Should officers be permitted to review body camera footage before writing their reports and/or making statements to investigators? At least one group of police think tank experts say ‘no’. Approximately 79% of the country’s local police forces now use body cameras. Why don’t all have them have it at this point? Probably the economics of it all. However, some theorize it is to reduce liability and exposure. Whatever it is, the Police Executive Research Forum now supports the concept of eliminating officers from reviewing their footage prior to making statements to investigators. Obviously, the concern is that allowing officers to review camera footage prior to speaking to investigators could permit them to change their stories to fit the video narrative. This, in turn, would undercut the oversight function of the camera footage and the investigators; transparency would be lessened, appreciably. The Forum supports a hybrid approach wherein officers would give an initial account and then follow up after if there are further issues to be covered. This approach would seem to allow for a more cohesive oversight when dealing with police body camera footage.
If you or a loved one is in a bind as a result of a criminal charge, immediately contact a Seattle Criminal Attorney. A Criminal lawyer is not going to judge you and understands that everyone makes mistakes. Hiring a Seattle Criminal Lawyer to help can – at a minimum – reduce penalties and can help direct people on how to best deal with their criminal charge, and many times even get them dismissed. So, it should go without saying that someone cited for a misdemeanor or felony should hire a qualified Seattle Criminal Lawyer as soon as possible. Criminal charges can cause havoc on a person’s personal and professional life. Anyone charged with a crime in Washington State should immediately seek the assistance of a seasoned Seattle Criminal Lawyer. SQ Attorneys can be reached at (425) 359-3791 and/or (206) 441-0900.