Chief orders Seattle police officers to turn on body cams during protests

SEATTLE -- The Seattle Police Department announced Wednesday that officers will be required to turn on body cameras during protests.

The existing rule had required officers to turn off their body cameras during legal protests. The rule was supported by the ACLU and members of the city council. But the policy has now been questioned by demonstrators.

The order came from Seattle Police Chief Carmen Best:

By order of the Chief,

Pursuant to Executive Order 2020-07, effective immediately all Seattle Police Department officers who are assigned to work demonstrations where they will have contact with the public are ordered to have body-worn video recording during demonstrations.

This Directive modifies Manual Section 16.090.


Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan indicated that she would issue an emergency order for police body cameras among other changes after meeting with protesters about ways to reduce tension and improve communication and police policies, including: