Atlanta Body Camera Program Suspended Over Bidding Dispute
Atlanta police officers participating in a body camera pilot program are turning their devices in because of a court order that could cause city officials to start the program over from scratch.
News outlets report that one of the companies that lost the bid for the cameras filed a lawsuit, saying that it was not treated fairly. A court recently ordered a temporary halt to the police department's 3-month-long pilot program until the bidding process could be reviewed. The program had been running for seven weeks.
City attorneys are advising to avoid a new legal battle and instead start a new bidding process.
WABE legal analyst Page Pate said that he believed Judge Tom Campbell, who ordered the halt, decided there was enough to stop the use of the cameras.
“If the parties were to litigate this and it all the way through a trial, we may find out some disturbing things about the bidding process. And instead of airing all that dirty laundry I think APD has made the decision [to] just do it again,” Pate said.
Atlanta Police spokeswoman Elizabeth Espy says the department and city disagree with the injunction, but will move forward so that officers can soon be equipped with the devices once again.