The Chicagoist will be launching later but in the meantime please enjoy our archives.

22 Chicago Cops Disciplined For Improper Dashcam Usage Last Month

By Mae Rice in News on Jan 7, 2016 6:10PM

A still from the video

In the past month, 22 Chicago police officers have been disciplined for not properly using their audio and video equipment. Their punishments, which have ranged from a reprimand to a loss of time off, are part of the Chicago Police Department’s efforts to better document their actions and thereby build trust.

The new, stricter policies came after the video footage of officer Jason Van Dyke shooting Laquan McDonald sixteen times, killing him, was released with very limited audio. Though sirens were audible in the distance, the police officers’ conversation—amongst themselves and with McDonald—was not caught on tape.

On Dec. 4, the acting police chief John Escalante told officers that they would be disciplined if they didn’t make sure their dashcams, bodycams, and the like were working properly before each tour, the Sun-Times reports.

After that announcement, the department discovered that 80 percent of dash-cams had no functioning audio, police department spokesman Anthony Guglielmi told the Tribune.

Since then, though, the department has seen a 75 percent increase in officers uploads of video at the end of their tours, Gugliemi told reporters.

“In the coming weeks, we will be working with the vendor to develop new automated analysis tools that will detect and report the presence or absence of audio on all uploaded video segments,” the department’s deputy chief of technology, Jonathan Lewin, deputy chief of technology for the Chicago Police Department, told the Sun-Times.