Yesterday, Minneapolis City Council member and mayoral hopeful Betsy Hodges held a press conference where she said "now is the time" for the MPD to start putting body cameras on officers.
She suggested body cams have the support of MPD Chief Janeé Harteau, saying, "This is something in committee [Harteau] said she did want to move forward on, and I've been working with her."
Harteau, however, said Hodges overstated her support for officer cams.
Reached for comment in Philadelphia, where she's attending a conference with other big-city police chiefs, Harteau told KARE 11 she wasn't even invited to Hodges's presser (no MPD officials were there). Furthermore, she said she asked Hodges to hold off on a news conference until the MPD had more of an opportunity to study the issue.
"I'm very frustrated because I'm out of town and all this stuff is happening without me there and nobody ever asked me to be there," Harteau said. "I did talk to [Hodges] and ask her to wait. I said I would absolutely consider a pilot in 2014 and she said she couldn't honor my timeline and that is what it is... So, I'm happy to say it was premature."
Hodges's decision to hold a presser was also criticized by fellow council member and mayoral hopeful Don Samuels, who told the Star Tribune, "You jump at something without consensus, and you lose support... because you defy the desire and the need to be included by those that have responsibility for implementing it."
But on the other side of the coin, council member Cam Gordon defended the presser, where he and council member Gary Schiff joined Hodges in voicing their support for cop cams.
"I think it's fully appropriate to say, 'Here's three council members who have this great idea, and now we are taking this initiative, and now we want to build that support before expecting city staff to line up before it goes to the council,'" Gordon told the Strib.
:::: Correction :::: An earlier version of this piece incorrectly stated Cam Gordon is running for mayor. He is not.