By Julia Edwards WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Obama administration will provide $20 million in grants to local police departments to help buy body cameras for officers, the U.S. Justice Department said on Friday. The grants represent the first portion to be approved by Congress of a $75 million, three-year body camera funding program requested in December by President Barack Obama. Demand for the cameras, which clip onto officers' uniforms to record interactions with citizens, has risen amid a series of deadly altercations between police and unarmed black men, followed by protests in several American cities. Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake said last week that she would launch a body-camera pilot program after a black man died from a spinal injury while in police custody.
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico's state auditor outlined what he called a troubling pattern of perks and consulting work heaped upon the former Albuquerque police chief by Taser International as it secured a lucrative no-bid contract to supply officers with body cameras.
BALTIMORE (AP) — The top Baltimore city police officer suspended following Freddie Gray's death was hospitalized in April 2012 following concerns about his mental health, according to records from a sheriff's department and court obtained by The Associated Press.