Raleigh Police are changing their body camera policy after an officer fatally shot Soheil Mojarrad, who had a knife, outside of a shopping center in April.
The officer’s body camera didn’t catch anything because it was never activated.
When Raleigh police spent $4.7 million on body cameras in 2018, Chief Cassandra Deck-Brown said it would provide direct evidence that they live up to the highest standards of behavior.
“Our chief wears her heart on her sleeve,” said Raleigh City Councilwoman Nicole Stewart. “When incidents like this happen she’s ready to respond. Unfortunately, with the recent incident of losing a life, Soheil Mojarrad, it’s time to revisit that policy already.”
After protestors shut down a city council meeting the policy of giving police discretion to turn on those cameras came under fire.
“The entire situation isn’t black or white,” said Stewart. “It’s not wrong or right. We’ve got to look at this from a balance perspective. That’s something I’m really trying to do.”
Durham currently leaves the decision up to officers to hit record.
North Carolina State Highway Patrol and Wake County Sheriff’s deputies don’t currently wear body cameras.
Raleigh police will now passively record using their body cameras, but there’s a catch.
“We always have concerns about there being no audio,” said Stewart. “There is no perfect solution. This is what we have available to us right now at no additional cost.”
Now some are questioning if this policy could’ve changed the reaction to Mojarrad’s death.
“No one can say for sure, but I think having any body camera visual or any body camera on at all could’ve helped paint the full picture of what happened that night,” said Stewart.