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Seattle Police Create YouTube Channel, with Blurred Results

Body camera video, heavily redacted

The Seattle Police Department now has its own YouTube channel for video from body-mounted cameras worn by its officers. That sounds fantastic, a way for the average citizen to see policing from the point-of-view of the typical police officer. However, it turns out the reality is different, and the police department is getting an earful of feedback about it.

With thousands of hours of raw footage, there is a huge potential to show something that will give the wrong impression about an innocent member of the community. For this reason, the Seattle Police Department is automatically blurring the video of virtually all the cameras, while also masking the audio. This has led to a great many people asking, “Why bother if you aren’t really going to show anything?”

You can go to the above-linked YouTube channel and see for yourself regarding this debate. Of course, the SPD is saving unblurred for its own use, and only posting the blurred version in public. If a legitimate claim arises (such as a court case) that requires the use of the clear video, the SPD will have the evidence.