The hacker who helped the Seattle police department work on its transparency has left the force. Tim Clemans will no longer be developing auto-blurring software for dash-and-body cameras at the department due to what sounds like some politics between himself and leadership. It's something that Clemans actually predicted, according to The Stranger. The problems apparently started gestating as recently as August when one of the department's captains made a complaint that any and all changes to the 911 dispatch center needed his approval before being implemented. You see, Clemans developed an app that would highlight the most serious emergency calls automatically -- something the captain felt usurped his power despite it making dispatchers' jobs easier. Other staff members voiced their support saying Clemans had done "a tremendous job" with his work, lamenting his departure.
Clemans believes that the police should release every bit of video captured, not just cherry picking it to project the best image possible. Why's that? "If we don't put out the good videos, there's nothing to counter the bad ones," he said. In that spirit, he's filed public records requests for some 261 separate events, all using an automated bot. Here's to hoping that his work lives on and it wasn't in vain.
[Image credit: Associated Press]