05-22-2018  12:28 pm      •     
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NEWS BRIEFS

Mississippi Avenue Giving Tuesday

On Tuesday, May 22, 10 percent of proceeds from participating Mississippi Ave. businesses will go to SEI ...

Raina Croff to Speak at Architectural Heritage Center

'When the Landmarks are Gone: Older African Americans, Place, and Change in N/NE Portland’ describes SHARP Walking Program ...

Portland Playhouse Presents August Wilson’s ‘Fences’ Through June 10

May 20 performance will include discussion on mental health; June 10 performance will be followed by discussion of fatherhood ...

Peggy Houston-Shivers Presents Benefit Concert for Allen Temple CME

Concert to take place May 20 at Maranatha Church ...

Oregon mom raises awareness after baby dies from meningitis

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — Summer Poff knew something was wrong with her 7-month-old son, Blaize, early in the morning on May 11.He was fussy, feverish and wouldn't go to sleep. The Salem mom tried to soothe her baby and gave him Tylenol, but at 3 a.m, she knew she needed to take him to the...

Woman charged with murder in downtown Portland homicide

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Authorities say a 33-year-old woman has been arrested in the shooting death of a woman whose body was found on a downtown Portland sidewalk.Portland police Sgt. Chris Burley says detectives believe the gun was fired during a disturbance on the sidewalk late...

Facelift of Seattle's Space Needle nears completion

SEATTLE (AP) — Tourism is booming in Seattle. Just take a look at the Space Needle.The family-owned landmark is set to unveil the biggest renovation in its 56-year history next month, a 0 million investment in a single year of construction that transformed the structure's top viewing...

Lawsuit seeks to change how Army Corps regulates shorelines

SEATTLE (AP) — Three conservation groups are suing the Army Corps of Engineers over how it regulates seawalls, bulkheads or other barriers built along shorelines across Puget Sound.Sound Action, Friends of The San Juans and the Washington Environmental Council want the Corps to better...

OPINION

Golfing While Black Is Not a Crime

Grandview Golf Club asks five Black women to leave for golfing too slow ...

Discovering the Best of Black America in 2018

Dr. Benjamin F. Chavis discusses the DTU Journalism Fellowship & Scholarship Program ...

Will Israel’s Likud Party Ever Respect the Rights of Palestinians?

Bill Fletcher weighs in on the precarious future of the two-state solution between the Israeli government and the Palestinian people ...

The Future of Medicinal Marijuana in Pets

Dr. Jasmine Streeter says CBD-derived products show beneficial therapeutic benefits for pets ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Man charged with shooting at black teen waives hearing

ROCHESTER HILLS, Mich. (AP) — A white suburban Detroit homeowner accused of shooting at a black teenager who came to his door to ask for directions will stand trial.Jeffrey Zeigler was bound over Tuesday to circuit court after waiving his preliminary examination on assault with intent to...

GLAAD study finds LGBTQ representation in film fell in 2017

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Despite high-profile Oscar wins for art house films like "Call Me By Your Name" and "A Fantastic Women," LGBTQ representation in films from the seven biggest Hollywood studios fell significantly in 2017 according to a study released Tuesday by the advocacy organization...

Black man ordered to pay [scripts/homepage/home.php],000 for racist campus graffiti

ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) — A former Eastern Michigan University student who admitted to painting racist graffiti on campus has been ordered to pay more than [scripts/homepage/home.php],000 in restitution.The Ann Arbor News reports 29-year-old Eddie Curlin learned his punishment Monday after earlier pleading guilty to...

ENTERTAINMENT

Soccer star Brandi Chastain or Gary Busey? Fans pan plaque

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Social media is finding little to like about the likeness on a plaque honoring retired soccer champion Brandi Chastain.The Bay Area Sports Hall of Fame in San Francisco unveiled the plaque on Monday night. Chastain said, "It's not the most flattering. But it's nice."On...

Woman accuses R. Kelly of sexual battery, giving her herpes

NEW YORK (AP) — Singer R. Kelly sexually abused a woman, locked her in rooms and vehicles for punishment, and infected her with herpes, the woman said in a lawsuit filed in New York.Faith Rodgers said in the suit filed Monday that she met Kelly about a year ago after a concert in San...

A farewell to the road for Paul Simon

NEW YORK (AP) — Farewell tours don't always mean farewell, but are a ripe time for appreciation and appraisal. Paul Simon's concerts and a new biography offer the opportunity for both.Simon's "Homeward Bound" tour began last week in Vancouver and takes him across North America, to Europe and...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Soccer star Brandi Chastain or Gary Busey? Fans pan plaque

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Social media is finding little to like about the likeness on a plaque honoring retired...

Woman accuses R. Kelly of sexual battery, giving her herpes

NEW YORK (AP) — Singer R. Kelly sexually abused a woman, locked her in rooms and vehicles for punishment,...

APNewsbreak: Pentagon adopts new cellphone restrictions

WASHINGTON (AP) — After months of debate, the Defense Department approved Monday new restrictions for the...

