WASHINGTON - D.C. Police dispatchers will now be required to remind officers to turn on their body cameras prior to responding to calls.
The change comes following a weekend incident in which an unarmed motorcyclist was shot and killed by a police officer in Adams Morgan. The officers involved in the incident did not activate their body cameras until after the shooting occurred.
At a press conference Thursday, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser said that the new requirement is a direct result of the weekend's incident. Officers who do not turn on their body cameras after they are reminded will face discipline, she said.
FOX 5 also learned that both officers involved in the fatal shooting were placed on leave the same day that the shooting occurred. Assistant Police Chief Peter Newsham explained to FOX 5's Paul Wagner that a news release to the press incorrectly stated that only one of the officers was immediately placed on leave. Newsham also thanked the news media for their help finding witnesses to the shooting - adding that it gave them a good perspective on what happened.
Police say 31-year-old Terrence Sterling was riding his motorcycle erratically near 17th and U Streets around 4:30 a.m. Sunday. About ten minutes later, Sterling wound up at 3rd and M Streets where he was shot and killed. Officers say Sterling struck a police cruiser as he was trying to get away, and was then shot by one of the two officers in the cruiser.
FOX 5 police sources confirm on Wednesday that the two officers involved in the fatal shooting were told by officials over the radio to break off any sort of chase or pursuit. There is also question as to if the officers boxed in the motorcycle or fired at it while it was moving.