Boston Police, Union Battle Body Cameras in Court

Boston Police Patrolmen's Association president says officers likely didn't volunteer because of timing

The battle over whether Boston Police officers should be forced to wear body cameras went before a Suffolk Superior Court judge Tuesday.

The Boston Police Patrolmen's Association has requested the injunction, saying it agreed to the six-month pilot program only if officers volunteered to wear the cameras.

"I have never not supported the body camera program," said BPPA President Patrick Rose. "What I said very explicitly to people was if we do not have an agreement, I do not want volunteers."

Having no volunteers by the deadline, Boston Police Commissioner Bill Evans says he decided to allow the project administrator to assign officers to the program.

"I think I have lawful authority as the police commissioner for me to assign," countered Boston Police Commissioner William Evans.

Attorneys for the city argued the union explicitly told its members back in June not to volunteer, then after a deal was reached, never urged members to volunteer.

"There was no way anyone was going to volunteer at that point," said Evans. "I had a feeling, obviously, from speaking to different officers, that they were told not to volunteer."

Rose testified there may have been few volunteers because of what he calls horrible timing.

"I really believe the biggest thing was timing," Rose said. "We talked about this for almost 18 months and the city decides to release it on the heels of eight police officers being murdered in the country."

Testimony continues tomorrow morning at 9am with cross examination of Commissioner Evans.

The judge says he plans to make a ruling by Friday because the police department hopes to implement the program Monday if it is successful.

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