When the idea for body cameras was first introduced in 2014, Boston Police Commissioner William Evans expressed some concerns about people possibly avoiding the police because of the cameras. But in January of 2015, he said on Boston Public Radio that the department hadn't ruled them out. Then last September said on Greater Boston they would be happening, and he was hopeful trials would start by April.
But then a few weeks ago on Herald Radio, Evans said, “I am hoping the result is the community can see more or less that maybe we don’t need them.”On Thursday, Boston's mayor responded to that, "I don’t know if he misspoke on the radio, but I think we gotta be careful with taking his words and twist them around."
Evans joined Jim on Thursday night to discuss the back and forth. He agreed with Mayor Walsh, that the statement was taken out of context. "I meant that we're going to try the pilot program, and the whole idea of a pilot is looking at the pros and the cons." He said he is all for it if the public wants the program. They are working with the unions and the community to get this right. Evans said that the Boston Police Department will have the cameras by June. "We have nothing to hide," he said.
They also discussed recent events, such as one in Dorchester on Wednesday night involving six people arrested and four to five guns. Evans praised the lack of force used in that situation. They also discussed the recent police chase from Massachusetts to New Hampshire, ending with the police attacking the suspect. Evans called the video troubling, and raised two issues: "Were they justified in the chase, in chasing the car for that long?" and "the use of force." Evans said that they would have never let that chase go on in Boston.
Recently, FBI Director James Comey released a statement about the "viral video effect," stating that the it is the "potential effect of marginal pullbacks by lots and lots of police officers that is changing some cities." Evans cited theories about the Ferguson effect, and suggested that the unions told police officers to be more careful while doing their jobs. But "99.9 of us do a tremendous job every day," he said.