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Regional Interests

In Wake of Roger Allen Killing, Daly City Plans Body Camera Program — After Four Year Delay

Daly City plans to equip police officers with body and in-car video cameras by October — in what will be a four-year delay in rolling out the devices.

The renewed urgency follows the police killing of 44-year-old Roger Allen on April 7. Officers encountered Allen and another man fixing a flat tire on Niantic Avenue, a few blocks south of John Daly Boulevard. Officers said they stopped to help.

Four officers struggled with Allen over a BB gun, the San Mateo County district attorney said, and one of the officers shot Allen in the chest.

Daly City identified the officers involved in the incident last week as Lt. Michael Brennan and officers Rosa Brenes, Nicholas McCarthy and Cameron Newton, but the city has not confirmed which officer fired. According to District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe, there is no police or surveillance video of the shooting.

A San Mateo County Civil Grand Jury Report in 2016 recommended all law enforcement agencies in the county implement body cameras by late 2017, and Daly City agreed — once funding was available.

The City Council approved $1.5 million for the program Wednesday, allocating funding from Measure Q — a half-cent sales tax passed by voters in November.

The long delay in funding body cameras makes Daly City an extremely late adopter of the devices.

“The one fortunate part of being one of the last agencies to implement body-worn cameras is many agencies have already figured out what works and what doesn’t work,” police chief Patrick Hensley told the city council Wednesday.

Still, it will take four to six more months to purchase and install infrastructure for the cameras, craft policies around them and train officers to use them, Hensley said.

The city plans to purchase 100 body cameras and 32 in-car cameras — enough to outfit every officer and squad car.

For some, the move comes too late. Talika Fletcher, Allen’s sister, criticized Daly City’s lack of body cameras. “They need to tell the whole entire truth,” she said. “I want the person that shot my brother, I want justice.”

Copyright 2021 KQED