The discussion starts at 5:30 PM at the Frank Merriweather Library on 1324 Jefferson Avenue in Buffalo.

Nick Lippa leads our Arts & Culture Coverage, and is also the lead reporter for the station's Mental Health Initiative, profiling the struggles and triumphs of those who battle mental health issues and the related stigma that can come from it.