Police officers in the suburb of Round Lake Park, Illinois are suing the village over allegations that their own body cameras secretly recorded actions private in nature, like using the bathroom and changing their clothes, the Chicago Tribune reports.
The officer claim that when they received the body cameras in September, they were instructed only to activate them during traffic stops and other interactions with civilians, and didn’t realize that the cameras didn’t stop recording in between.
In a suit filed on Thursday by 10 of the 13 officers on the force, the defendants claim the recordings violated their civil rights and constitute an invasion of privacy. They are seeking damages of more than $100,000 each.
The Round Lake Park police department has a policy not to record body parts or non enforcement activities. The suit calls the body camera recordings that are in violation of this policy, “highly offensive and voyeuristic intrusions.”
Civil rights and privacy advocates, including the ACLU and the NAACP have voiced concerns about police body cameras violating the rights of those they profile (i.e. civilians, and not cops) and have urged more oversight of officers handling the footage.
But lawsuits brought by and on behalf of civilians, whom the cameras were actually designed to surveil, haven’t focused much on privacy rights. They’re a little preoccupied with getting police to make footage from those cameras available to the public, like they’re supposed to, instead.