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Police union complaint heard on body camera pilot

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On Tuesday, the Suffolk Superior Court heard a dispute over plans to roll out the city’s anticipated police body-worn camera pilot program.

The pilot was slated to launch last week, but the Boston Police Patrolmen’s Association sought a hold.

The BPPA argues that plans to randomly select and mandate 100 officers to wear the cameras violates an agreement between the police department, city and police union to only use volunteers. The Boston Police Department assigned officers to the pilot program after receiving no volunteers.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Massachusetts filed a brief, weighing in on the dispute to urge for the pilot to go forward.

“Nowhere in its complaint does the police union mention the risk that civilians, especially those in communities of color, will be harmed if this lawsuit succeeds in blocking the Boston body-camera pilot program,” Rahsaan Hall, director of the ACLU-MA’s Racial Justice program, said in a press release.

“It is especially troubling that this lawsuit comes just a few weeks after the police union demanded long guns and body armor,” Matthew Segal, ACLU-MA legal director, said in a press release.