Ap­peals court rul­ing paves way for Austin po­lice body cam­eras

Chief lit­i­gant in law­suit block­ing city pur­chase no longer in pic­ture.

Austin American-Statesman - - METRO & STATE - By Philip Jankowski pjankowski@states­man.com Cam­eras

An ap­pel­late court rul­ing Fri­day paved the way for Austin to move for­ward with a po­lice body cam­era pro­gram that has been held up since last year.

The rul­ing from Texas’ 3rd Court of Ap­peals es­sen­tially tossed the chief lit­i­gant from a law­suit that had blocked the city from mov­ing for­ward with a con­tract to buy cam­eras for the Austin Po­lice De­part­ment from Taser In­ter­na­tional. Util­ity As­so­ciates, which also vied for the con­tract but fin­ished sec­ond, had ac­cused the city of tai­lor­ing its bid­ding process to give Taser an un­fair ad­van­tage.

The Austin City Coun­cil in June ap­proved a $12 mil­lion con­tract with Taser to out­fit nearly all of Austin’s pa­trol of­fi­cers with body cam­eras. But city of­fi­cials on Fri­day said they will prob­a­bly move for­ward with an agree­ment to pur­chase body cam­eras for $4 mil­lion to take ad­van­tage of a $750,000 grant that will dis­ap­pear if no cam­eras are pur­chased by Septem­ber.

“We are pleased with the ap­pel­late court’s de­ci­sion,” the city said

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