At the end of last year, the Obama administration pledged $263 million in federal funding for police training and body cameras. Since then, cities around the country, from New York to LA, have been testing body cameras in their police forces. But we've yet to see what any of that body camera footage actually looks like — until now.
It looks like a hazy movie
Seattle's police department recently launched a YouTube channel to store its force's body camera footage for the public to view. The channel, SPD BodyWornVideo, features very hazy videos shot by on-duty police. Most of the videos look like that moment in movies when someone who's been knocked out slowly regains consciousness. The blurriness is meant to hide the identities of people caught on tape.
Last year, the police department recruited hacker Timothy Clemans to create software that would redact images and eliminate sound from the body camera footage, The Seattle Times reports. According to SPDBlotter, Clemans' software allowed the department to redact more than four hours of footage in just half a day, whereas the old method would've required days of work.
The Seattle Times says the police department hopes to make the tools available to other cities for free in the near future.