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Automatically activated body cameras could help prevent situations like the Braziel case in which critical moments are not captured on video.
Acevedo said they also would simplify things for police.
is absolutely the most important aspect of what we do to build that legitimacy and to build that trust.
That's why I'm starting there." Both proposals drew praise from local civil rights groups, though some activists said the investigation of police shootings shouldn't be left to their fellow officers.
The council approved a .4 million contract with body-camera company Watchguard in November 2015.
"It's a matter of prioritizing their limited bandwidth," Acevedo said, noting that each year homicide investigators get about 45 officer-involved shootings added to their load of 300 or so murder cases.
Philip Hilder, a member of the city's Independent Police Oversight Board and a former federal prosecutor, said he thought a specialized unit would be more effective and "create the independence that is sorely needed." But Randall Kallinen, a civil rights attorney, said investigations still lack credibility so long as it's "the police investigating the police." Acevedo has the authority to create the new unit, but funding and contracting for the automatically activated cameras may prove challenging.
The video released to the public didn't convince skeptics that police were telling the truth about the man allegedly pointing his gun at the officers.
more When Houston police officers shot and killed an armed man standing in a street intersection this summer, officers' body cameras taped the incident - but the recordings didn't start until after the man had been shot.