In January 2015, the BASF Board of Directors commissioned its Criminal Justice Task Force to examine current practices impacting racial bias and discrimination in the San Francisco criminal justice system. One of the task force’s subcommittees reviewed body camera protocols in surrounding cities in anticipation of San Francisco’s decision to equip all police officers with body worn cameras in 2016.
The subcommittee’s recommendation to the board was approved and a letter was sent to the San Francisco Police Commission for their review at their December 2, 2015, hearing with these recommended guidelines:
BASF believes that an officer should not review body camera footage prior to authorizing a report in two specific instances:
1. In a case where there is any use of force by an officer
2. When an officer is the subject of any criminal or administrative investigation
The San Francisco Police Commission voted a body-worn camera policy that prohibits officers from viewing footage in critical situations such as an officer-involved shooting — an issue that has moved front and center in the debate over police accountability in San Francisco and across the country. But the policy would also allow officers to view the videos in question at the discretion of the police chief.