The Baltimore Sun reports today that city officials will finalize approval of a contract this week to install video cameras inside the Police Department’s 23 transport vans, at a cost of $187,000.

The impetus for this effort is found in numerous cases of suspects suffering injuries while being transported in the vans. The best known case of this type is, of course, that of Freddie Gray, who suffered a severe spinal injury last April while being transported in a police van. Gray would die some days afterwards. Riots wracked the city following Gray’s death, leading to Prosecutor Marilyn Mosby’s precipitous criminal charging of six officers involved in Gray’s arrest and transport.

The absence of video cameras in the van transporting Gray makes it impossible to know precisely when and how Gray suffered his spinal injury.

Legal Insurrection’s extensive coverage of the Freddie Gray case can be found by clicking here.

Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake’s office sought bids on such a camera system four months after the events surrounding Gray’s death, and it seems that from among the six responses received the winner is to be the a company named (somewhat awkwardly, given the context) “Point Blank.”

Although  in-vehicle video cameras might seem to be an obvious solution to avoiding future uncertainty around Freddie Gray type injuries in the future, it is worth remembering that Baltimore Police Department officials have previously testified that the department’s IT infrastructure, including it’s email system for officers, is barely functional.  The notion that these in van cameras would be better supported seems a rather desperate attempt at hope over experience.

–-Andrew, @LawSelfDefense

Attorney Andrew Branca and his firm Law of Self Defense have been providing internationally-recognized expertise in American self-defense law for almost 20 years in the form of blogging, books, live seminars & online training (both accredited for CLE), public speaking engagements, and individualized legal consultation.
“Law of Self Defense, 2nd Ed.” /Seminars / Instructors Course / Seminar Slides / Twitter /Facebook / Youtube