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VERIFY: Portland Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty's position on police body cameras

A viewer asked KGW's VERIFY team what Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty's position was on police issued body cameras.

PORTLAND, Ore. — There has been a lot of talk over the last year about police body cameras and why Portland police officers don’t wear them. A pilot program that was supposed to equip officers with cameras was scrapped this year due to budget cuts from COVID-19. 

A viewer emailed the KGW VERIFY team asking what Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty’s position is on body cameras. 

Hardesty has said for months that she wants Mayor Ted Wheeler to put her in charge of the Portland Police Bureau (PPB). Wheeler, currently the head of PPB, has not done that. His mayoral election challenger, Sarah Iannarone, has said she would put Hardesty in charge of PPB if elected.

But what is Hardesty’s position on body cameras?

According to a 2019 press release, Hardesty called on Wheeler to defund police body cameras.

Hardesty then tweeted, in part, in June of 2020: We often hear that body cameras will provide police accountability, but I disagree. I believe they are an expensive, false solution. Many studies have shown that there is no correlation between body cameras and police behavior.

KGW reached out to Hardesty's office and is waiting to hear back.

Based on her tweets and press release, KGW can VERIFY: Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty is against police wearing body cameras, calling them expensive and a false solution.

Do you have something you want us to VERIFY? Let us know by emailing Verify@kgw.com

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