Code of the District of Columbia

Subchapter VIII-B. Body-Worn Cameras.


Part A. Regulation and Reporting Requirements.

§ 5–116.31. Body-Worn Camera Program; generally.

The Body-Worn Camera Program in the Metropolitan Police Department in Fiscal Year 2016 shall not be implemented until certification by the Chief Financial Officer that the cost of public access to body-worn camera recordings, if any, is funded in the Fiscal Year 2016 budget and 4-year financial plan.


(Oct. 22, 2015, D.C. Law 21-36, § 3002, 62 DCR 10905.)

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90 days) addition of this section, see § 3002 of the Fiscal Year 2016 Budget Support Emergency Act of 2015 (D.C. Act 21-127, July 27, 2015, 62 DCR 10201).


§ 5–116.32. Body-Worn Camera Program; rulemaking requirement.

(a) The Mayor, pursuant to subchapter I of Chapter 5 of Title 2 [§ 2-501 et seq.], and in accordance with this section, shall issue rules regarding the Metropolitan Police Department’s Body-Worn Camera Program. The rules, at a minimum, shall provide:

(1) Standards for public access to body-worn camera recordings;

(2) Policies for retaining body-worn camera recordings;

(3) Procedures for auditing the Body-Worn Camera Program;

(4) Policies for protecting the security and integrity of body-worn camera data; and

(5) Mechanisms for cost recovery of Freedom of Information Act requests.

(b) The Mayor shall establish and consult with an advisory group to provide recommendations for the proposed rules required by subsection (c) of this section. The advisory group shall consist of one representative from each of the following agencies and organizations:

(1) The Committee on the Judiciary of the Council of the District of Columbia;

(2) The Office of Police Complaints;

(3) The Office of Open Government of the Board of Ethics and Government Accountability;

(4) The Fraternal Order of Police, D.C. Police Union;

(5) The Electronic Privacy and Information Center;

(6) The D.C. Coalition Against Domestic Violence;

(7) The American Civil Liberties Union of the National Capital Area;

(8) The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press;

(9) The D.C. Open Government Coalition;

(10) The Office of the Attorney General;

(11) The United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia; and

(12) The Public Defender Service for the District of Columbia.

(c) The Mayor shall submit the proposed rules required by this section to the Council by October 1, 2015, for a 45-day period of review, excluding Saturdays, Sundays, legal holidays, and days of Council recess. If the Council does not approve or disapprove the proposed rules, in whole or in part, by resolution, within this 45-day period of review, the proposed rules shall be deemed disapproved.


(Oct. 22, 2015, D.C. Law 21-36, § 3003, 62 DCR 10905.)

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90 days) addition of this section, see § 3003 of the Fiscal Year 2016 Budget Support Emergency Act of 2015 (D.C. Act 21-127, July 27, 2015, 62 DCR 10201).

Temporary Legislation

For temporary (225 days) restriction on the use of body-worn cameras, see § 6 of the Fiscal Year 2015 and Fiscal Year 2016 Revised Budget Request Adjustment Temporary Act of 2015 (D.C. Law 21-48, Jan. 9, 2016, 62 DCR 13979).


§ 5–116.33. Body-Worn Camera Program; reporting requirements.

*NOTE: This section includes amendments by emergency legislation that will expire on August 1, 2021. To view the text of this section after the expiration of all emergency and temporary legislation affecting this section, click this link: Permanent Version.*

(a) By October 1, 2015, and every 6 months thereafter, the Mayor shall collect, and make available in a publicly accessible format, data on the Metropolitan Police Department’s Body-Worn Camera Program, including:

(1) How many hours of body-worn camera recordings were collected;

(2) How many times body-worn cameras failed while officers were on shift and the reasons for the failures;

(3) How many times internal investigations were opened for a failure to turn on body-worn cameras during interactions, and the results of those internal investigations, including any discipline imposed;

(4) How many times body-worn camera recordings were used by the Metropolitan Police Department in internal affairs investigations;

(5) How many times body-worn camera recordings were used by the Metropolitan Police Department to investigate complaints made by an individual or group;

(6) How many body-worn cameras are assigned to each police district and police unit for the reporting period;

(7) How many Freedom of Information Act requests the Metropolitan Police Department received for body-worn camera recordings during the reporting period, the outcome of each request, including any reasons for denial, and the cost to the department for complying with each request, including redaction; and

(8) How many recordings were assigned to each body-worn camera recording category.

(b) The Metropolitan Police Department shall provide the Office of Police Complaints with direct access to body-worn camera recordings.

(c)(1) Notwithstanding any other law:

(A) Within 5 business days after a request from the Chairperson of the Council Committee with jurisdiction over the Metropolitan Police Department, the Metropolitan Police Department shall provide unredacted copies of the requested body-worn camera recordings to the Chairperson. Such body-worn camera recordings shall not be publicly disclosed by the Chairperson or the Council; and

(B) The Mayor:

(i) Shall, except as provided in paragraph (2) of this subsection:

(I) Within 5 business days after an officer-involved death or the serious use of force, publicly release the names and body-worn camera recordings of all officers who committed the officer-involved death or serious use of force; and

(II) By August 15, 2020, publicly release the names and body-worn camera recordings of all officers who have committed an officer-involved death since the Body-Worn Camera Program was launched on October 1, 2014; and

(ii) May, on a case-by-case basis in matters of significant public interest and after consultation with the Chief of Police, the United States Attorney's Office for the District of Columbia, and the Office of the Attorney General, publicly release any other body-worn camera recordings that may not otherwise be releasable pursuant to a FOIA request.

