ROUND LAKE PARK, Ill. (AP) — Ten police officers in a Chicago suburb are suing the town, claiming the body cameras they wore never turned off and recorded them using the restroom and changing clothes.
The lawsuit filed Thursday in federal court says one of the officers in Round Lake Park, Dominick Izzo, discovered the problem while reviewing video from his camera in May.
According to the Chicago Tribune (http://trib.in/292Lgff ), the lawsuit says the cameras recorded thousands of “highly offensive and voyeuristic intrusions,” including video that showed officers’ genitals. The videos dated to at least February, according to the lawsuit.
The officers were “humiliated, embarrassed and greatly upset,” according to the lawsuit. The officers are seeking $100,000 each.
Police Chief George Filenko said he was unaware of the recordings until an officer discovered them and has hired an outside attorney to investigate. But in a statement Filenko also criticized the officers for filing the lawsuit.
“The police officers who filed the lawsuit against the village made a quick rush to judgment, without considering all of the facts,” the statement read.
Body cameras are intended to record police interactions with the public and are becoming more common as police departments deal with complaints about mistreatment by officers.
The Round Lake Park cameras had been in use by the department’s 12 officers since September. Officers were told to turn them on during traffic stops and other enforcement activities.
According to the lawsuit, Izzo discovered the cameras were still recoding when off or in sleep mode. He wrote to a commander and the department soon stopped using the cameras.
The cameras are sold by Enforcement Video, LLC, of Allen, Texas. Company spokeswoman Jaime Carlin said the cameras are always recording unless disabled, something the company says it trains police how to do.
Information from: Chicago Tribune, http://www.chicagotribune.com