HOUSTON – Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner announced the implementation of key recommendations submitted by the Mayor’s Task Force on Policing Reform in a press conference Thursday.
The mayor addressed several aspects of police reform being implemented in the community in accordance with the 104 recommendations made by the task force. Turner said more than 50% of the recommendations are being implemented, including changes to the release of bodycam footage, police complaints and crisis intervention.
Release of bodycam footage
According to Turner, the task force recommended that there be a “balance of power dynamics between the Houston Police Department and Houstonians by releasing body-worn camera footage of critical incidents in a consistent and timely manner.”
Turner said the city will adhere to those recommendations. Houston police Chief Troy Finner agreed with the adherence to the recommendation, saying there cannot be a talk of transparency without action.
Finner said now that Turner has given the marching orders, bodycam footage of officer-involved shootings that result in injury or death will be released within 30 days of the incident in question, effective immediately.
“There is a lot that goes in (with the release of a video),” Finner said. “I don’t want to release something prematurely, where we don’t have all of the angles ... We have to go through redactions, by law. And there are some incidents, by law, that we can’t release ... so just understand those challenges.”
However, Finner said despite those challenges, “we’re releasing it when we can legally release it.”