Venezuelan president expels top US diplomat

CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) — President Nicolas Maduro on Tuesday said he was expelling the top U.S. diplomat...

Rights group: Rohingya insurgents massacred Myanmar Hindus

BANGKOK (AP) — Amnesty International said Wednesday that Myanmar's army was not the only group that has...

Romania court acquits Senate speaker of lying under oath

BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) — A Romanian court has acquitted the Senate speaker of making false statements...

A body camera is attached to the uniform of Whitestown Police Department officer Reggie Thomas during a traffic stop, in Whitestown, Ind. Tuesday, Sept. 29, 2015. Police departments in at least two states are shelving the body cameras they outfitted their officers with, blaming the formidable costs of storing the video. About a third of the nation's 18,000 police agencies either have pilot body camera programs or full programs in place, despite the cost concerns. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)
RICK CALLAHAN, Associated Press

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Police departments in at least two states that outfitted their officers with body cameras have now shelved them, blaming new laws requiring videos to be stored longer, which they say would significantly increase the cost.

About a third of the nation's 18,000 police agencies are either testing body cameras or have embraced them to record their officers' interactions with the public. But departments in Indiana and Connecticut suspended their programs this year after their states imposed considerably longer video-storage rules.

Clarksville, a southern Indiana town just north of Louisville, Kentucky, began using body cameras in 2012 for its 50 full-time officers and 25 reservists. That program ended in late June when Chief Mark Palmer pulled the cameras in response to Indiana's new law requiring agencies using the cameras to store the videos for at least 190 days.

Palmer said his department's video storage and camera maintenance costs had been between $5,000 and $10,000 a year under its 30-day video storage policy. But the new law that took effect July 1 would have raised those costs to $50,000 to $100,000 for the first year, he said, by requiring videos to be stored more than six times longer.

Palmer said the department would have had to buy new servers and may have had to buy new cameras and software and to train someone to use it, and that although the cost would have been lower in subsequent years, it still would have been high.

"This has really hit us hard. That's not the kind of thing we budgeted for when we set this year's budget in place," Palmer said of his department in the Ohio River community of about 20,000 residents.

The adjacent city of Jeffersonville also shelved its 70 officers' cameras for the same reasons, and other Indiana police agencies have delayed committing to the cameras while they monitor the new law's impact.

Palmer said he's working with Jeffersonville police on ways they might be able to resume their programs by holding down costs by sharing equipment with other agencies.

Civil rights activists have long called for police officers to wear body cameras, and even more so since the 2014 fatal shooting of Michael Brown, an unarmed black teenager, by a white officer in Ferguson, Missouri.

Jay Stanley, a senior policy analyst for the national American Civil Liberties Union's Speech, Privacy and Technology Project, acknowledged that costs of operating body camera programs can be daunting. But he said he's concerned that some departments might use the costs "as a cover" to avoid the added layer of oversight the cameras bring.

"There could be good reasons for a community not to adopt body cameras, but a police department's desire to escape accountability is not one of them," Stanley said.

Looming higher video storage costs were also the reason the Berlin, Connecticut, police department ended its body camera program this year after testing eight body cameras that had rotated among its 42 officers, said Chief Paul Fitzgerald. His department followed the Connecticut state librarian's suggestion to retain video for 60 days, and longer in instances involving ongoing investigations or citizen complaints.

But Fitzgerald shelved the cameras in January in response to new state standards approved late last year. Those standards, which a Connecticut law directed a state board to draft, require all body camera videos to be stored for at least 90 days — and for at least four years if they're deemed evidentiary.

"Everybody's trying to maintain budgets and that becomes very difficult," Fitzgerald said. "It's the long term costs, of unfunded mandates."

At least eight states — Indiana, Oregon, Illinois, Nevada, California, New Hampshire, Nebraska and Georgia — have laws spelling out how long police departments must preserve the footage the cameras capture, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Police departments typically have to buy new servers or pay for a cloud service to store the videos. And additional staffers often need to be hired to handle public records requests, manage videos that must be stored for long durations and redact videos to blur the faces of minors or otherwise protect privacy.

Oakland County Sheriff Michael Bouchard, whose Michigan department covers Detroit's northern suburbs, said he won't equip his 900 officers with the cameras largely because his department's startup costs for the cameras and storing the resulting videos for just 30 days would amount to more than $1 million a year.

"For body cams it's a deal-breaker. I won't implement them," he said.

Medium-sized police departments, those with between about 50 and 250 officers, appear to be facing the biggest challenges with video storage because they often don't have enough space on servers or hard drives for their considerable data storage needs, said Chuck Wexler, executive director of the Police Executive Research Forum.

Small police departments and large metropolitan departments seem to be having an easier time managing their body camera costs, he said. And in a decade, Wexler predicts, departments without the cameras affixed to officers' uniforms will be rare and competition among vendors will mean the videos will be cheaper to store.

"That's going to be a good thing for the field," he said.

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