BREAKING: Boynton Beach police plan to use body cameras in March

An Axon Body 2 is displayed during a body-worn camera show and tell at the Delray Beach Police Department's Seacrest Training Center Friday, July 1, 2016. (Bruce R. Bennett / The Palm Beach Post)
An Axon Body 2 is displayed during a body-worn camera show and tell at the Delray Beach Police Department’s Seacrest Training Center Friday, July 1, 2016. (Bruce R. Bennett / The Palm Beach Post)

Boynton Beach will buy body cameras, and the police department will start using them in March, city officials said Tuesday.

The city is buying 80 cameras, and each road patrol officer will have one. The officers will also have cameras for when they are off duty, Chief Jeffrey Katz said at the city commission meeting.

Read the full story here: Boynton becomes fourth county municipality to use police body cameras

“By having a (body warn camera) program, the department has the opportunity to provide the full unedited version of an incident video from the officer’s perspective. The program will also increase transparency and police legitimacy,” Katz wrote in a memo to City Manager Lori LaVerriere. “Transparency leads to public trust and trust benefits the community.”

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Body cameras have been talked about in Palm Beach County for a while, but efforts to buy them gained momentum after the officer-involved shooting death of Corey Jones in Palm Beach Gardens, officials have said.

Jones’ uncle Kenneth Banks attended the commission meeting and praised the officials for supporting the program. He said the cameras will prevent the public from “not knowing.”

“One of the worst things is not knowing, not knowing what happened. I live here so I want that security not just for me but for others. We need to know, to protect the officers and also the citizens,” Banks said.

Banks said he hopes all law enforcement agencies in the county start to use them. Already, in Palm Beach Gardens, every sworn officer except for seven members of the command staff started wearing the cameras last summer. West Palm Beach Police also use the cameras. And in Delray Beach, Police Chief Jeff Goldman said all field officers will be equipped with the cameras by 2018. Meanwhile, 20 officers started to use them in July.

In Boynton, the Taser International, Inc. cameras and Evidence.com program software will cost about $561,783 over five years, according to city documents. The police department plans to put about $49,737 toward the cost from its Federal Forfeiture Law Enforcement Trust Fund.

 

Residents of apartment managed by Corey Jones: ‘People want some answers’

Corey Jones. Photo provided by Family of Corey Jones.
Corey Jones. Photo provided by Family of Corey Jones.

The residents at the La France Apartments in Delray Beach, where Corey Jones worked, said Wednesday afternoon they heard about the state attorney’s decision to send the fatal shooting case to the grand jury, and hope that brings the popular drummer justice.

“If that’s the way they have to go, that’s the way they have to go. But he does deserve justice because he was a good kid,” said Lawrence Washington, 74.

Read more about the decision here: Story

Washington said he knew Jones for about four years and described him as a “busy man” who “kept the place up.”

Jones managed the complex on Northwest Fourth Avenue for the Delray Beach Housing Authority.

“He was a very good kid. He always knocked on my door and said ‘Mr. Washington, is there anything I can help you with?'” Washington said.

Resident Ernest McCloud said he’s pleased the case is going to the grand jury because “people want some answers.”

State Attorney on Corey Jones case: Decision in ‘near future’

Corey Jones. Photo provided by Family of Corey Jones.
Corey Jones. Photo provided by Family of Corey Jones.

 

While at a press conference in Boynton Beach on Wednesday talking about prescription drug abuse, Palm Beach County State Attorney Dave Aronberg spoke for a few minutes about the Corey Jones shooting investigation.

Here’s what he said:

“We’re compiling all the data and we know this is of great importance to the community so we’re going to keep turning over every detail and making sure we have every bit of evidence before we make a decision.”

Aronberg said he’s had “good communication” with Jones’ family and community and religious leaders. He said he is limited in what he can say because it is an open investigation.

“We are moving ahead diligently and you can expect something in the near future,” Aronberg said.

He said most officer-involved shooting investigations take eight to nine months.

It’s been about five months since Jones was killed by former Palm Beach Gardens Police Officer Nouman Raja on Oct. 18.

“We’re going to do justice at the end of the day,” he said.