There’s a surveillance camera at corner of Arsenal Street and S. Grand Boulevard, and it appears to be pointed at MoKaBe’s Coffeehouse, where Black Lives Matter activists and other human rights protestors are known to meet, said Kendra Tatum, an organizer with Organization for Black Struggle.
“We are concerned that police are using surveillance cameras as an intimidation tactic on First Amendment rights,” testified Tatum at the Jan. 24 aldermanic Public Safety Committee meeting, speaking in support of Board Bill 219.
On January 24, the aldermanic committee debated the Surveillance Technology Bill that was introduced by Alderman Terry Kennedy (D-Ward 18) earlier this month. The bill would establish procedures to ensure more transparency and accountability among “any governmental units operating within the City of St. Louis” that use surveillance technology. Under the bill, these entities must submit a plan that outlines what surveillance equipment they will be using, the reasons why the equipment will be used in the neighborhoods it will be located, and what measures are being taken to avoid bias, among other things.
Currently, there are no public documents that provide this information.
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