NewsPolice AccountabilityThe NorthSider

St. Louis sheriff to outfit some deputies with body cameras

ST. LOUIS (AP) — At least 30 St. Louis deputies whose work is to evict tenants and serve court papers will be outfitted with body cameras, Sheriff Vernon Betts announced Wednesday.

Betts said body cameras help keep law enforcement accountable to the public and increase deputy safety.

Vernon Betts, Sheriff
Betts said he was “deeply troubled” by George Floyd’s death after a white officer pressed his knee into the handcuffed black man’s neck even after he stopped moving and pleading for air.

“These constant deaths of black men at the hands of police make me fear for my friends, neighbors, my sons and my grandsons,” said Betts, who is black.

Video will be retained for up to 60 days, with video of major incidents stored indefinitely. It will be subject to Missouri’s open records law and will be provided at no charge when requested.

“My folks are going to have to go out and start serving those eviction notices,” Betts said. “I think now is the prime time for me to make sure that my guys, amidst the atmosphere and all the civil unrest that’s going on, I’m not sending my guys out on the street without as much protection as we can possibly give them.”

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