UOL series exposes manipulation of Military Police body cam footage and disincentive of this technology in São Paulo

Reports conducted in conjunction with Conectas address the challenges of using this tool in corporations

Câmeras corporais no uniforme de PMs. Foto: Rovena Rosa/ Agência Brasil Câmeras corporais no uniforme de PMs. Foto: Rovena Rosa/ Agência Brasil

In conjunction with Conectas, UOL has released a series featuring two reports on the use of body cams on military police officers in São Paulo. Reporting was headed up by the journalist Luis Adorno. See below:

The first report reveals that São Paulo’s military police have learned to manipulate body cams and circumvent the image storage system, enabling evidence to be tampered with. Among the various loopholes that facilitate fraud, the absence of an independent watchdog is noteworthy.

The report includes an interview with Bruno Rodrigues Dias, a military police officer who outlines four ways in which storage on the cameras can be tampered with: 

  • By deleting a video using the ´remove´ button;
  • By failing to place the camera in the docking system (a device used to enter content into the system) for 90 days, after which period images are deleted automatically from the equipment;
  • By changing the date of recording to a time before the expiry date;
  • For high-level officers (for example, those with administrative roles), by stipulating that removal of the images was programmed when the video was classified by the officer.

There are further details of fraud and manipulation of body cameras in the report. Read in full

The second report shows that while Federal Government wants to extend the use of body cameras to the rest of the country, São Paulo is taking the opposite stance. Seven states currently have body camera technology and a further ten are in the processes of either testing or public bidding.

However, the state of São Paulo, seen by other states as an example, is going in the opposite direction. The current governor, Tarcísio de Freitas´ administration is discouraging the use of this technology. The São Paulo government cut funding for body cameras by 35% in 2023, falling from R$152 million to R$97.6 million.

Furthermore, Tarcísio has stated that he will not increase the number of bodycams, arguing that he intends to prioritise police presence on the streets and police visibility. Read in full.

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