(2)(A) The Mayor shall not release a body-worn camera recording pursuant to paragraph (1)(B)(i) of this subsection if the following persons inform the Mayor, orally or in writing, that they do not consent to its release:

(i) For a body-worn camera recording of an officer-involved death, the decedent's next of kin; and

(ii) For a body-worn camera recording of a serious use of force, the individual against whom the serious use of force was used, or if the individual is a minor or unable to consent, the individual's next of kin.

(B)(i) In the event of a disagreement between the persons who must consent to the release of a body-worn camera recording pursuant to subparagraph (A) of this paragraph, the Mayor shall seek a resolution in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia.

(ii) The Superior Court of the District of Columbia shall order the release of the body-worn camera recording if it finds that the release is in the interests of justice.

(d) Before publicly releasing a body-worn camera recording of an officer-involved death, the Metropolitan Police Department shall:

(1) Consult with an organization with expertise in trauma and grief on best practices for creating an opportunity for the decedent's next of kin to view the body-worn camera recording in advance of its release;

(2) Notify the decedent's next of kin of its impending release, including the date when it will be released; and

(3) Offer the decedent's next of kin the opportunity to view the body-worn camera recording privately in a non-law enforcement setting in advance of its release, and if the next of kin wish to so view the body-worn camera recording, facilitate its viewing.

(e) For the purposes of this subsection, the term:

(1) "FOIA" means subchapter II of Chapter 5 of Title 2;

(2) "Next of kin" shall mean the priority for next of kin as provided in Metropolitan Police Department General Order 401.08, or its successor directive; and

(3) "Serious use of force" shall have the same meaning as that term is defined in MPD General Order 901.07, or its successor directive.


(Oct. 22, 2015, D.C. Law 21-36, § 3004, 62 DCR 10905; Mar. 9, 2016, D.C. Law 21-83, § 3, 63 DCR 774; May 3, 2021, D.C. Act 24-76, § 103, 68 DCR 004935.)

Effect of Amendments

The 2016 amendment by D.C. Law 21-83 rewrote (a)(7); and added (a)(8) and made a related change.

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 103 of Comprehensive Policing and Justice Reform Emergency Amendment Act of 2021 (D.C. Act 24-76, May 3, 2021, 68 DCR 004935).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 103 of Comprehensive Policing and Justice Reform Congressional Review Emergency Amendment Act of 2020 (D.C. Act 23-437, Oct. 28, 2020, 67 DCR 12993).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 103 of Comprehensive Policing and Justice Reform Second Emergency Amendment Act of 2020 (D.C. Act 23-336, July 22, 2020, 67 DCR 9148).

For temporary (90 days) addition of this section, see § 3004 of the Fiscal Year 2016 Budget Support Emergency Act of 2015 (D.C. Act 21-127, July 27, 2015, 62 DCR 10201).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 3 of the Body-Worn Camera Program Emergency Amendment Act of 2015 (D.C. Act 21-253, Dec. 30, 2015, 63 DCR 271).

Temporary Legislation

For temporary (225 days) amendment of this section, see § 103 of Comprehensive Policing and Justice Reform Second Temporary Amendment Act of 2020 (D.C. Law 23-151, Dec. 3, 2020, 67 DCR 9920).


Part B. Metropolitan Police Department Body-Worn Camera Fund.

§ 5–116.51. Metropolitan Police Department Body-Worn Camera Fund established.

(a) There is established as a special fund the Metropolitan Police Department Body-Worn Camera Fund (“Fund”), which shall be administered by the Metropolitan Police Department.

(b) Funds from the following sources shall be deposited into the Fund:

(1) All fees that are paid as part of Freedom of Information Act requests for body-worn camera recordings recorded by the Metropolitan Police Department;

(2) All monies appropriated to the Fund;

(3) Federal grants to the Fund; and

(4) Private monies donated to the Fund.

(c) Money in the Fund shall be used for the purpose of procuring a vendor to perform any necessary redactions of body-worn camera recordings.

(d)(1) The money deposited into the Fund, and interest earned, shall not revert to the unrestricted fund balance of the General Fund of the District of Columbia at the end of a fiscal year, or at any other time.

(2) Subject to authorization in an approved budget and financial plan, any funds appropriated in the Fund shall be continually available without regard to fiscal year limitation.


(Mar. 9, 2016, D.C. Law 21-83, § 4, 63 DCR 774.)

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90 days) addition of this section, see § 4 of the Body-Worn Camera Program Emergency Amendment Act of 2015 (D.C. Act 21-253, Dec. 30, 2015, 63 DCR 271).