Chicago accelerates plan to equip officers with body cameras

FILE – In this Sept. 22, 2016, file photo, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel speaks during a press conference at the Malcolm X Community College in Chicago. Emanuel’s decision to release thousands of pages of private e-mails not the end of a dispute in Illinois about the public access to such e-mails from him and the other officials when they deal with the government and the business community. Emanuel announced late Wednesday, 21 december 2016, that he had a lawsuit by a government watchdog group on e-mails from his personal accounts, but it makes him and his personal lawyer in order to determine which e-mails are public records and which are not. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

(Associated Press)

CHICAGO – Chicago authorities say that all police officers will be equipped with body cameras by the end of 2017, a year ahead of schedule.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel, said in a Wednesday statement of the announcement of the accelerated schedule that body cameras “to improve the transparency, while building trust.”

Research of the police intensified after the release of a squad-car video of last years shows a white officer fatally shooting black teen Laquan McDonald 16 times. The Ministry of Justice launched a civil rights investigation and Emanuel promised far-reaching reforms. The city launched its body camera program in 2015 and expanded the following protest about the McDonald video.

Wednesday is the declaration of no costs or camera numbers. But police said in September that 2,000 body cameras were in use, and that 5,000 more would be purchased for approximately $8 million.

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